Have you ever looked into your closet full of clothes and felt like you had nothing to wear? So many individual pieces and yet no ideas on how to make outfits from your closet? If you answered yes, you're not alone. The average person experiences ‘wardrobe panic’ at least 36 times a year because they feel they have nothing to wear. Every piece of clothing you buy has a financial cost to you and an environmental cost to the planet, so you should be getting a lot of wear out of each piece in your wardrobe to minimize waste and maximize your clothing’s utility.
Getting the most out of your wardrobe looks different for everyone depending on the current size, selection and use of clothing. Too many items not being worn may result in learning how to downsize your wardrobe to simplify clothing options and learning the best ways to store clothes moving forward. For others, you may be lacking certain clothing basics to contribute to a capsule wardrobe where all items would be maximized due to their versatility, making it easier to pair with and style clothes you already have.
No matter if you have too many or too few clothing items, we want to help you maximize your wardrobe and learn how to make outfits from your closet to ease your morning routine. Read on to discover 7 tips to help you get more out of your closet and level up your sustainable clothing styling options.
1) Take note of what you actually wear
The first step in learning how to maximize your wardrobe is to take note of what you own and what you actually wear throughout the year. Getting rid of clothing can be hard and learning how to downsize your wardrobe can feel like an overwhelming task. Sure, there will always be the possibility that the perfect occasion to wear that dress will arise (even though it hasn’t in two years), but is that a good enough reason to keep it? One trick to help decide whether you should keep an item is to keep track of what you’re wearing using hangers. Start with all your hangers facing one direction. As you hang clothing you’ve worn back up in your closet, make sure the hanger now faces the opposite direction. At the end of 6 months you’ll be able to see what clothes you haven’t worn a single time. These are the pieces you should consider parting with. Because there will be seasonal clothing that hasn’t been worn, we recommend doing this exercise for the following 6 months to get the full picture of what you wear all year round.
For those wondering how to decide what clothes to keep, this tip is great as it reduces the feeling of being overwhelmed and essentially sorts through clothing naturally throughout the year. And, as the months pass and you notice which hangers haven’t been touched yet, this might spark some style inspiration and allow an opportunity to make new outfits from your wardrobe.
2) Go back to basics
Once you’ve taken note of your clothing - whether or not that means needing to downsize and simplify your wardrobe or simply taking inventory of what you have, the next step is to go back to basics and identify basic clothing items that you have or may be needing. Basics are the building blocks of your wardrobe and shouldn’t be underestimated. If you’re having trouble building outfits, it might just be because you don’t have the right basics for your style to build off of. Basics are versatile clothing items that can be paired with multiple outfits, are not necessarily season dependent and are often neutral coloured clothing that can be styled up or down. A great wardrobe basic could include The Fair Crew Neck Tee or The Evolve Top in black or white as either can be styled with jeans, dress pants, leggings and even skirts. Once you have your basics down, you’ll always have outfit options you can turn to in a rush. For inspo on styling basics, read our “How to Wear 6 Basics Without Looking Boring” blog post!
3) Look for versatility
Versatile pieces are almost as important as basics when it comes to getting the most out of your wardrobe. Versatile pieces are a good place to invest in your wardrobe because they can take the place of multiple styles in your wardrobe. For example, our Everyday Twist Top can be worn 5+ ways, yet it’s only one item in your wardrobe and our Chrysalis Cardi is the ultimate versatile item that can be converted from top to dress to romper all in one.
When considering how to style your wardrobe and maximize the use of each item, it’s important to note that versatile item’s aren’t just 5 in one items. Versatility can mean having neutral coloured clothes that pair well with all colours and patterns, selecting items that are wearable throughout all seasons or can be easily layered as well as owning items that can be dressed up or down. A great example of a versatile item that meets all these criteria would be The Comfy Wide Leg Pant as they can be worn all year long, are great to style with t-shirts or blouses and are made of soft yet durable micro modal material.
4) Utilize accessories
Maximizing your wardrobe means mixing things up and learning how to style clothes you already own. Accessories are a great way to change up your style without buying more clothes. Those basics we talked about earlier? Pair them with some statement jewelry or a purse with a print to create a new look. We love to use The Chrysalis Cardi as a scarf which also maximizes the item’s versatility.
It’s important to note, getting the most out of your wardrobe doesn’t necessarily mean you simplify your wardrobe and keep to basics moving forward, maximizing your wear and learning how to make outfits from your closet can be fun with the added use of accessories and mixing and matching existing garments.
5) Keep your clothing visible
One reason you may only be wearing a small portion of your wardrobe is because of how your clothes are displayed. There is truth to the saying “out of sight, out of mind”. For the best way to store clothes, we recommend folding them so they stand upright rather than stacked on top of each other. Tidying queen Marie Kondo has an entire method for this type of folding you can check out here. Marie Kondo’s methods also help when learning how to downsize your wardrobe. Trust us, once your pants are beautifully folded upright, you won’t want to go back and it will be so much easier to make outfits from your closet because you can easily see each clothing item.
6) Take care of your clothes
The longer you wear your clothes, the more you’re getting out of them. Investing in well-made clothing is of course one way to get more wear out of clothing before the end of its life cycle. But how you take care of your clothing is also a huge factor in how long it will last. Reading clothing tags is a great first step to learning how to care for each garment and will help prolong your life of each item. For more tips on how to best care for your clothing, read our “5 Tips for Longer-Lasting Clothes” blog post.
7) Give old clothing new life
Revamping clothing can be a fun way to extend the life of your favourite pieces. That faded black tank top you have? Bring it back to its former glory with some black fabric dye and a few hours of your time. Pinterest and Youtube have become great resources for creative ways to transform old clothing. By giving life to your old clothing and essentially upcycling garments you’re also contributing to a more sustainable fashion system by diverting waste from landfills and giving more meaning to each of your items. Giving old clothing new life also allows you creative freedom in experimenting with how to style clothing you already own as garments can be altered for specific outfits and paired with your existing items.
Remember, when you’re looking to get the most out of your wardrobe and learn how to make outfits from your closet, think of your day to day outings, what types of clothing items fit with your lifestyle, what colours do you enjoy wearing and are there any basic or versatile pieces you can experiment with to mix and match? Each of these considerations will help you decide what clothes to keep and how to style your wardrobe long term to ensure you’re getting the most out of it and contributing to a more sustainable fashion industry by being more intentional with what you wear.
What pieces in your wardrobe do you get the most wear out of? Have any additional tips on how to get the most out of your wardrobe? Comment below!