Shopping your wardrobe – what is it and why you should do it?

Post-lockdown, I found myself a dress size larger with a busier social calendar, a wardrobe full of clothes and nothing to wear. When it came to getting ready, I’d put off picking my outfit for fear it might not fit, try on four different outfits and ultimately end up feeling deflated when I felt I couldn’t find anything to wear. I’ve slowly pulled favourite dresses and jumpsuits from coat hangers and consigned them to car boot, watching my closet dwindle before me.

This left my wardrobe looking somewhat disjointed, and with summer well and truly here, I had far less clothes that fit me than didn’t now. And hey, it’s okay – whilst I was miffed at first, I’m of the opinion that clothes are meant to fit you – not the other way around. There’s no point squeezing into too tight jeans or agonising over the zipper that won’t quite go up.

Instead, I’ve been shopping my wardrobe for pieces that do fit that I can fall in love with all over again. Shopping your wardrobe means creating new outfits from clothing and accessories you already own, but never considered pairing together before. It’s a great way to get the most out of your existing clothes before hitting the new arrivals section on ASOS or the likes of, and spending more money. So before I went on an impulsive spending spree, I took a look at the clothes I already owned which still fit.

One of my most recent wardrobe shops saw me pair two totally unlikely pieces, but I’ve now found an outfit that I’ll wear relentlessly as a result. The first piece was a teal blue jumpsuit I’d bought from Miss Selfridge for a London work conference. It was the only time I’d worn the one-piece out, and that was now well over two years ago. At the time, it seemed a little roomy, but now it feels great, with a deep V neckline and cropped legs.

I was looking for blouses with a similar tone in the pattern to complement the jumpsuit, but when I pulled out this leopard print shirt, I knew it was the one I was looking for. Despite not having any teal in it, it’s rainbow pattern lent itself to the outfit for the perfect pairing. The look offered a double V neckline, which I could accentuate with gold necklaces, as well as huge puffed sleeves and chunky cuffs. I kept the shoes simple with my vintage Wrangler boots, and finished accessorising with gold rings and earrings.

There are a few reasons why you should shop your own wardrobe – firstly, you’ll rediscover so many clothes you forgot you had or thought you’d lost. You’ll be able to recycle clothes that no longer serve you and make some extra cash from them on selling sites, and have a better idea of the clothes that make you feel good. As a result of knowing what you own, you’ll be able to identify gaps in your wardrobe for functional pieces, and the occasional seasonal trend.

Remember, there’s probably a good reason why you bought particular pieces in the first place – they’re a piece of your personality, and experimenting with that will help you develop your sense of style and refine it. If you realise a piece doesn’t quite fit within your look, or with the rest of your wardrobe anymore, that’s fine – Marie Kondo it and keep flicking through the coat hangers!

Not only that, but you’ll save so much more money, which is the most obvious benefit. Instead of hitting ‘add to basket’ every time you feel like you’ve got nothing to wear, you’ll have so many more options to go at, without the need for an extortionate next day delivery fees. So, go on, get shopping your wardrobe and see what new outfits you can discover.

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