If you want to break out of your clothing rut without buying anything new, you can learn to shop your closet and revamp your style in the process.

Does this sound familiar? 

We’ve all been there - staring at our messy, overflowing wardrobe, while thinking we’ve got nothing to wear. But through all that clutter there are some amazing pieces waiting to be mixed and matched. 

If you want to break out of your clothing rut without buying anything new, you can learn to shop your closet and revamp your style in the process.

What does ‘shopping your closet’ mean?


It simply means creating new outfits from clothes and accessories that you already own. By mixing and matching what you have in your closet, you can maximize your clothing collection and turn a few pieces into endless outfits. It’s crazy what a handful of basic tees can turn into! 


Shopping your closet is not only a great way to make the most of your existing wardrobe, but it helps you save money and be eco conscious.

According to McKinsey&Co’s annual report ‘The Status of Fashion 2020’, the fashion industry accounts for 20-35% of microplastic flows into the ocean and outweighs the carbon footprint of international flights and shopping combined. Another report, released by WRAP, reveals that every tonne of clothing that we reuse results in a net saving of 11 tons CO2. All worthwhile reasons to make more conscious choices, be creative, and discover your style.

So, let’s start!

1. Get organized

If your wardrobe is not clean and tidy, you won’t know what you already have. You need to get rid of what doesn’t fit, is damaged, old or simply doesn’t suit your style anymore. You can donate, sell or exchange, but off it goes!

Tip - Digitize your closet and make it easily accessible on your phone, so you will never forget what you own. OpenWardrobe will make it super easy. Get on the waitlist to be one of the first to get access. You will have all your clothes in one place and browse them easily with a few clicks.

2. Fix your clothes

Learn how to mend your clothes. Something basic, like sewing a button, patching a hole, repairing a rip or removing a stain can give your items a new life. If you don’t feel confident doing major tailoring jobs yourself, you can always ask a professional. Tailoring is a great alternative to tossing and can add some extra mileage to your old wardrobe.

3. Dye your clothes a new color

Make your faded jeans dark blue again or upcycle your dingy white t-shirts with a completely new vibrant color. Fun and environment friendly tip - try to make your own natural dye from roots, nuts, vegetables and flowers for an eco friendly color that packs a punch! 

4. Ask a friend to browse your wardrobe

Sometimes your friends know you better than you know yourself! Ask someone who knows you to scan your wardrobe and find the pieces you haven’t been wearing for over 1 year or what doesn’t match your style anymore. Remove those items from your closet (see step 1). Then let this person put together a few outfits for you. Getting a second opinion always leads to new and great results! 

5. Search for styling ideas

Take inspiration from the outfits you see on Instagram, Pinterest, TV, movies or magazines. No need to hop online or go to the mall to recreate that four piece outfit you saw and loved. Odds are you have all the right makings in your closet, you just need to find them! When you do, you’ll be mesmerized by the amazing combinations you can come up with and bring your favorite looks to life in your own way. 

6. Play with layers

Wear your favorite summer clothes in any season by layering them. Put a warm sweater on top, pair them with boots or wear them underneath your winter coat and it’ll feel a little bit like summer all year around.

7. Try unusual combinations

We tend to wear the same outfits all the time. We play it safe and stick with what we know and is comfortable to us, but sometimes this tendency doesn’t make us see all the options that are available.

Now, dare to do things differently. Take your favorite outfits and just break them. Try to find as many new ways as possible to wear each individual item, by pairing it with something else. This is the perfect opportunity for your very own fashion show, just embrace trying on different styles of clothing and find what works for you! 

8. Stop saving for special occasions

Don’t wait for your cousin’s graduation party to wear that fancy dress! A formal look can easily be turned into a chic casual one with the right changes. Just combine it with some more casual accessories like a denim jacket and sneakers and enjoy it more days of the year.

9. Accessorize

Accessories can make any tried and tested outfit look fresh again. If you have good jewelry, don’t wait for an occasion to wear it (see step 8). Just pair it with your usual jeans and shirt combo and make it pop.

10. Document your outfits

Try all the new outfits you’ve created and take pictures, so you don’t forget them. Having a visual to go back to not only helps you remember these outfits for future occasions but also helps you create even more ensembles from these existing looks. 

Tip - Store your outfit pictures on OpenWardrobe. You’ll create your digital closet, and you’ll be able to access all your outfits quickly every time you need to decide what to wear.