How To Upgrade Your Wardrobe, If You Feel Like It

How to upgrade your wardrobe, if you feel like it. I go through chapters with my wardrobe — do you? I feel like I am moving in and out of phases, and I think that’s perfectly healthy. One recent phase could be characterized by: let’s buy a lot of inexpensive (i.e., thrifted and consigned) items, have fun playing with them, then recycle them to the thrifts. This is good for experimentation and ecologically friendly.

There’s nothing bad about this approach. It has been a lot of fun, especially in my trips to NYC (soon to return!) for which I packed very little and “lived” in items I acquired there in the amazing thrift stores. I have also managed to keep my closets from getting too full, by using a one-in, one-out policy fairly strictly.

I don’t know what inspires me to upgrade, as there is so much readily available input (blogs, Insta, Pinterest) on style. At this moment I am in the mood for higher quality, low-volume wardrobe. I am re-reading some of my favorite style books and blog articles on the topics of the well-curated wardrobe, the pared-down wardrobe, and the quality-over-quantity debate.

Here are some of the ideas sloshing around in my head, about how to upgrade my current closet. I reserve the right to change my mind! but I am having fun with this paradigm right now. Some changes I’d like to make over time are:

  • Better shoes and bags – I prefer to thrift and consignment-shop these items, and I want very good quality and some personality in my shoes and bags.
Love this classic shiny leather bag by Tignanello.
  • Better accessories – scarf, bracelet, earrings. I’d like one delicate gold necklace to wear every day. I just got my ear lobes re-pierced after 40 years, so I’m also swooning over artisan earrings.
This vintage silver-and-stones bracelet will elevate my sweaters and jeans.
  • Tops in better knits and silk blends, in black, navy, ivory, and gray. I have bought lots of “cheapie” tops and they have disappointed me after a couple of washings. Time for upgrades! Poshmark is a favorite spot for finding gently used high-quality blouses and knits.
It’s only $40 but this sweater feels thick and soft, in 100% cotton. I have two colors.
  • Jeans that fit perfectly. This won’t be too hard, because I’m lucky to have a fairly standard-size lower body. But I often have “cheaped out” and purchased just-good-enough jeans. I really want a great fitting pair that will upgrade my tops and blazers.
These Levi’s suit me just right, with a high rise and slim-not-skinny fit. Every body is different, and Levi’s offers a ton of styles.

I am not judging myself, or any other woman who enjoys an inexpensive, eclectic closet. It’s just clothing, and should be fun, fulfilling and flattering. I’m letting my pendulum swing, and enjoying the process.

Over to you: Have you made this wardrobe journey? Are you in the midst of a pendulum swing right now?

Stay fabulous, xo

Wear what you love, always. Here are some goodies to browse:

Please be aware that links to vendors may be affiliate links. I may benefit from your purchases through the links on the blog. Header photo by Ashton Mullins on Unsplash.

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  1. There’s nothing bad about this approach. It has been a lot of fun, especially in my trips to NYC (soon to return!) for which I packed very little and “lived” in items I acquired there in the amazing thrift stores. I have also managed to keep my closets from getting too full, by using a one-in, one-out policy fairly strictly.

  2. Hi, I have just finished speaking at eight different influencer bloggers on style that were recommended in a list on Google. Every single one of them loved jeans as basic pants. To me, the minute, I see jeans, it looks old, grubby, classless, boring, unbelievably ugly, what is the deal with jeans? I think it ruins, every beautiful sweater, every lovely, silky top, every gorgeous jacket. I do not get the love of jeans and just thought I would let you know.

  3. The story was interesting. With these things, I was able to make my closet more spacious and beautiful. thank you

  4. Finding jeans that fit right is a nightmare for me! I am short (5’2”) , have an ample derrière and thighs, and require a high rise. Any advice on brands to look at?

    • Hi Carla and thanks for coming by! I am not an expert, but my baby sister is petite and curvy. She likes the Madewell Petite Perfect Vintage Jean and the Everlane Japanese Denim Cheeky Jean, in ankle length. It’s a challenge, yeah? She also gets her jeans hemmed : > Stay fab, xx.

  5. Loved readying this blog post ! I am also in the process of upgrading my closet with selected high quality items that I save for. And I find that I wear them with so much love, they fit well and manage to upgrade your look instantly. xx

    • Hello Isabella and thanks for coming by! I like to wear my clothes “with love”, as you say. Have a wonderful week, xx.

  6. How did the ear piercing go? I’ve wanted to do that for so long but was scared since I’ve had issues with them in the past. Did they just push through your old holes or make new ones? Are you able to wear any earrings you want?

    • Oh hey Suzanne! It was easier than I had feared. A needle through my old hole on one ear, and a new hole on the other – I was lopsided. Still healing so I can’t take the starters out for another month – then I can wear what I want. I’m looking forward to wearing my gold peace signs. Cost including starter earrings was about $130. xox

  7. Good fitting jeans are so important and so tricky to find! I just recently swapped out my old, pre-perimenopause jeans for new ones and it is SO wonderful. JEANS THAT FIT! What a concept!

    • Hi Nicole, great to see you. I think you need to trademark “pre-perimenopause jeans” because there’s a ton of women who relate! Have a fabulous day, xx.

  8. Thanks for sharing, I also am in that desire to upgrade my wardrobe mood. I have always admired French women’s style and their fashion styling videos always advise one to save and upgrade a wardrobe with carefully selected high quality items. One of the benefits of aging along with a carefree fun retirement is time for personal reflection and growth. Along with developing new intellectual interests, I am also setting new style goals which are to create a fashion aura of elegance with edge. Looking forward to your goody choices for future new additions.

    • Hello Joan and thanks for your thoughtful comments. I love the expression “carefree fun retirement.” Stay well, xx.

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