Wardrobe Remix: Turn Your Standbys Into Totally New Looks

J.Crew slouchy tee, rolled up jeans and sneakers

image: jcrew

I think it's safe to say we have ALL had "nothing to wear" before. But usually, when we say this, we actually mean we don't have anything that feels new and fresh to wear. We've grown tired of our standby outfits. Really, how many times can one wear a striped shirt with a pair of boyfriend jeans without eventually being bored to death by the look? 

We start shopping online for options, tentatively at first, collecting would-be pieces for our new wardrobe. Just this one dress. Just this one jacket. Next thing you know, your card is maxed out (again) and you're back to square one in a few months' time. Let's stop the insanity. You can create entirely new, exciting looks from what you already own. Here's how to do it.

Revisit Your Hems

Your pants are calling… they're tired of their hemline. They want something that feels current for Spring 2014. They want you to try a different cuff. Not good with a sewing machine? No problem. Roll 'em up, baby. Whether it's a skinny multi-roll or one wide flip upward, this subtle change can do wonders for your standard outfits.

Double Up Your Prints

It's easy to make a gorgeous print stand out. But maybe it's time to test your sartorial skills and mix two prints together. The secret to making them work? Make sure the colors pair up. For example, a floral print can look smashing with a pink polka dot top, if the dots are a close match to the pink found in the floral design. 

Night and Day—What's the Difference?

Are you sticking to a strict regimen of cotton blends for day or metallics and sequins for night? Don't feel bad, it's not like we can all dress as if we walked out of a J.Crew catalog. Try working a sequin tank with a pair of destroyed cutoffs and sneakers to grab drinks with friends. That sequin skirt you usually reserve for evening hours could look amazing with block heels, a button up and blazer at the office. 

It's All About Texture

It's not just prints that can stand to be mixed for new looks. Playing with texture can be a fun way to add some oomph to your outfit. If you're the type of person who relies on navy/black/gray combos, for example, adding a sampling of different textures can really transform your look. Picture this: your standby denim jacket with your favorite blue embellished top, along with a darker pair of blue skinny jeans and black patent flats. See? All blue and black, but with varying textures. 

Tie, Tuck and Pull

You're used to wearing your shirts (most likely) the same way all the time. Try different ways to rock your favorites—it's a great way to breathe new life into your individual pieces and your whole ensemble. Give button ups and slouchy tees the bottom-knot treatment. Freshen up that tunic or dress with a belt at the waist or hips for a slight blouson effect.

The Great Lace Switch-Up

I have two pairs of laced sneakers, one for function, one for fashion. When I want a new way to wear them, I just switch the laces to create a new look for each. My navy and white shoes get a pop of color with bright purple laces, and my purple and yellow kicks are pared down with a more standard white. Feel free to wear your functional sneaks in place of your fashion sneaks on any given day, too.

Stop Saving It Already

Unless it's a ball gown, whatever you're saving for a special occasion can likely be worn out now. We know, you're afraid it'll get scuffed or torn. But clothes and accessories are meant to be worn… not collect dust in the back of a closet!

Finally, When In Doubt…

Add a statement piece. If you find your reflection mirroring an all-neutral look yet again, promise yourself to add something eye-catching, whether it's a necklace, cocktail ring, hat or a bold-colored bag.