How to shop your own closet

You wake up, start getting ready for the day and find yourself staring into your closet for a solid five minutes—you’ve got nothing to wear! Ugh, we’ve all been there.

If you feel like you wear the same thing every day or are just generally bored with your style, shopping your closet is a great solution. It saves you time and money and is great for the Earth. Follow our simple steps to elevate your wardrobe without leaving the house (or spending a single dime!).

1. Clean your closet

The first step to curating your closet is getting rid of anything that you don’t want or need. That old pair of worn-out jeans? Time to say goodbye. 

Take the time to go through all your clothes and decide what is worth keeping, (aka stuff you’ll actually wear). If you come across pieces you no longer want, take them to a consignment or thrift store or donate to local shelters or donation bins. Try not to throw any clothes away.

Once you have a clean slate, it’s time to start shopping.

2. Create your personal style with a mood board 

The best way to put together outfits is to have plenty of ideas already in mind. Go on Pinterest or Instagram to find some style inspo. Then, make a mood board with your favorite pieces, color palettes and outfit layouts.

You may even want to create a new board for every season so you can rotate through them as the weather changes. Keep these mood boards on hand for when you’re struggling to figure out what to wear; they're quick and personalized sources of fashion inspiration!

3. Group similar clothes together

Make your closet organized and easy to sift through by putting similar clothing items together. Hang all of your t-shirts together, then long sleeves, then sweaters. Put your jeans on one shelf, then stack your leggings below. If you’re feeling extra fancy, you can even sort everything by color!

Keeping your closet organized will make it much easier to see everything at a glance and find exactly what you need.

4. Piece together new outfits

One of the coolest aspects of shopping your own closet? You quickly get over the totally unrealistic idea of "never repeating an outfit". In fact, being a once-dreaded "outfit-repeater" can actually be super trendy. You've found the super cute pieces that gel with your personal style and work well with the climate of your area, which makes it easy to mix-and-match your closet while always slaying the game.  

You might have a certain pair of jeans and a cute basic long sleeve that you always wear together, but don't be afraid to spice it up. The beauty of a well-thought-out personal closet is that you can pair almost any top with any bottom. Let that personal style speak in new ways!

5. Rock your new looks

OK, it's time for our fave part! Take all of the fresh looks you've made and show them off at school, at a party or anywhere else. Because you've made a conscious effort to determine what looks best in your closet, you'll never worry about wearing something you don't feel totally confident in. 

It may feel like you have "nothing to wear" sometimes, but your closet will probs surprise you with its versatility. With a little hard work and a lot of creativity, you can build a new wardrobe without ever buying anything new. It's like Black Friday, but free *and* environmentally friendly. You just can't beat that. 

Looking for more style inspo? Check out these fashion-related articles:
👗 Basic statement hoops every girl needs in her jewelry box
👗 How to create a capsule wadrobe
👗 How to get the TikTok clean girl aesthetic

Shopping your closet? Show us the looks you've styled on Instagram @girlslifemag for a chance to be featured!

Top image: @halleykmcg
Slide image: @marymargaretboud
All GIFs via Giphy


by Hannah Kennedy and Laila Mayfield | 3/20/2023