How to Style Clothes You Already Have


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Next time you're staring at your closet, thinking, “There's nothing to wear,” resist your urge to blow a bunch of money on a shopping spree. Instead, re-style the clothes you already own. Mix and match outfits by layering in new ways and switching your shoes. Freshen up your plain shirts and pants with some rolling, cuffing, and tying and playing with accessories. You can also modify the clothes you own by distressing, cutting, tailoring, or dying. Soon you'll feel like you have a whole new wardrobe!
[Edit]Steps [Edit]Mixing and Layering Outfits Wear pants under a dress. This look is coming back into style. You get the best of both worlds: the feminine fun of a dress with the practicality and mobility of pants. Choose fitted pants, like skinny or straight-leg jeans, and a flowy dress. Keep the pants plain in color so that the dress is still the star of the show.[1] If you want to ease into this look, start with a shirt-dress, which looks sort of like a tunic. You'll get used to it and then go bold with a more feminine dress. Wear leggings with a plaid shirt. You might think that leggings are only good for wearing to the gym, but you can make them into a cute, casual look by wearing a plaid shirt on top. You can layer the look by wearing a fitted T-shirt or tank top underneath, and then wearing the plaid shirt unbuttoned.[2] This is a fun, casual look that's great for weekends. Wear a T-shirt under a strappy dress. If you have to go somewhere a bit formal, but you really want to wear your pretty, strappy dress, put on a T-shirt underneath. It will give you the coverage you need to meet the dress code. It also shows off more of your dress than if you had to wear a cardigan on top, and it's cooler for the summer.[3] Pick a color of shirt that goes well with your dress without distracting too much from it. Black or white shirts go well with most colors of dress. This is a great way to make your fun and skimpy bar-hopping dress day-appropriate. Match a blazer with jeans for date night. You don't have to only wear your work blazer to the office. Wear it with jeans and a solid-colored T-shirt for a smart-casual look perfect for date night or dinner. This works great for both men and women. You can also pair a blazer with a short, flowy dress, for a cute mashup of masculine and feminine styles.[4] Wearing a blazer with a dress will give the ensemble a slightly tougher, edgier look than if you wore a cardigan. Switch out your shoes. If you normally wear your outfit with casual sneakers, try it with a pair of heels or ankle boots. If you normally wear heels with it, try flats. Simply switching out your shoes can freshen up a tired outfit.[5] Try wearing your colorful fancy heels to spice up a gray outfit. Repurpose scarves as headbands and hair ribbons. In the spring and summer, it may be too warm for you to wear your favorite scarves around your neck, but you can repurpose them as fashionable headbands or hair ribbons. Simply tie a scarf around your head, for a headband, or put your hair up and tie the scarf in a bow around your hairstyle.[6] This works best for small thin scarves, not blanket scarves! [Edit]Making Small Changes to Outfits Roll up your sleeves and unbutton your shirt. If you're tired of your boring old office-worthy button-down shirt, dress it up for a night on the town by rolling up the sleeves and unbuttoning the top few buttons. This works for both men and women. You'll show a little more skin, and feel like you're wearing a different shirt entirely.[7] Pair this with jeans for a casual look, or with a flowy skirt for date night if that's your thing. Cuff your pants. Change up the look of your jeans or other casual pants by cuffing them. Roll the bottoms of the pants up once or twice. It will look more casual than wearing them un-cuffed.[8] Cuffing is a great way to show off stylish socks or ankle boots. Cuff the sleeves of your T-shirt by rolling up the sleeves once or twice. This is a really popular look right now, and a great way to make a plain T-shirt look more put-together. Unfortunately, it's notoriously hard to get the rolled sleeves to stay rolled. If you really want them to stay put all day, you can put a rubber band around the base of each unrolled sleeve, and then roll them up.[9] You could also just embrace the disheveled look of partially unrolled sleeves. Many people claim this look is inspired by movie star James Dean. Knot the bottom of your shirt. Instead of tucking in your button-up shirt, leave the last few buttons unbuttoned, and tie the two sides of the shirt in a pretty overhand knot. You can tuck in the sides of the shirt for a neater look, or leave them hanging for a more bohemian style.[10] This also works for oversized T-shirts. You can gather together some of the extra fabric at the bottom of the shirt and twist it into a knot. This will make the T-shirt more fitted, and is a quick, casual look. Elevate plain outfits with fun accessories. The plainer the outfit, the more accessories you'll look good wearing. Try a colorful belt, fun socks, a scarf, dangly earrings, a necklace, a cute watch, or a stack of bangle bracelets. Don't wear all of these at once! Just try one or two staple accessories to dress up any look.[11] Wear a colorful belt with your black jeans and tuck in a white T-shirt. Instantly your outfit looks more interesting! Big dangly earrings can instantly make your outfit look more formal and put-together. Wear your hair up if you really want to draw attention to your earrings. Accessories don't have to be jewelry! If jewelry isn't your thing, try wearing a watch, a scarf, a belt, a headband, or some fun, colorful socks. [Edit]Modifying Your Clothes Distress your jeans. There's no need to go to the store and buy those expensive distressed jeans. You can easily distress your own jeans at home. With scissors, cut horizontal slits about away from each other in the front of your jeans. Use tweezers to pluck out the vertical blue threads between the two slits. You'll be left with only the horizontal white threads, just like you see in distressed jeans in the store.[12] You can also rub your jeans with sandpaper to give them that soft, lived-in feel.[13] Turn your jeans into cut-off shorts. If you're really sick of one of your pairs of jeans, you can transform it into a pair of shorts. First, put on your jeans and look in the mirror. Mark with chalk where you want the shorts to get cut off. Then take off your jeans and cut them with fabric scissors, about below where you marked, to leave enough room for error and fray.[14] Lots of people like to cut their shorts at an angle, so that they are longer by the inner thigh and shorter at the outer thigh.[15] Tailor your old dress. If you have a favorite old dress that you used to wear all the time, but doesn't fit anymore, you can tailor it so that it fits better. Many big clothing stores, like Macys, offer tailoring, or you can go to an independent tailor in your town. If you're skilled at sewing, you can tailor your own clothes by taking in the hems with a sewing machine.[16] Tailoring is a great way to still wear your favorite clothes if your body has changed in shape or size over the years. Dye your cotton or nylon shirts. Cotton and nylon are the easiest fabrics to dye at home. First fill a bucket with hot water that's about . Follow the mixing directions for the dye you're using and stir it into the hot water to make a dye bath. Test the color of the dye-bath by dipping in a paper towel, and modify it by adding more dye or more water until it reaches a good color. Wet your shirt with water, and pop it into the dye bath. Stir continuously for up to 30 minutes, until it reaches the color you want.[17] Once you've dyed your shirt, take it out of the dye-bath, rinse it well, wash it in the washing machine, and hang it up to dry. [Edit]Tips You can also organize a clothing-swap with your friends to trade clothes. Have each friend bring a couple items of clothes to trade. You can all take whichever pieces you want, and donate the rest. [Edit]References ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑

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