How to refresh your wardrobe without buying new clothes...

It's that time of year again, there's a sense of something lingering in the air, waiting to arrive. It's not cold yet, but it's not exactly sandal weather either, unless you don't mind soggy toes. It may be a bit nippy first thing in the morning, but by the time your lunch break rolls around, you're shrugging off that cardigan and tying your hair back...

Autumn, that's what is waiting to arrive!

It's hard to know how to dress during these transitional periods and the old "I have nothing to wear!"(when you actually have an overflowing wardrobe) cliche can become a reality.

As we mentioned in our last post, this week is Zero Waste Week - an awareness campaign encouraging us all to be more mindful when it comes to how much we throw away. It's easy to forget that unfortunately, our rubbish doesn't just disappear, but ends up in landfill or the ocean. It's so tempting to pop online and chuck a few bargains into your basket when you experience a style crisis, but being mindful about how much you use/waste includes being mindful about clothes and consumerism. So rather than rushing to the high street, have a read of our tips first... because let's face it, you actually do have something to wear, it's just a case of rejigging things and finding some inspiration.

First of all, have a good clear out. You'll find it easier to put together chic and appropriate outfits if you only have items that you really like in your collection. Try not to bin everything that you no longer want - could that old t-shirt be useful as a cleaning cloth or be used for your pets bedding? Take any stuff in good condition to the charity shop, offer it to friends and family, or sell it. The bin should be your last resort.

Now that you've slimmed your wardrobe down, it's time to get some inspiration. We're very lucky to live in a world where inspiration and creativity is at our fingertips. All you have to do is type "wardrobe rut" into YouTube, and you're presented with an abundance of helpful videos. Have a scroll through Instagram and use the "save" feature to collect your favourite outfit images - you'll instantly make a digital mood-board and should be able to see if there are any patterns in what kind of style, colours and looks you're liking at the mo. For example, if I look at my saved collection, I can quickly decipher that my mind is favouring bright tops, stripes and a-line skirts right now. There are also loads of blog posts and YouTube videos specifically focusing on how to dress during these tricky transitional periods, but beware, there are also many hauls and shopping videos... so try not to get sucked in! If you're feeling robust enough, you could have a mooch around your favourite shops (virtually or physically) to see how they're styling things right now. New outfit opportunities can be opened up to you when you discover a new way of styling an old item.

Another thing to consider is whether you would benefit from having a capsule wardrobe. These compact, considered collections seem to be getting more and more popular within the blogging community. Capsule wardrobe adopters tend to be quite strict when it comes to how often they allow themselves to buy new clothing, and they don't get swayed by the fast fashion trends of the current times. Personally, I am trying to cut down on how many impulsive, mindless purchases I make. These tend to be on trendy, none-classic side of things. They end up getting worn for a couple of months before being shoved to the back of a drawer because they already look unfashionable among the next fast fashion trends coming around. My goal is to buy just one or two classic and well thought-out items a month. And because I won't be wasting money on cheaper items willy-nilly, I will be able to spend more and buy better quality pieces that will last longer.

YouTubers such as Miss Louie and The Anna Edit have some brilliant videos on capsule wardrobes and the minimalist approach. Miss Louie's latest video was on how she made 31 outfits from just 17 items, including bags and shoes. The outfits range from super casual to fairly formal, depending on the styling. For example, a trench coat can look laid-back when left open and worn with jeans and a t-shirt, but pair it with a dress and heels and you're ready for the office! Have a play around with styling and you'll find that you have lots of new outfit combinations made from your existing items... so hold off on the shopping! (Blogger, Lizzy Hadfield has a brilliant video on this called Revisiting My Wardrobe... check it out.)

It's easy to put up a mental block when it comes to thinking about where our clothes come from and where they end up when we chuck them out. I hope these tips help you out during your wardrobe dilemmas and encourage you to be more mindful about your purchases. Let us know how you get on if you try anything out for yourself!