My wardrobe history is a little embarrassing. When I was living with my parents, shopping was my thing. I bought an item of clothing most weeks, and cleaned out my closet often (and things weren’t actually thrown away, just stored “for later use”). And yet, my style wasn’t any better for my frequent shopping. It was probably worse, because all I could afford so often were cheap clothes, usually tops.
Another problem is that I didn’t experiment. Every item of clothing had its set purpose. Tops didn’t get worn if they were too loose in the waist or too short. All my pants and skirts sat at the hips and bare-midriffs aren’t really my thing, so I thought those tops were useless. I was very conservative with colour coordination, so that limited my outfits, too. The extent of my layering was ‘I’ll wear this long tee under this shorter one’. When my closet got full, I thought that I should throw out anything that didn’t fit into this mould.
I get that not everyone wants to dress outrageously. But there are ways you can experiment with your wardrobe while keeping a simple style. If you’re more confident you can be as risky as you want.
Your clothes are more versatile than you think.
Think about why you don’t wear something in your closet. Then try ways of wearing it that rectifies the problem. Too revealing or short? Wear something underneath or over the top. Too big? Cinch it in with a belt or a high waisted skirt. Sleeves too long? Snip ‘em shorter (jersey will usually hold up with raw edges, but you might want to hem other fabrics). Neckline too high and doesn’t suit you? Wear something low-necked over it and you’ll have a more flattering silhouette. If it’s simply uncomfortable and you can’t fix it, then get rid of it. It’s not worth having.
Combine colours and patterns you never thought would match.
Try a tee under a tube or singlet top.
Tuck a dress into a skirt.
Pull up a low-waist skirt and hold it up with a belt.
Cinch in your waist with a ribbon or belt.
Try a top over a dress.
Layer two skirts.
Mix styles. Wear a dress with army boots, or denim with a business shirt.
Layer items that are different lengths.
There are no rules in fashion. There are opinions and there are trends, but neither should fully dictate what you wear. Wear what you love. Sometimes you might regret it (I sometimes do after walking out the door) but don’t let that get you down. Someone else might think you look fabulous. Be confident. Fashion is fun.
If you have any other experimentation ideas, please do comment.