This may surprise you, but I don't have a closet crammed full of clothes. If I have too many options, I get overwhelmed, so I try to keep my clothing limited. I tend to wear the same things over and over in a certain season, anyway. And I try (try) to stick to the one-in-one-out rule. When I get something new, that means something must go out.
But sometimes I have items in the closet that linger because I hate to part with them. Usually this means they were expensive or sentimental. I bought this green and white eyelet sundress for a vacation in Mexico almost three years ago. I've worn it a few times since - always on vacations - but it isn't something that I would wear day to day. Frankly, it's not something I think is my style anymore. But each time I do a closet purge, I always hesitate over it. Finally I decided to see if it was worth salvaging as an outfit, if I could make it more me.
The trick to making something old look different is layering. With a dress like this you could add over (a sweater or shirt) or under (a tank or tight tee) to give it a new look.
I went with "over." I added a gauzy, paper-thin t-shirt from J-Crew. It's one of my best layering pieces. (Don't mind the crease in the skirt - this thing had been on the hanger a long time. While we're at it, don't mind the un-made bed, either.)
Happy with the t-shirt, I added a belt from Urban Outfitters and gold ballet flats by Steve Madden.
Much better! A little funky, a little pretty, and errand-appropriate (where the strapless dress alone would not have been).
Late in the afternoon I ditched the belt and added a sleeveless sweater. If I was going to go out and about in the sweater instead of the belt, I probably would have pulled my hair back and added big earrings.
Experiment achieved. The green and white eyelet dress is staying put in the closet. For now.
How do you keep seasonal or boring clothes fresh?