Creating a Fashion Statement with Last Season Items

If your clothing budget is tight this year, you may be despairing about having to wear the same things you did last year again. Fear not; with a little ingenuity and organization, you can revamp your wardrobe in creative ways you may never have imagined. Here are some tips for creating a fashion statement every time you leave the house with last season’s items.

Start with Elements You Can Use

The first thing you need to do is empty your closet and dresser drawers of all their contents. Next, get rid of anything you’ll never wear again. This includes items that don’t fit right and never will, stained or faded clothing, things that make you feel less than your best and uncomfortable items.

Don’t necessarily eliminate items because you feel they’re out of style. You may be able to use them again, either now or in the future.

Get Inspiration

To give you some ideas for this year’s trends, do a little online window shopping. Statistics show that people shopping online are buying less this year. Perhaps other people, like you, are having to repurpose clothing. Regardless, online surfing is an great way to get ideas for using some of the previous year’s styles in a more current way.

Additionally, browse the style mags and check out P interest or Instagram. Make notes of styles that you like that would flatter your body type. As you do this, you’re likely to start having flashes of how you could use that jacket or sweater that’s been hanging unused in the closet or those old jeans that you thought you’d have to chuck.

Shop Your Closet Like a Store

With all the items you’re keeping sorted by type, such as pants, casual t-shirts, work shirts, dressy items, and the like, start looking at your closet with fresh eyes, the way you would a rack of clothing in a shop. Take one item, like a pencil skirt, and pair it with six different tops instead of just the boring white blouse you always wear with it. Ways you can update an item include:

  • tucking in a blouse you’d normally wear loose
  • adding a belt
  • changing the heel height of the shoes you usually wear with an item
  • layering with a blazer or denim jacket
  • adding different accessories like scarves, statement jewelry or handbags
  • combining prints or colors in novel ways


While it may look like old jeans are a lost cause, don’t rule out tailoring them to look more up to date. For example, bootcut jeans can be narrowed to make skinny or boyfriend jeans, which can then be tucked into tall boots or rolled up to go with booties or heels in a modern way.

You may find several items that can be given new life with alterations. Also, professional cleaning and pressing can make wilted clothing look almost new again.

Use Trendy Items Wisely

As you assemble outfits, keep a list of new purchases that would make an existing item more serviceable. When you shop the sales in the future, you can keep an eye out for that pair of black stilettos or perfect trench coat.

While it’s best if you do shop to stick to timeless items, you may find yourself drawn to one trendy thing you feel you just can’t live without. If you decide to splurge on anything that’s more than a few dollars, don’t do it haphazardly.

Look at trendy pieces–and this holds true for gifts as well as purchases–in one of three ways:

1. You think it will become a classic, so it could be a good investment.
2. You’re comfortable rocking the item even once it’s past its prime.
3. You can wear it now and then store it until it comes back in style.

Super trendy pieces aren’t always a bad thing; you may be able to use one to revive an otherwise dull outfit. You just need to purchase hot items with a plan, so they’re not a waste of money.

Make a Look Book

To remind yourself of all the new combos you’ve created, make a look book for future reference. You can either take selfies of yourself in different outfits or lay the pieces out on a white carpet or bedspread to be photographed.

These days, you don’t even need to print the photos. Keep them in a file on your mobile phone or tablet, or better yet, try one of the new look book apps. These allow you to display multiple outfits on one page, like a magazine, and they help with issues like tricky color combinations.

Give yourself a weekend to devote to the project, and you’ll thank yourself when Monday rolls around and you have dozens of new outfits to wear without spending a dime. Last season’s items might just become this season’s new favorites.