Tuesday, March 3, 2015

How To: Update Your Closet (On A Budget)

 photo OrchidGrey_ClosetTips_Feb15-2_zpsc5f1cd2e.jpg
Can you feel it? That little hint of something in the air? A new season is right around the corner (really! The first day of spring is just 17 days away!), and naturally my brain has turned to warm weather style. Forget sweaters, forget heavy socks... I'm ready to kiss all of that goodbye in favor of easy, breezy dresses, light jackets, light tees and jeans. There's a reason we all seem to wax poetic when a new season arrives, it gives us something to look forward to, a light at the end of the tunnel for those of us stuck in the dregs of winter. Plus, doesn't there just come a time when you just can't even bear to put on yet another sweater? That's how I feel at least...

I've mentioned before how I'm carefully updating my closet this year. Methodically, slowly acquiring just a few key pieces to make things feel fresh, and today I'm sharing my tips for switching seasons on a budget. Because as much as my virtual carts are filled to the brim, it's mostly my own closet I'll be shopping.

Know What You Have: Personally, I deal with very, very little closet space, so things tend to get stuffed to the back of my closet and shoved into drawers just to make it all fit. I also pack away any clothes that are season-specific, so yeah, it can be easy to forget what I have, which makes it easy to think I have nothing to wear. Every few weeks I'll go through and straighten up, which is a great time to take stock and get thinking for the transitional time ahead. Pull out any pieces you know you're not going to wear for the remainder of the current season and box them up -- voila! Instant space.

Shop Your Closet: "Shopping your closet" sounds like an obvious concept (like, it's basically just wearing clothes... that you own), but it can be so easy to fall into a rut and wear the same variation day after day (I am incredibly guilty of this).While you're reorganizing, take some time to pull out the pieces you love that haven't been worn in awhile. Now is a great time to rethink them and plan for the week ahead. Hang a few favorites where they'll be visible, and make sure they get put back in rotation.

Gather Inspiration & Make a List: As you think to to the season ahead and re-org the current season hanging in your closet, be sure to gather inspiration as it comes to you. This could be a season-specific pin board or good old-fashioned magazine tears, however you decide to do it, keeping your inspiration on hand not only helps pull together a vision for the season ahead, but is also there whenever you need a little last minute AM inspiration.

Shop smart: Once you've decided what you want to add to your wardrobe, it's time to decide where you're going to get it. I always turn to thrift stores first, but I focus on a few key categories: Accessories, coats & jackets, and stand-out pieces. I usually ignore the jeans (they never fit how I want them to), and occasionally scan through the tee shirts, dresses, and skirts. See my thrift tips here for more thrift store inspiration. Resale shops like Buffalo Exchange and Avalon Exchange are another favorite of mine for current shoe styles and secondhand designer pieces (last week I saw an Isabel Marant top at Buffalo for $20... and I scooped up these moccasins for $40). I also bring any old pieces I no longer want and sell to those stores, either walking away with some cash or store credit to put towards future closet must-haves.

After exhausting my second-hand options, I keep my eyes peeled for sales from my favorite online  retailers (I almost never shop in person) to grab the pieces I would rather find new. Right now Shop Bop is having a pretty incredible sale, valid from today, March 3rd through Saturday March 7, 2015, at 11:59 PM (PT):

The Big Event
15% off orders of $250+
20% off orders of $500+
25% off orders of $1000+
Use Code BIGEVENT15 at Checkout
(includes sale section & full-price -- full details here)

Now, before you balk at a sale threshold (I don't have $500 to drop either), here's where shopping smart comes in: Pair up! I work in an office full of women. Women who love clothes just as much as I do, and are just as sale-savvy. If there's a piece you've been eyeing, ask friends and family and see if anyone else wants in. I can almost guarantee someone will, especially with a new season on the horizon. You get what you want (and only what you want) and your friends do too and you same some major cash -- genius. Here's what I'm eyeing for the new season:
 photo SpringSale_zpsuxju6k0d.jpg

A few other sale sections I always keep an eye on: ModCloth, Urban Outfitters, J.Crew and Nasty Gal. And don't forget the discount days at Salvation Army, ha! (but seriously)

Think beyond the seasons: As much as I look forward to a mini refresh when a new season is approaching, in reality I try to think of how versatile the pieces I'm considering purchasing will be. Can I see myself wearing something beyond the current season? Will a new piece work with at least three different outfit variations? Could this dress pair with tights/boots/sandals? The longer I can envision myself wearing something, the more value it has. Strive for quality and long-time-wear, and your closet will be that much more versatile.
 photo OrchidGrey_ClosetTips_Feb15_zpsfa89ff81.jpg
(a few of my favorite shoes, all of which are over 5 years old)

+ How do you update on a budget? 


Marta said...

Nice post! Love the dress!


Nidhi Patel said...

Awesome tips! I'm always looking for ways to improve my clothing options!
An Unblurred Lady

Kathleen Weaver said...

Good tips! I love changing things up. I frequently alter or do little DIYs to change up my clothing that doesn't get as much wear so it makes it feel like I'm getting something new without actually shopping. That's actually what I blog about primarily. :)

Nikki Williams said...

love that dress in the top picture!

xx nikki

Wordit said...

love the dress and the shoes.
love your style.

Anonymous said...

What are those shoes on the right?

Orchid Grey said...

Anon- they're Jeffrey Campbell from 2009, they were called the 'Winkle'

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