How to make the most of the wardrobe you already own

Stop buying new clothes. This advice might contradict all the ads, TikToks and IG influencers that constantly promote new products, but it's an important message. According to the World Economic Forum," the fashion industry produces 10% of all humanity’s carbon emissions and is the second-largest consumer of the world’s water supply." One of the best things you can do for the earth while saving money is to make the most of the clothes you already own. Here's how:

1. Alter your old clothes

Image via @blueollis

That boring white top in your closet could turn into a ~quirky~ tie-dye masterpiece. You can also crop, resize, upcycle and repair clothes you love but aren't quite perfect.

2. Spend an afternoon mixing-and-matching pieces

Don't wear jeans and a tee-shirt all the time—take some (fashionable) risks! Spend an afternoon trying on new outfits from your old clothes. Make sure to photograph your faves and put them in a folder for days when you can't find anything to wear. Note what makes you feel confident, what color combos work and what occasions you would wear them to. 

3. Do the *most* with accessories

Image via @bestdressed

Accessories can enhance any outfit. Find necklaces, bags and shoes that match to appear extra ~coordinated~. For example, a midi skirt and tank top can look casual with sneakers and a tote, edgy with boots and a leather fanny pack or fancy with strappy heels and tiny shoulder bag.

4. Host a clothing swap with friends

If you have some clothes that you can't alter, try hosting a clothing swap party. With food, cute outfits and friends, nothing can go wrong. You get to part with an unwanted piece of clothing and gain something for *free,* all while helping the environment.

5. Dig through your wardrobe

Image via @myhomeinswitzerland

You might find a long-lost dress that disappeared in-between clothes or a top that was buried in a drawer. By taking the time to investigate your wardrobe and hunt for missing pieces, you can add pieces to your closet without buying anything.

6. Browse Pinterest for inspo

Image via @urbanoutfitters

If you have a shirt that you love but can't find a match in your wardrobe, try browsing Pinterest. You'll find tons of cute outfit inspo, and maybe a match to something you already own. Resist the urge to buy, and instead, look to your closet for similar pieces.

7. Avoid online retailers

Find out what makes you feel the urge to buy new clothes when you don't *really* need them. After I deleted Depop, my spending stopped immediately. Make mindful purchases by waiting a few days before buying something to truly master sustainability. 

Tag us in your fave new outfit @girlslifemag!

All GIFs via GIPHY l Slider image via @bestdressed


by Julieanne Larick | 9/1/2021