Rudey's Room

How to Shop Your Closet


“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”

– Coco Chanel

Are winter doldrums sinking you? Are you so over cabin fever?

I’m envious of Californians right now; I’m itching for an outdoor life.

And my clothes – ugh. I turn my back. Be gone.

I peer into my closet and cannot bring myself to sport my winter uniform anymore. I’m ready to bust out a spring one.

And yet …

It’s too freakin’ cold.

The Land of Nod catalog came in the mail a couple weeks ago … just in time. The above photo (isn’t it cute?) inspired me, and put some spark back in my relationship with my clothes.

Silly, I know. But I’m more than tempted to chuck my Sorels in the dumpster.

I did an inventory of my closet, and look at that! I already had a silky, black-and-white polka-dot shirt and red jeans.

Instant new look.

This is what I like to call a closet dive.

I shop my closet when I have little or no budget to spend revamping my wardrobe. (Right now, we’re saving our coins to take the girls to Disney World next month).

But I also like to shop my closet before I rush out to find my seasonal uniform.

And I’m a uniform girl, so I completely get Mindy Kaling’s tweet: “Oh shit, guys, I’m so excited, no one I saw today will I see tomorrow so I can wear the same outfit again.”

How I Shop My Closet Each Season

  • I evaluate the trendsI’m loving the pastels, wide-leg trousers, and bomber jackets this spring.
  • I clip photos from magazines and catalogs of what I want to wear. And so nerdy, but I do check out what my middle-school students are sporting. Before I shop, I look for these styles and silhouettes in my own closet.
  • That being said, I do loosely follow my own self-imposed style guidelines. When I’m shopping for new clothes and when I’m searching my closet for something to wear, I know when I’ve hit on something that feels like Rudey. 

Other Ways to Leverage Your Closet

  • Change Hems. A few tailored tucks or let outs can change the look of a tired skirt, jacket, or pants.
  • Layer. Pull out a summer favorite (mood raiser!) and toss a jean jacket over it.
  • Pair two bold items. Wear your leopard cardigan with a red dress instead of your go-to jeans. Maybe it’s time to reconsider the outfits you always pluck out of your close – the looks you gravitate towards – and break away. I take style tips from my girls. I really do. I know I hit it right when my youngest says, “I like your style, mom.”
  • Choose a signature accessory. 
  • Change up your scarves. I can’t say enough about this accessory.
  • Don’t abandon the problem pieces you simply cannot abandon. I have a fantastic dress that needs a little something something, so I’m toting it to Anthropologie (and likely Forever 21) to see what can be done.

Bottomline: Shop your closet first. It’s likely there are hidden gems hanging right in front of you. I bet you have more options than you think you have. You may not even have to go shopping.

Do you have other ways that you like to shop your closet?

P.S. I did cash in my Gap bonus bucks and a 40 percent discount code for this maxi dress. Maybe it’s mere presence in my closet will send the winter on its’ way, I hopefully think.

Ciao for now.

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