Is anyone else doing a ‘no shopping’ January? Last year was the first time I ever tried this feat of anti-fashion.. and you know what? It was a cinch. And it effectively helped push me in the direction of truly understanding what my closet needed or didn’t need. What I loved to wear and what I merely owned to own. I’m doing it again this month and quite fittingly, I also happened to have a couple of reader requests for tips on how to shop you closet. So here goes.

My first tip is to clear your closet. I used to stare into a packed closet and feel sort of ‘meh’. And it’s because so many of the pieces were wrong for me. They never really fit right or they weren’t my style anymore (or frankly ever). And so at a glance it felt like I had nothing to wear. I used to try on 2-3 outfits in the mornings before finally settling on something. But then last January I drastically cleared my closet. Essentially keeping only what ‘sparked joy’ if you will. With only pieces left that fit my figure and my style – it made it so much easier to shop my closet and look at what remained with fresh eyes.

From there – every time the season changes and I’m tempted to fill my closet with say, all the new pretty spring things, I do this trick instead. I look at some of my favorite brand’s websites and instead of thinking of the individual items I’d buy – I look at the styling of the clothes. So many times I realize that I have similar items and can just style them in a new way. Maybe a long cardigan would love totally new belted over a dress. Or I’ll get an idea for a new color combo (seen here – light brown, teal and sky blue). I swear so many times when you walk into a store or browse a website, what you’re falling in love with is the styling and you don’t need the individual pieces at all.

And after that – it’s all about accessories. Dig out a silk scarf and tie it around a bag you’ve had for ages. Put on a fun pair of statement earrings with an everyday sweater. I find when I’m really utilizing all the tools in my arsenal so to speak – the options feel endless. Pro tip: organize your belts, scarves and jewelry in a way that you can actually see them and easily access them. It will make all the difference.

Happy shopping (the things you already own)!

SHOP THE STORY: