If you want simple ways to create more looks out of the pieces you currently own, you are in the right place. I’m sharing my best tips to build a versatile wardrobe, better utilize what you have, and come up with creative styling ideas for your favorite pieces, even if you feel bored, stuck in a rut, or unsure of how to pull stylish looks together.
I’ve got you covered! Stick around as I teach you 5 styling hacks to help you more easily mix and match your wardrobe. Here are my best tips to help you get started…
1. Shop with intention
Yes, this is me, reminding you yet again how important it is to shop with intention. You can’t expect your wardrobe to feel cohesive without any planning! It’s just not going to happen… at least, not as easily as you might like. I want you to get the greatest return on your investments and make sure that any new items you bring in will work with at least 3 other pieces in your wardrobe. The more, the better.
Before you buy anything, ask yourself these questions:
#1: Is it on your list of wardrobe necessities or do you love it enough to spend your money on this rather than something else that is on the list?
#2: When will you realistically be able to wear it?
#3: What’s already in your closet that you can wear it with?
If the answers are no, nowhere, and nothing… then you might want to put it back, friend. 😉
2. Build your wardrobe around a cohesive color palette
I really want you to know your best colors and if you don’t already have a Personal Color Palette, it’s time to seriously consider making this the next investment for your wardrobe. The beauty of this custom resource is that all of the colors within the palette are in harmony with one another. This means you can literally mix and match ANY combination of them and they’ll not only look amazing together, but they’ll look amazing on YOU.
So what does this mean for your wardrobe? Well, when you’re shopping from the colors in your palette, you’re going to find that your closet starts to have this beautiful, cohesive feel to it. You can be confident that anything you reach for in the morning is going to work together! You can shop with more confidence, because your color palette gives you some parameters of what to look for, narrowing down the overwhelming amount of options out there. Plus, you can expand your colors just as easily. If another option looks great with your palette, you know it’s going to look good on you, too.
Now, I’ve seen the incredible difference this resource has made with my clients over the years and I would never shop without my own Personal Color Palette either! It might feel counterintuitive to spend your money on a color palette when you could just use that money to buy new clothes. But believe me, it will pay you back over and over again! I’ve been using my color palette for more than a decade! I’ve had clients at the start of my career who come back and tell me they still use their color palette. And this is, by far, the #1 resource I would recommend to you for the value it will provide.
That said, if it’s not feasible for you to invest in this service right now, I recommend doing some research to figure out what your best colors might be. At the very least, figure out your skin tone (I have a few blog posts that can help you with this!) and check out my article, 5 Colors You Need To Start Wearing Now. You could create a very simple color palette for yourself based on those 5 colors alone and then add in a dark neutral, such as black, navy, or brown. You could build a stunning capsule wardrobe with a handful or two of colors like these that pair nicely together.
3. Stock up on staple pieces
Unless you have a dramatic or creative style and you love putting together more experimental and eye-catching looks, you’ll find it’s a lot easier to mix and match your wardrobe when you have plenty of staple pieces. What do I consider to be a wardrobe staple? Any piece of clothing or even accessories that are:
- an essential
A few examples are basic t-shirts, camisoles, classic cardigans, well-fitting jeans, straight-leg trousers, pencil skirts, etc.
This doesn’t mean your wardrobe needs to be boring or neutral. You can have a ton of color in your wardrobe and still create endless outfit combinations. I love having staple pieces in my best colors because I can put really unique color combinations together and give my outfits a fresh pop!
The key is to have the right balance of staple items and star pieces in your wardrobe. Star pieces are those really special, stand out items, like a floral-printed blazer or a bubble hem skirt. If everything in your closet is a star or statement piece, you’ll have a much harder time mixing and matching what you own. So I suggest being mindful of what you have and trying to resist shiny object syndrome when you’re out shopping! Make sure you’ve covered your basics and go back to my first point, which was all about shopping with intention.
4. Try unexpected combinations
For example, don’t be afraid to mix and match prints. You can do this no matter what your signature style is! I have a full article with visual examples of how to mix prints well without the guesswork. You can check it out right here.
You might also want to schedule an hour or an afternoon to head to your closet and play. Get creative and see what unique outfits you can put together with pieces you’ve never combined before. Sometimes, it just takes a little freedom to wear what you own in new ways and work yourself out of that rut.
5. Search for ideas on Pinterest
It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with Pinterest. And one of the reasons is because you can quickly find tons of outfit inspiration with a simple search! If you have a free afternoon or even while you’re chilling on the couch in the evening, binging the latest season of your favorite show –for me right now, it’s The Summer I Turned Pretty and Sweet Magnolias– head over to Pinterest and start searching for new ways to wear your favorite pieces.
For example, maybe you own a basic gray cardigan that you’ve had for years and you find yourself always wearing it the same way with the same pieces. On Pinterest, you can type in “cardigan outfit”, “how to style a cardigan”, “gray cardigan”, or anything you want. Try a couple of different search terms and see what pops up. You’re probably going to find dozens if not hundreds of outfit ideas! Scroll through, save any looks you love, and then use them as inspiration the next time you get dressed.
Of course, I have to remind you to keep in mind your style foundations. Make sure you’re wearing outfits that reflect your personal style, flatter your figure, and ideally, that are in your best colors. Don’t blindly follow what you see, but make sure you’re adjusting it to work well for you.
I do this exercise from time to time because I love getting fresh ideas. And very often, you’ll find that you already have a lot of the pieces you need to recreate the same or similar looks! Or you could alter them slightly to work with pieces you currently own. This is a really fun exercise to get inspired and find new ways to combine your existing wardrobe.
There you go, my friend. You now have 5 simple styling hacks to maximize your wardrobe, curate pieces that work together effortlessly, and create lots of great looks with less pieces.
At the end of the day, it’s all about versatility, playfulness, and a little inspiration. What you already own can go a long way if you’re not afraid to try new things. I hope these hacks have given you the boost you need to step out of your comfort zone and up your mix and match game with ease.