Creating New Looks from Old Clothes

Got a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear?

We’ve all been in the relatable position of having a closet full of clothes, yet nothing to wear. And often, our first instinct is to buy something new. While shopping with intention can be helpful, one of the most sustainable and valuable things you can do is use what you already own. 

Instead of heading to the shops, or browsing online, we’re sharing expert tips to help you optimize your current closet: saving your time and money, and building an even more sustainable wardrobe.

Developed by sustainable wardrobe stylist, Jaclyn Patterson, discover 4 ways that you can elevate your style and simplify your life using clothes and accessories you already own. 


Follow @jaylopat for tips on elevating your style wearing clothes you already own! 

Did you know you actually only wear about 30% of the clothing you own? We are habitual beings and it’s normal to have seasons or weeks of wearing more similar fits.

While you may have heard the concept of “shopping your closet”, let’s clarify how it can actually help you bring new life and excitement to your existing wardrobe.

When you’re in a style rut,  it’s important to go through the 70% of your wardrobe that you rarely wear, and pull 2-3 items that get you excited. These 2-3 items could be clothing, jewelry, shoes or an accessory.

Once you’ve pulled these pieces, you should make these items a priority when getting dressed over the next week. For example, perhaps you chose a jacket as one of your pieces. When getting dressed, create your outfit starting with this jacket and build item by item from there until you have a complete outfit.

At first, this might feel difficult or take a bit more time, but after a while, this process will feel habitual and even effortless. Let us know how it goes!


If you’re finding it challenging to put things together, and create items from what you already own, a tool for style success is to explore style inspiration.

This means discovering inspiration that can simplify your outfit process. You can use Pinterest, Instagram, magazines, photos, even TV characters etc. to explore outfits or aesthetics that resonate with you.

For example, head over to your favourite online channel… let’s say Pinterest in this case. Start searching for colours, or styles that you already enjoy and save images that resonate with you. ie you love wearing blazers, so you can search “blazer outfits” in Pinterest and explore what comes up. Make note of what styles you enjoy, and use that as inspiration to re-create outfits in your existing wardrobe.

Looking at inspiration is an important tool for style joy and success. It’s natural for your style to change as you evolve, and this process can easily get you out of a style rut using your existing wardrobe. 


Have you ever put on an outfit and have it feel completely off? Getting dressed can be challenging when you’re constantly looking towards society and micro-trends to influence what you wear. It’s as if you’re on a hamster wheel chasing trends that are unfulfilling because they only provide short term joy.

In fact, each of us has a unique personal style that we can use as direction for outfits, so we can feel our most confident and authentic self. One of the most empowering things you can do for yourself is to authentically dress in your personal style. It can improve your mood, increase productivity, motivation and efficiency.

Not sure of your personal style? 

Take some time thinking about what colours, fits, styles, and outfits make you feel your best. Use those as inspiration when getting dressed each morning. 

Next time you see a trend in fashion, ask yourself: do I really like this style? Is this something that I would love wearing? How can I style this trend in a way that makes me feel my best? 

Never underestimate the power your outfit can have on your day!


The most common question Jaclyn gets asked as a wardrobe stylist, is “how to look more elevated and polished without taking up too much time?”

Her answer for you is to add 2 minutes of intention at the end of getting dressed. This means taking a couple minutes to add your accessories and finishing touches to your outfit.

This could look like:

Adding everyday jewelry to your t-shirt and jeans.
Taking 2 minutes to hand-steam your shirt.
Cuffing the hem of your pants.

We often think good style means wearing an overly curated outfit, when in reality, these small moments of intention is what transforms a good outfit into a great outfit. 

We hope this has inspired you to dive into your closet and love the clothing you already own! Let us know which tip you will try and how you enjoy embodying sustainability into your wardrobe.

Jaclyn Patterson is on a mission to build a better fashion future. In 2014 she began her work as a personal wardrobe stylist, helping people develop their magnetic personal style while consciously building wardrobes they love. Alongside her work as a stylist, JacIyn has been a long-time advocate for slow and sustainable fashion, sparking her passion to create Shopwise, a sustainable fashion marketplace, making it easier to vote with your dollar from brands that prioritize both people and planet. 

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