Consumer IQ

Shop Your Closet for Your Summer Wardrobe

women's clothing

When the seasons start changing, one of my favorite things to do is sift through my clothing, pulling out pieces for my summer wardrobe and putting away pieces that I won’t need to see again until the temperatures drop below 50 degrees.

Magazines give us fashion advice that makes it seem as though we need to run out to the stores every time a new season approaches to completely revitalize our wardrobes.

I don’t know about you, but I really can’t afford to purchase a new wardrobe each time the weather changes.

Plus, with the way the weather’s been so unpredictable lately, it’s hard to convince myself to go out and invest in shorts and dresses when I’m likely to need my chunky wool sweaters again next week.

One way to refresh your style and look without spending a lot is to shop your closet.

When you shop your closet, you evaluate the clothing you already own and plan how you can wear it across seasons. Instead of determining that a skirt is a “winter skirt,” look at it differently to see how and if you can wear it through spring and into summer.

Sort and Organize

To start planning out your spring and summer wardrobe, pull everything out of your closet and dresser. Bring out the clothing you might have packed away as well. Then, sort items by type.

For example, pile the skirts together, the sweaters together and pants together. Don’t worry about keeping matching pieces together, as the goal is to find new ways to wear your old clothes.

If you’re very organized, you can sort each type of clothing by color.

Hold a Private Fashion Show

Once you’ve brought everything out, it’s time to start trying the clothing on. Even if you are absolutely positive something fits you, put it on.

Try wearing it with a garment you don’t usually pair it with. For example, pair a wool pencil skirt with a lightweight sleeveless blouse.

If the pairing works, you have a new, free outfit for summer. You can also try pairing a sundress with a buttoned up, lightweight blazer for a cute, but professional-looking, transitional outfit.

Get creative with your mixing and matching. You never know how two pieces will look together until you give it a try. I

f you feel lost, check out magazines or clothing catalogs for fashion advice. You might have similar pieces to the ones featured in a magazine that you can play around with.

Remember that some stores, such as J. Crew, offer the same styles season after season, simply changing the colors each year.

Don’t feel that you need to hang on to everything in your closet, just in case it comes back in style one day. Donate or trash any items that no longer fit you.

Finally, if a garment is stained or otherwise damaged beyond repair, it’s time to chuck it.

Pick up a Pair of Scissors

Cut-offs are a classic, casual choice for summer. Give a forgotten pair of flared jeans a new lease on life by trimming the bottom half of the legs off of them.

Take the scissors to any jeans or pants that you no longer want to wear as long pants. You can also try to cut the sleeves off of long-sleeved shirts for a lighter look, creating either a sleeveless shirt or a short-sleeved one.

If you’re going strictly casual with your cut-offs, it’s okay to leave the edges unhemmed. But, if you are handy with a needle and thread or know someone who is, you might want to stitch up the hems on the shorts or sew a finished hem on the cuffs of the shirt.

Don’t Forget Accessories

Accessories are an inexpensive way to take a garment through the seasons.

For example, your favorite dress can go from winter when paired with a heavy scarf and heavy tights to spring when paired with lighter tights or colorful tights and into summer when you pair it with nude stockings (or no stockings), a thin silver necklace, and a pair of sunglasses.

How do you make your wardrobe stretch from winter to summer and back again? Do you have any budget fashion tips to share?

“Shop Your Closet for Your Summer Wardrobe” was written by Kelly Anderson.