Ways to Shop Your Own Wardrobe and Not Spend a Thing

Style ideas that don’t cost a cent!

We know it’s tricky not to head to your favourite shop every week. But when your salary doesn’t quite match up to your style (we feel you, girl), enjoy shopping your own wardrobe without spending a thing. Here’s how.

1 Get a Friend to Style Up Your Closet

Sometimes, all you need is a fresh pair of eyes to pick out pieces in your wardrobe you’ve forgotten about, or have never thought about wearing a certain way.

Invite a friend over (whose style you trust, obvs) and get them to style up five outfits from your closet. It’s pretty likely they’ll make some flash pairings you’d never have thought of – and it’s always insightful to see what someone else thinks you’ll look great in.

2 Play the staple game

Put aside a few hours (go on, pour yourself a glass of wine, too) and go through your entire wardrobe. Set aside any items that are staple pieces: these are timeless, classic items that you can wear with pretty much anything. Jeans, an LBD, a neutral blazer, a white shirt, a classic biker jacket…

Lay all of your staples out on your bed. These should form the base of all your looks. From here, go through your closet to find your trend-based or accent pieces – from shirts to shoes. These are the ways to turn your staples into fresh, new looks over and over again.

Start by styling up five or six hot looks by adding accent pieces to some of your staples. You’ll quickly find that one staple can lend itself to several totally different outfits. Yaass!

See how many different looks you can create on your staples without having to shop for anything new at all. This is the start of acing styling.

(Even better: now you’ve got stock of your key pieces, so when you do go shopping again, you can browse with these in mind.)

3 Try a little DIY

Find pieces in your wardrobe that you no longer wear, perhaps off-trend or old and worn. Then see if you can upcycle them with these DIY ideas:

  • Old jeans: make wear-and-tear a fashion statement by turning them into ripped denim. Distress areas by rubbing with sandpaper, steel wool or a pumice stone. Use an art knife or small, sharp scissors to scrape horizontally (use edge, not point) repeatedly to expose denim threads.
  • Sew patches onto items that have worn through at elbows or knees.
  • Turn a tee into a festival-style cropped top by shredding the lower part to create a fringed edge.
  • Cut legs off jeans to create sexy shorts.
  • Glam up old sandals with this pompom DIY tutorial.

4 Wear classic pieces in new ways

Bored of trusty items in your wardrobe? Instead of shopping, try styling those pieces in a fresh way – they’ll feel new!

  • Wear a button-up shirt backwards – leave the top few buttons open for a sexy back. Our fashion ed Cleo shows you several ways to wear your shirt differently, here.
  • Wear a silk pyjama top as a formal shirt. Keep things grown-up by pairing with dark jeans and heels.
  • Add a tee under a strappy dress for a ’90s feel.
  • Turn gym clothing into daywear to nail the athleisure trend.


5 Use the ‘first in/last out’ methodology

Instead of constantly wearing the pieces that are always at the top of your cupboard, push other pieces forwards and put newly washed laundry towards the back. It’s a system of rotation. Try and make sure at least one item of clothing you’re wearing is something you haven’t worn in a while.

Read DIY: 8 Ways to Use Bae’s Shirt to Make a Cute Dress

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