Creating a Rewearable Closet

I first started my Instagram profile as a way to put my styling perspective out into the universe and to help me get over my fear of putting a new identity out there: Manisha the fashion stylist. 

At the beginning, I felt the need to post a new look all the time, which wasn’t great for my budget. But a few months later, I realized that the actual focus of my style philosophy was figuring how to rewear current (on-trend) and statement pieces as much as possible. It’s what I’ve always loved most about styling.

What does it mean to “rewear”?

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with buying special pieces that you only wear now and then, but having a part of your closet full of items that have never been touched or that still have tags on them is another thing. 

Blame it on social media where no one wants to be seen wearing something more than once. However, when I started doing videos, I found myself immediately gravitating towards rewearability. I wanted to show how great it was to be able to wear something in multiple ways to create dramatically different looks. This helps you get the most out of every season’s trends. 

Ok, so I get that wearing your clothes over and over again is sustainable, but is it really great? 

It is! And here’s why:

Taking the time to create a rewearable closet means really understanding your style. It means embracing what makes you feel good in your current lifestyle vs. wearing what you think you should be wearing even if it doesn’t feel right. You might not want to wear your statement pieces ALL the time, and that’s ok! The point is that the majority of your closet can be mixed and matched so that some stylish risks can be sprinkled in while working within your comfort zone.

That sounds like a lot of effort. What’s the best way to go about this? 

It can be overwhelming to do on your own which is why it often helps to work with a stylist. Understanding and embracing your unique personal style and creating a rewearable closet to support it requires looking from the outside in. It’s a process for sure, but the payoff is also huge.

The goal is to set up a good foundation for you to work with going forward. That said, you can certainly also do this on your own in just two steps: 

Step 1Review your closet 

Start with sections – tops, bottoms, etc. and take it all out of your closet/dresser. Then pick up individual items and ask yourself:

  1. How often do I wear this?
  2. Does it still fit?
  3. Do I still feel good/comfortable in it?
  4. How old is this item/what’s the condition of it?
  5. Does it still fit my current personal aesthetic or have I outgrown it?

As you go through your closet you might find that you’re unsure about quite a few items. That’s ok! Items that are sentimental can be kept safely away in a box. But the items you’re unsure of can be kept in a different box labeled with a “Wear By” date. Items that aren’t worn by that date could then be sold or donated. This includes items that you keep telling yourself that you might one day fit back into them.

You might also find that step one turns into a bit of a treasure hunt since you might find untouched items that you forgot you loved or brand new items that you forgot you had. This whole process is refreshing on so many levels.

Step 2 Fill in the gaps 

Once you’ve reviewed your closet, you’ll be able to actually see gaps in your closet. Maybe physical ones too haha. However, rather than just buying something because you don’t have it, it’s time to think holistically about your closet. Play around with looks that can be created with what you have left and focus on filling in foundational gaps before focusing on more unique items. 

Understanding how to work with what you have left and finding good quality clothing at an affordable price point can often take a while, so take your time in doing this. This is also a great time to review your wishlist if you have one and not a bad time to bring in a stylist to help take your closet to the next level.  

I think I could do it on my own, so why should I work with a stylist? 

Working with a stylist is definitely a commitment and in some cases might not be in your immediate budget. But think of it as getting a professional objective opinion on something that actually impacts you every day. It’s an investment and, with the right person, a huge step in truly understanding your style. 

A stylist can help you fine tune the process by providing objective insight on how your closet can be updated to support all of your uniqueness. 

Once the foundation is set and your closet is full of individual pieces that you know look good in and know how to combine, it only makes it easier to create a variety of looks that make you feel confident.

Edited by: Betty Ho

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