This year I was fortunate to not only snag one of the hottest tickets in the blogging sphere, but I also have the honor of actually speaking at the Altitude Design Summit in Salt Lake City, UT next week! (If you are attending, make sure to come say “Hi” at the “DIY + Pinterest” workshop!)
As the name implies, AltSummit is very much “design” oriented, and highlighting your personal style is a huge part of the conference experience. I don’t mind telling you, I have been pretty much FREAKING OUT about what to wear! But thanks to some wonderful help and advice from the Small Fry Blog gals, I have reached a zen-like state of wardrobe preparedness! They helped me see that I didn’t need to run out in a panic and buy a whole new wardrobe for the conference, but with a little creativity and a fresh perspective, I could re-work what I already had into something new and fabulous. :-)
Maybe you don’t have a “big conference” coming up…maybe you are going to a wedding, or a baby shower, or on vacation, or maybe you’ve got a hot date! I can think of many times when I wished I had “something new to wear” but lacked the funds to go out and buy something. Here are some tips from the Small Fry Blog gals and a few others I gleaned from around the www that we all can use to make the most out of our wardrobes…just they way they are!
1. Lean On Fashionable Friends
Sometimes we need an objective eye and a new perspective to breathe new life into an “old” wardrobe. Invite your most stylish friend to come over and stage a styling session. This is where Emily, Jenna and Nicole came to the rescue! They are the cute gals behind Small Fry Blog and some of the most stylish people I know. (Check out their blog and you’ll see what I mean!) They looked at things I already had in my closet (and to their credit didn’t laugh!) and helped me come up with 6 different outfits that I didn’t even know were IN THERE! It literally was like “going shopping” in my own closet. We actually had a lot of fun doing it too! So invite your friend(s) over and have a fashion party! Then you can return the favor and help them with their closet too.
2. Write It Down!
Once you go to all the trouble of putting together these great “new” outfits, make a list of them so your don’t forget! Having an outfit list you can draw upon when you are rushed in the morning, or late to a very important date, can make the difference between throwing on the “same old thing” and wowing your companions with your fabulous “new” outfit! :-)
I needed to come up with 3 day outfits and 3 evening outfits. I knew I would forget everything we talked about the minute they left, so Emily was kind enough to catalog everything we picked out on these purple sticky notes (because I didn’t have any chalk to use on my chalkboard!) She also made notes of accessories I might want to purchase that would add some pizazz to the outfits we picked out. SUPER helpful!
3. Document Your Duds
You could even take this idea a step further and take pictures of all of the outfits you create as a VISUAL reminder. Or better yet…stage a “fashion show” and have your fashionable friend(s) take pictures of you actually wearing the outfits! You can also use this idea to catalogue your collections. If you are a
hoarder collector of shoes or jewelry or cardigan sweaters (like me!), make sure you put your collection to use by taking a photo of each piece and putting them in an “album” of some sort (either on your computer or actually printed out). That way you can make an “informed choice” instead of always grabbing the first one you see. Makes so much sense!
4. Keep Your Clothing and Accessories Visible
Even if you have a small closet and can’t imagine ever “losing” anything in it…EVERY closet has some mystery corners that seem to hide half of what we own. If you can’t see it, you’ll never wear it. Do your best to keep your clothing, shoes, and accessories relatively visible. You might want to consider packing away and storing your my clothes for each different season. This makes more room in your closet for the current season’s clothes to have their moment to shine. Another strategy is to shift your closet contents every few months. Move pants to the front and skirts to the back, etc. Try the same technique with your dresser drawers! Find different ways to SEE what you own so you can WEAR it.
5. Use Magazines/Websites As Inspiration
Women’s fashion magazines (online and on the magazine stands) are great sources of inspiration! Since trends come and go so frequently, compare those slick, glossy photographs with items in your own closet. I bet you’ll be surprised at what you already have that is “in” this season. Even if you don’t have the complete “look”…often you will only need a few small items instead of a new head-to-toe outfit.
6. Mend it, Tailor it, or Toss it!
I am fairly certain I am not alone in the fact that there are pieces in my closet that sit there day after day just waiting for me to “fix” them so they can be put back into rotation again. Poor, lonely clothes! Case in point. I have a lovely red sweater that I haven’t worn for well over a year because when I decided to cut the tag out of it (it was bugging me something fierce!) I also inadvertently cut a tiny hole in the fabric. I didn’t want to wear it for fear it would make the hole BIGGER…but I didn’t want to get rid of it either! So there it sat. Waiting for the “mending day” that never came. Until Emily picked it out to make an appearance in one of my conference outfits…now I’m being FORCED to fix it…and I couldn’t be happier! :-) Bottom line: keep your belongings in wearable condition so you are able to use everything that you own.
These are my MAIN take aways from my outfit planning session with Emily (pictured), Jenna and Nicole, (Small Fry Blog).
Six simple steps that have helped me tremendously already! Thank you girls!
So remember…. before you buy anything new, make sure you are making the most of what you already have in your closet! It’s amazing what “new looks” you will discover!