How to create outfits: Create stunning outfits you love from clothes you already own

Lady standing by her wardrobe learning how to create outfits from her wardrobe
How you can create new outfits you love from your existing wardrobe

How to create outfits that refresh your existing wardrobe

Thanksgiving is upon us, Christmas follows shortly afterwards and before you know it, the new year will have arrived.  New year is a great and traditional time for new starts so there is not better time to organise your clothes and get prepared for the new year ahead.  However in January, you’re not quite ready to put away winter clothes (or summer clothes if you’re in the southern hemisphere) and another month of cold awaits.  By then you will be bored of your winter clothes so why not create some new outfits from clothes you already have.  Specifically this blog will show you how to create outfits from clothes already in your wardrobe.

How to create outfits from your clothes and save money

Learning how to create outfits from your existing wardrobe will save you from buying any more clothes, help you wear the ones you already have.  So you can save your money for new Spring Summer items which are just around the corner.

After having gone through this editing process with your wardrobe you should be looking at your clothes with a fresh eye which is perfect for creating new outfits.  This exercise needs a bit of time, so give yourself time and space and enjoy the process.

How to create outfits from your existing wardrobe – a two step process.

Creating new outfits from your existing wardrobe consists of a two step process.  It’s a very simple process and like many simple procedures relies on you taking action.  Once implemented you will be delighted with what you have managed to achieve and this in itself should encourage you to really take control of what is in your wardrobe.  Creating new outfits from your existing wardrobe puts paid to wardrobe tyranny.  Wardrobe tyranny is basically when you are controlled by your clothes, ie they don’t fit, you don’t have enough, you have too many, you don’t have the right outfit for the right occasion.  We are supposed to be in control of the inanimate items, especially clothes, in our lives.  When we are not, then we are subject to wardrobe tyranny.

So this simple how to create outfits process is as follows:

  1. Spend some time going through magazines and tearing out pictures of outfits that you like.  I have written a post on creating an inspiration folder which you should definitely check out
  2. Go through your wardrobe to see what you have that you can put together to recreate the outfit(s) that you liked.

How to create outfits from your closet – Initial Phase – Idea Collecting

So this is the first step to create outfits from your existing wardrobe.

Step 1 Inspiration, Idea Collection

  1. You need a quiet time with no one making demands on you.  Get yourself a drink and a pile of  magazines and spend some time going through them.  Don’t be anxious or “determined” just enjoy seeing all the different images on the pages.  when you see one that you love tear it out and start to make a pile of outfits and images that you love.
  2. When you have a pile of papers go through them and see if you can see any common threads.  Were they all dresses?  Or all a similar colour?  Did the shoe types look similar in all the images?
  3. Pick out between 2 and 8 images that you love.  They don’t have to have common threads or be similar in any way.
  4. Either physically pin them to a board (a mood board, tadaa!) or photograph them and upload them digitally, for example to a Pinterest board.
  5. It is entirely possible to do this step digitally and I will address that in another blog post.  In this post I have concentrate on physical paper and physical mood boards.

How to create outfits from your closet – Second Phase – what your mood boards reveal


Woman looking in wardrobe to learn how to create new outfits from her existing clothes
How to create 5 outfits you didn’t know you owned

Step 2 – What your mood boards reveal

Mood boards can reveal all sorts of information about us that was lurking in our brain but just needed teasing out.  For example, you may notice two elements to the pages you have chosen for your how to create outfits project:

  1. The first element is that the pages may point to outfits that you would like to wear but haven’t maybe because:
    1. you’ve been on a treadmill of wearing the same outfits time and again or
    2. you haven’t really had the time to think about wearing anything new or different
  2. The second element is that the pages may point to other areas that you haven’t paid attention to.  For example, accessories.  If the jewellery in the pages that you have picked shows chunky, statement pieces and you normally wear slim gold chains then maybe now is the time to either dig those pieces out of your jewellery pile.  You probably have jewellery at the back of a drawer or in a box somewhere that you haven’t worn in a long time and have probably forgeotten about.  Or it may be that the clothes you pick out are slightly different to what you normally wear.  They may be longer, or shorter, or more bohemian, or more coloured, or monoblock.  The subconscious mind has a clever way of coming to our conscious mind when we are relaxed and looking at pictures like this is one way of connecting with our thoughts.

Decision time for your “How to create outfits from your closet” project

Ok, life is short and you need to make easy changes in your wardrobe.  So decide what you are going to focus on.  Choose two pictures that you particularly like.  Take your pictures/mood board up to your closet and see what you are able to put together that resembles the picture.

These are the key elements you should be looking out for:

  • the clothes
  • jewellery
  • shoes/boots/sandals
  • scarves/hats/gloves/scarves

In addition you may like to bear in mind:

  • the hairstyle of the model
  • the make up of the model

It’s probable that you can pull together a minimum of 3 new outfits without trying very hard at all.  Try not to overthink.  You will work much better if the brain is relaxed and in ‘search’ mode.  It doesn’t matter if your outfit does not look exactly like the outfit in the picture.  The aim is to create something new, not necessarily to mimic, there should be room for your personality to shine through.

Look for clothes first, then items in descending order of size.  Of course, if you see a shoe that is just perfect with one of your images then start with that and build up.  Go with inspiration if it takes you!

Creating new outfits – trying them on

The next stage is to try on the outfits.  Go through them one by one.  put the tights and shoes on too.  If you can do hair and make up aswell, or at least put some blusher, mascara or lipstick on so you are not distracted by thinking how old or tired you are 🙂  And if you don’t arrange your hair at least brush it.  I know it sounds obvious, but sometimes it only takes the smallest distraction (my hair looks dreadful) to throw us off balance.

How and where to catalogue your new outfits

Finally you need to catalogue what you have created in your How to create 5 new outfits exercise.  You could:

  1. take a photo of yourself in the new outfit
  2. assemble the outfit on a hanger and photograph that
  3. Write in a notebook what you have tried on

You can keep the images:

  1. on a moodboard
  2. in a scrapbook specifically created for the new outfits
  3. as a note in your diary (and schedule when to wear them)
  4. digitally: Asana, Evernote, Pinterest, take your pick!

How to create outfits: Roundup

Ok, so let me know, what did you discover that was new.  Did you create new outfits that surprised you in anyway.  Were you surprised at how easy it is to create new outfits from clothes you already have in your wardrobe?  Even if you just created one or two new looks but that has inspired you to carry on and continue this process throughout the year, I’d love to hear from you.

Please also leave a comment ,as feedback is so important to what I am writing. How can I make it more relevant for you?  What specifically did you enjoy about this post?  What would you like to see more of?  Please leave your comments below.

Where to learn more

Would you like to learn more?  We have other great content added to the website regularly.  Learn how dressing affects your attitude and confidence.  or how to organise your wardrobe and get your life back.  


Or why not join the waiting list for our newest course “How to take the emotion out of your wardrobe and put your heart back in”. 


We would love you to sign up to our exclusive Working Frocks list:


Finally, our FREE Guide, “How to look and feel amazing every day” is available to download here:



Links in this post

How to create an Inspiration Folder for pulling together images and pictures you love and creating great outfits with them

Learn how what we wear affects our confidence and self esteem and how to use clothes to keep our brains in a positive state.

How to get back in control of your wardrobe and get peace in your life.  Are you subject to wardrobe tyranny?  Do you dread opening the door to your closet?  This is a great post for a good sort out of all your clothes which in turn will clear out and calm down your brain too.

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