Unconventional Ways to Shop Your Closet

Unconventional Ways to Shop Your Closet

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Skirt worn 5 ways

Unconventional Ways to Shop Your Closet

The idea to shop your closet is something many women have been touting on Instagram. But if you don’t have the tools to do this, it’s no different than going into your closet everyday and putting together the same outfits. So I came up with ways to shop your closet that can make you look at your wardrobe differently.
It started with mixing colors and then I talked about the need to stop categorizing the items and your style. Now it’s all about getting creative and unconventional with our pieces.

Quote of the day: “Each of us has a spark of life inside us, and our highest endeavor ought to be to set off that spark in one another. ” Kenny Ausubel

That quote is EXACTLY my goal with this shop your style series. I feel that one of my superpowers is to get creative with my clothing and I want to spark that in you!!
Not all of our clothing items will work with the ideas presented here. Yet that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn them and try to apply them, because when they do work, it’s like magic!!

In a way, this is no different than how our scarves can be magical. Scarves can be worn in so many ways, tied on so many things, and even act as tops, skirts, or head coverings depending on its size. Once you realize these magical properties about scarves, then it’s not very different with our other clothes.
Remember, clothing items are JUST pieces of material sewn together. So by thinking of it that way, it can change how it can be worn.

Confused?? Keep reading and I’ll explain.

BUT I also wanted to include another quote today: “If you want or need something different in life…you have the strength within to choose the daily consistent actions to get there.” You can’t expect to shop your closet and come up with different outfits if you only keep trying the same combinations over and over. That’s why I’m trying to help to give you that strength.

Wear items backwards

Turn It Around Or Inside Out

One of the easiest things to do is turn around some of our tops, sweaters or tees. My mom is the queen of this trick because many of her shirts seem too low in the front. So she will turn them around and wear the back in the front.
When we showcased this idea with cardigans on the blog years ago, we also showed ways to cover up the label, like with a brooch in the above photo.
I also just used this idea when I couldn’t find a solid white, long sleeve top to wear.

Another idea is wearing something inside out. I recently used this idea with a skirt I have (see it here on Instagram-make sure to check all 4 photos to see the proof that it’s inside out).
Why would you do this? One reason could be functional because you have a stain on the piece. But also if you don’t want to show some writing on a tee, yet you want the color of the tee. Or if you happen to notice the lining is almost prettier than the original material, why not show it off?

Unbutton It

This may be an obvious solution for finding new options when you want to shop your closet. Anything you have that buttons or snaps, can easily be unbuttoned/unsnapped and worn open which makes it seem different.
For example, a shirtdress. You bought it as a dress, yet if you unbutton it and wear it open over other pieces, it acts like a duster. (You can see the time we all tried this trick). A white blouse or chambray shirt is perfect for this idea too.

Change your pieces to shop your closet


One day the clothing item is a skirt and the next it’s a dress. It’s not that much different than the example with the shirt dress. You take your clothing item and wear it in a different fashion.
What’s the easiest way to do this? I will go back to the idea that you need to stop categorizing each clothing item. Instead, how about describing the piece out loud and it might remind you of what else it can be.
For example, with Lesley’s skirt/dress above, it’s a long, circular piece of material that has an elastic waistband. Which is no different than many strapless dresses.

Another illustration of this is the time I showcased my skirt (the one in the title photo above) and wore it 5 ways with only one way being as a skirt.

There are many other ways you can do this abracadabra trick:

  • A top as a scarf--this works wonderfully if you have a lightweight top especially sleeveless. I showed this example here with a 3/4 length sleeve sheer top.
  • Scarf as a kimono— With a couple of knots, you can make your own kimono like Charlotte did here.
  • A belt as a scarf— Charlotte has made her belt a scarf, and scarf a belt many times. The latest was here.
  • Clip on earrings as shoe clips or decorationLesley used a clip earring on her necklaces when she showed her talent with layering necklaces.
  • A long cardigan as a dress— This is no different than unbuttoning your shirt dress to create a duster as I’ve shown above. Now just close up your cardigan and wear it as a dress. You might need a couple of extra pins to keep it shut, but don’t let that stop you. I tried this with a teal cardigan with no closures here.
  • A scarf as a hair bandLesley showed this recently when we were discussing hair accessories. It could be easier with shorter scarves, but don’t forget the long ones either. Having the ends hang down your back is a great way to add spice to the rear view.
  • Coat as a dress–I wouldn’t have thought of this until a sales associate showed me this trick with my coat. You can see this along with other ideas just like it here.
  • Scarf as a skirt–This works wonderfully especially as a swim suit cover up when you are on vacation. The scarf can be worn in multiple ways so your suitcase is lighter.

In fact, check out the short video of how Lesley took a “too long” cardigan and made it into a poncho. It’s the idea of rethinking that the arm holes are only for your arms!!

Layer it

Layering may not be unconventional per se, but there are many times you get into habits of how to layer. I remember when I learned about wearing a dress to make it look like a skirt (by layering a top over the dress) or make it look like a top (by layering another skirt over it).
When I’m trying to stretch my wardrobe and shop my closet, I remind myself to think about layering over the item AND under it!! Just like I demonstrated with the bishop sleeve shirt.

Insider tip: If you think there’s no way you could layer a skirt over your dress, please read the myths I talked about in this post. Sure, it doesn’t work for every skirt with every dress, but you won’t know until you try it.

The Takeaway

I feel like I am the Dr. Seuss of clothing some days. But my craziness in trying all kinds of tricks has enabled me to shop my closet and come up with so many different ways to wear the same item.

Do I need to convince you category by category to try all of these ideas?? It can be overwhelming, but save this post and try one every week. And if you have an item that you can’t seem to work with, email me at Jtouchofstyle@gmail.com. I’m always happy to help!

Unconventional ways to shop your closet

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