Shop Your Closet, Find New Stuff

Pushing items beyond their intended uses is one of the best ways to do more with less. Using pieces in ways they weren’t designed for can sometimes be tricky, but with a little creativity you can expand your fashion repertoire without buying a single thing.

Let’s use a cascading front cardigan made from a lightweight jersey as an example. This was a popular look several summers ago. Now, not so much.

The process to reinvent this piece might look like this:

You add a belt turn it into a wrap top.

You find that the silky fabric from this cardigan slides as you wear it.

You consider pinning it with safe pins or a broach but decide the fabric too thin; it would leave holes ruining the garment.

After a little experimenting you find that tucking the ends into jeans or a pencil skirt prevents the top from sliding open as you wear it.

After a little engineering it’s time for a test run or two. You wear it for a few hours at home while ignoring the fact that you’re wearing it.

Twist, move and bend. Do things you normally do like reaching for something on a shelf in the kitchen or playing with the dog. Mindlessness is the key. If a new look requires constant attention it’s just not going to work out in the real world.

This week’s challenge is to try experiment with new potential tops. Wrap, crew neck, and boyfriend cardigans are all on the table. So are vests, jackets and blazers, and swimsuits. Even mini skirts and scarves are fair game.

Not every item is going to be a winner, but they don’t all have to be. Think of it as a numbers game. The more looks you test, the more that will make the grade.

As always, have fun. And remember the lines one exist so you can color outside them!