Three Inexpensive Ways to Refresh Your Work Wardrobe

Got a closet full of clothes but nothing to wear? We can help. With these tips, you needn't spend a fortune updating your wardrobe to make it office-ready.

There is nothing more frustrating than a wardrobe packed to the gills with clothes that somehow aren’t quite right. This frustration can grow arms and legs when you are trying to dress for work. When you’re in a rush to get to the office, time and patience are usually not on your side. When nothing seems to go together to form a cohesive look, your whole day starts off on the wrong foot.

Rest assured; there is hope for that overstuffed closet. We’ve searched high and low, and uncovered some simple tips to help you refresh your work wardrobe. Best of all, these ideas are all (mostly) free.

Clean Your Closet, Then Throw a Party

Well-organized closet full of clothes to refresh your work wardrobe
You’ll wear clothes more effectively and with greater style if you empty your wardrobe of the stuff you’ll never wear.

We know this seems like a dubious strategy for getting the most out of your work wardrobe, but hear us out. Cleaning your closet is really the only way to truly get to know the “bones” of your wardrobe. So dig deep and get in there. Pull everything out and make an honest assessment of what you see. Try things on for fit and flattery; be brutally honest with yourself. A good rule is that if you haven’t worn it in a year, you are unlikely to wear it ever again. Gather up your cast-offs and organize them neatly.

Instead of heading to the charity shop with your closet cast-offs, suggest that a handful of your friends follow your lead and clean out their closets too. Then invite them over for a clothes-swapping party.  The party not only satisfies the insatiable urge to shop, it comes at virtually no expense. You have to admit: It’s always great to see some of your unwanted things get a new lease on life. You’ll probably come away from the experience with a few new things in your wardrobe that you will actually wear…and a whole lot more closet space to put them in.

Try Creative Layering

Build new outfits by exploring different combinations of the same items. Each looks is new and fresh!

While it’s not uncommon to have an overflowing closet filled with garments that may have never been worn, few people have ever sat down and tried all of the different layering combinations that are available to them. People tend to shop (and think) in terms of “outfits.” They have a white shirt that they wear with a certain pair of trousers, and a particular skirt that must be worn with a certain pair of boots. If this sounds familiar, most likely your wardrobe is not living up to the sum of its parts.

Spend some time with your wardrobe. Try on different combinations and see what works and what doesn’t. Most likely, you will find some unusual and wonderful combinations of things you may have forgotten you even had.

Make Better Use of  Accessories

Inexpensive accessories breathe new life into old wardrobes.

Accessories can change a look instantly, and with very little effort or expense. Take stock of what you have in your closet. Arrange your belts, necklaces, scarves, and other accessories on racks where they are easily visible. You are much more likely to use your accessories creatively if you are looking at them while planning your look.

If you don’t currently wear a lot of accessories, invest in a few. They don’t have to be expensive. Thrift stores are often goldmines for belts and scarves, and you are sure to find something unique. Here are some must-have pieces we recommend:

  • Wide, Waist-Cinching Belts:  A fantastic way to pull together a layered look.
  • Skinny Belts: These look amazing belted over a cardigan.
  • Scarves: A chic way to pull your hair back, either as a headband or around a ponytail. They also add a pop of color when tied around a purse handle.
  • Statement Necklaces: Make a blazer and white t-shirt look polished.
  • Textured Opaque Tights: These add depth and interest to a look.

It goes without saying that we are just scratching the surface of all the different ways a fashion-savvy woman can stretch her wardrobe. However, if you’re looking for immediate gratification as well as a bit of styling inspiration, these tips will have you looking refreshed and revitalized in no time.

Cover photo:

About the author

Kristin Buchholz-MacKillop

Kristin is an American writer based in the Scottish Highlands. She is a saxophonist, an obsessive tennis player, a U.S. Air Force Veteran, and holds a Master's degree as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. She is the author of the online style blog

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment