My Chic Obsession: How to shop your closet

PHOTO CREDIT: Carolyn Arentson

PHOTO CREDIT: Carolyn Arentson

PHOTO CREDIT: Carolyn Arentson

PHOTO CREDIT: Carolyn Arentson

PHOTO CREDIT: Carolyn Arentson

PHOTO CREDIT: Carolyn Arentson

PHOTO CREDIT: Carolyn Arentson

PHOTO CREDIT: Carolyn Arentson

PHOTO CREDIT: Carolyn Arentson

PHOTO CREDIT: Carolyn Arentson

PHOTO CREDIT: Carolyn Arentson

PHOTO CREDIT: Carolyn Arentson

Knowing how to shop your closet is a valuable skill to have. Not only do you save money by shopping less, but you also get more use out of what you already have.

Take these tips on how to shop your closet for a new outlook and appreciation of what’s already in your wardrobe.

1. Take stock of what you have

In order to shop your closet, first, you have to see what’s in your closet. The first order of business is to take everything out of your wardrobe. The idea behind this first step is to be reminded of what you have so you can see what you’re working with.

2. Try things on + experiment

This step is the key to how to shop your closet. To me, shopping your closet means using what you have to put together new looks. If you don’t try anything new, then you’re not coming up with any new looks. If you don’t have any new looks, then you’re stuck in the same old pattern of feeling bored and wanting to shop to get that thrill and feel inspired — even if it doesn’t last.

It’s time to feel inspired by the things that have been lying dormant for a while. Start trying things on that you’ve neglected, then start putting outfits together. Don’t worry about if anything goes or not. We’re just having fun, trying new things, experimenting and maybe getting a little crazy.

It could be as simple as pairing a cardigan over a T-shirt that you’ve never paired together before, or it could be as unique as putting a skirt over a dress, wearing a sweater over a dress or wearing a cardigan as a top.

Layering also always makes a difference in an outfit. Try adding one to two layers to everything you try on, and see how you like it.

Go ahead and do an opposites thing, too. Pair a pantsuit with sneakers, or a vintage T with a dressy skirt.

Try something outside of your comfort zone. Do you usually wear leggings and oversized cardigans? Then, try on jeans and blouses.

3. Add a statement or something unexpected

For every combo you try on, consider adding a statement or something unexpected (if the outfit needs it). This easily can make old outfits feel new again. Something unexpected could be a motorcycle jacket over a flirty dress. A statement could be bright red lipstick, a shiny accessory, or a leopard print scarf.

4. Take note of the winners

During this try-on sesh, you’re bound to find some new outfits and combos you like that you haven’t tried before. Find a way to remember these so you can try them again. If you like to write things down, then get a notebook and write down the pairings. If you’re visual, then take a photo of the outfits you love on your phone and create a separate album of go-tos, or print them off and put them next to your closet.

What good are new outfit ideas if you never wear them?

You also can keep these ready made outfits on a clothing rack to make your life easier. Pick a day, and set up your whole outfits for the week.

Carolyn Arentson is a fashion blogger from Dubuque. Find more fashionable tips at

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