The non-shopper’s guide to making the most of your wardrobe
I often see glossy blog posts by fashion bloggers detailing their latest shopping haul… fancy cardboard bags with tissue paper poking out so you know it’s good, perfectly matched outfits artfully arranged… you know the ones. Don’t get me wrong, I look at these posts with interest, yet I know full well I’ll never be the person writing that post.
Yeah, I do a food shop once a fortnight, and can easily spend a fortune in cafes and restaurants, but when it comes to clothes I just can’t do it.
I go on a shopping trip and come back empty-handed. I walk around clothes shops expecting things to jump out at me. They never do. I might half-heartedly tug at the sleeve of a jumper before I leave but that’s about my limit. Money also has a part to play. Come on, I’m on month eleven of maternity leave… I’m hardly rolling in it.
This got me thinking about my own wardrobe and the fact that there are jumpers in there that I’ve had for more than ten years. I wore a white cotton top this summer and I have photos of me wearing the very same thing on holiday when I was 15. To put this into perspective, I turned 30 at the start of the year.
Being a non-shopper doesn’t cause me any real issues as I’m not short on clothes, I just never have anything new. I have outfits for most occasions but there are times when I stand and gaze into my wardrobe, waiting for some kind of outfit inspiration, fed up of regurgitating the same few outfits again and again.
So, for my fellow non-shoppers who, like me, are surviving on the same old threads, I’ve written down my top three tips on making the most of your wardrobe.
- Accessorise, accessorise, accessorise!
Scarves are my all-time favourite. I pretty much always wear one unless it’s the middle of summer. I find scarves great for transforming the look of an outfit. A good scarf can detract from whatever’s underneath it, so those who aren’t overly observant won’t notice you’re wearing the same jumper each time you see them! Win.
Jewellery is another key player. A statement necklace over a plain top will make an outfit work. You just need a couple of these necklaces to alternate with the scarves and you’re pretty much sorted for several different looks.
Shoes are great for changing up an outfit. Skinny jeans (pretty much all I wear outside of the house) have a totally different look when paired with pumps compared to knee-high boots. Just mix it up a little.
Bags also have a role to play, although in my opinion, to a lesser degree. If you have a couple of different bags, just alternate them; it will change the overall look of your outfit. Having said that, I rarely carry a bag these days. A bank card in my back pocket and a lip balm shoved inside the changing bag will do me now.
- Organise and get tagging!
Spend time organising your wardrobe (and have a clear-out) to create space and remind you exactly what lies within. If you’re anything like me, you probably have more clothes than you realise, you just favour the same few outfits that you’re comfortable wearing. Sometimes I totally ignore the clothes in my wardrobe and go straight for the fresh washing pile. The last time I organised my clothes it made me realise just how many things I have and never wear but I’m reluctant to get rid of. Then I started outfit tagging.
Outfit tagging is something I’ve done a few times. It really opens your eyes to how little you wear certain outfits. Start off by organising your wardrobe, then slip a small square of card or paper (the tag) over the top of each coat hanger. When you wear something, remove the tag. The more you wear, the fewer tags you’ll have. If one day you can’t decide what to wear, choose something with a tag as you know that you haven’t worn it for ages. If after 6 months you have clothes with tags on, have a think about how likely you are to wear them again. Maybe it’s time to take them to the charity shop?
- Be social media savvy
Now that we’re living in the age of social media, this might need to be a consideration when choosing your outfits. I found this out myself when I had weddings to attend on consecutive weekends. They were in different counties; they were different circles of friends in different parts of the country. I had the perfect dress to wear and I wore it to both. This was all very well until photos appeared on Facebook of me wearing the exact same thing (dress shoes, bag – everything) alongside both brides. I don’t know why it bothered me, it probably shouldn’t, but it did a little. I guess all I’m saying is wherever you go, just assume you’ll end up on social media somewhere, so if you have two big events to attend, either make sure you wear something different to each, or really work those accessories!
Are you a non-shopper like me? How do you make the most of your wardrobe?