How To Double The Size Of Your Wardrobe Without Going Shopping

Sometimes a girl can't afford to go shopping. Lucky for her, she doesn't need to to doule her wardrobe.

It can be rough being style obsessed. Vacation trips get cashed in for leather jackets, cocktails with friends get skipped for dreamy dresses and boldly colored coats, and every once in a while you opt to skip that morning latte in order to help yourself to an even better treat, like that stackable cuff you saw in the boutique window. And while these sacrifices are made without any sort of regret, every once in a while you find yourself decked out to the nines sitting on your couch, in the dark, with no one to see your savvy styling except for your cat. All because you've found yourself too poor to go out and flaunt it. 

Those are sad, hard times.

Sometimes it's good to close the wallet down for business and instead rely on what you already have to get you through. And chances are you have a ton of amazing potential outfits ready at your finger tips, but you just aren't getting creative enough in what could be combined. The trick to achieve like-new looks out of your filtered through closet is to layer and layer with purpose. Below are eleven fresh ways to combine your old pieces in new ways, effectively doubling your closet without spending a dime. Now use those savings and take yourself out for some fizzy cocktails- the world misses you!

1. Tie It Around Your Waist

This grunge-inspired move doesn't only have to apply to your denim jackets or striped cardigans around simple shift dresses- you can make it work for more glammed up looks as well. Take a printed blazer and use it as an opportunity to pattern clash with one of your trousers. Since it's around your waist and not on your back it'll be a subtler contrast, but it'll give your pants a whole new personality. 

2. Pop A Collar Underneath

Want to add some oomph to a dress or an old blouse but don't know how? Try layering a contrasting collar underneath to give it a fun pop of color.

3. Button Your Cardi In A New Way

Instead of buttoning your cardigan up all the way or letting it hang loose, go a different route and close the top button for a prim vibe. Take it a step further by either pairing the sweater with a pussybow blouse to exaggerate the collar, or thread a summer scarf underneath and tie it into a bow. 

4. Use Your Scarves

Sometimes all an outfit needs to feel like new is a well chosen scarf to completely change the silhouette. Pair a blanket scarf with your overalls for a more cozy fall-like vibe, try adding a handkerchief tied as a bow to a dress to give it a feminine edge, or use a summer scarf with a print to clash with another pattern on your cardigan or skirt. The possibilities are there, you just have to find them!

5. Layer Your Summer Tops

Make use of your lacy, flowing summer tops by popping them underneath shorter sweaters or blouses. They'll add texture to your outfit and will give your crop tops a more romantic, softer quality. 

6. Use Your Sleeveless Dresses More

Just because it's sleeveless doesn't mean it has to be reserved for summer, and just because it's evening wear doesn't mean it has to be saved for the night hours. Remix your fancier dresses by pairing them with button up shirts, instantly making them day time appropriate, whether you're going to work or grabbing a late lunch with a close friend. 

7. Double Up On Frocks

Layer your flirty, shorter hemmed dresses with long shirt dresses for an unexpected look. This not only lengthens the hem for some of those pieces you might feel uncomfortable going tightless in, but it also allows you to add a subtle pop of color and primness because of the classic style of the shirt dress. 

8. Match Your Sweaters With Unexpected Pieces

Take those fancier, occassion-only pieces out of the back of your closet because you now know a way to make them daytime appropriate: Just a pop a knit over it. Whether its a frothy, pink party dress or a slinky silk maxi skirt, it all becomes Tuesday-appropriate with a cozy knit.

9. Wear Jackets Like Tops

Those cropped motto jackets in your closet have more than one use to them. Instead of shrugging them over your shoulders as a top layer, zip them up all the way and use them as a crop top. They look especially fun with full a-line skirts or high waist culottes because of the contrast between the tight top and the voluminous bottoms. 

10. Layer With Chambray Shirts

Give your plaids and button ups new life by layering a chambray shirt underneath. The denim shirt acts as a neutral while simultaneously adding a pop of color and texture to your look.  

11. Layer Your Cargo With Contrasting Pieces

Just like a knit sweater, a cargo jacket is a great piece to juxtapose against evening specific or higher fashion pieces. All you have to do is cinch the jacket at the waist with a leather belt to make it look more cohesive against the opposing style, and you have yourself an interesting and fashion forward look. 

Marlen Komar is a writer living in Chicago with a penchant for mom jeans and kimchi tacos, and primarily writes about fashion history. She has bylines in Bustle, CNN Style, Racked, Allure, Curbed, and Apartment Therapy, and rarely stays in one place too long as she travels for most of the year. Website: