11 Subtle Ways to Update Your Wardrobe

If you’re the kind of dresser who’s developed a formula that works, you may find it challenging or pointless to mix things up in the wardrobe department. But giving yourself a unique new style or a few fresh pieces can do wonders for your self-esteem, and it can even influence the way others perceive you. 

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Studies show that changing the way you dress can change the way you think and perform, so why not go for it and dress like the person you want to be? Here are a few ways to update your style without sinking thousands into a whole new closet.

Top 11 Subtle Ways to Update Your Wardrobe in 2022

1. Give Practical Pieces a Posh Twist

If you’re still dressing primarily for practicality, know that these days you can find extremely functional pieces that also bring a stylish flair. For example, you can swap out your boring, old rubber rain boots for some cute rain boots for women that have fashion-forward elements and chic materials like leather or suede.

2. Update the Fit of Your Bottoms

We’re not here to weigh in on the ultra-polarizing jean fit debate. Skinny jeans, wide-leg jeans and flares are all bona fide classics that you should keep in the rotation. But if you want to dress in a way that errs on the trendy side, make sure you’re paying attention to the fit of your pants. Guys — this means going for a more fitted, tailored bottom or something loose in the leg but fitted at the waist. Gals — go for whatever fit you want, as long as it’s high-waisted and emphasizes your curves.

3. Visit a Professional Tailor or Seamstress

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how trendy or old-school your wardrobe is. If it’s properly fitted to your body, it will look sharp. You’d be surprised to find how affordable it is to tailor custom-fit a suit you already own or hem a pair of pants to your exact preferences. This is also a great hack for getting more mileage out of secondhand pieces if you want to save a ton of cash. 

4. Repurpose Old Pieces

In the same vein, know that there are probably plenty of pieces in your closet right now that can be repurposed into something totally new and fresh. If you’re handy with a sewing machine or know a good seamstress, you can tailor older pieces to have a more contemporary silhouette. From tie-dyeing to embroidery, there are tons of great ways to reinvent what you already own and give your style its own custom twist. 

5. Invest in Statement Top Layers

If you’re looking for an easy way to give your wardrobe a designer-inspired, up-to-date feel, start from the outer layer and work your way in. Coats and jackets are the pieces you’ll get the most wear from and the items that make your entire look. Invest in a statement or high-end coat that goes with the clothes you already own. This doesn’t have to be expensive either. Check out local thrift stores or online retailers to find amazing styles at a fraction of the cost of buying brand-new.

6. Wear a Few Pieces of Trendy Jewelry

There’s no need to overhaul your entire closet to give your look a fresh, updated feel. A simpler way is to start with your accessories. One mistake many of us make is believing that every piece of jewelry needs to be made with precious materials or be from the local jeweler. Of course, it’s great to have a few “real” pieces in your collection, but there’s nothing wrong with using fashion jewelry to enhance your look. Affordable fashion jewelry can give any look a trendier vibe.

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7. Add a Pop of Style with Cute Shoes

A simple, well-fitting outfit coupled with a pair of statement shoes is a winning fashion formula. Keep your top, pants and outerwear relatively simple and add a fun flair with some chic statement shoes. Remember — stylish doesn’t have to mean painful or uncomfortable! There are so many cute, comfy boots for women out there that will give any fall or winter style a fresh feel.

8. Invest in Easy-Care, Easy-Wear Pieces

Fussy fabrics are so last season! As you shop for new clothes, pay attention to materials and care instructions. From washable silk and cashmere to washable shoes for women, there are plenty of options out there that keep you looking neat and put together without a high bill from the dry cleaner. 

9. Change the Way You Think About Casual Wear

There’s a reason why athleisure and loungewear are two of the biggest trends of the decade. Today’s biggest fads prove that chic style need not compromise comfort or mobility — and why should it? One great way to update your look is to ditch the old, ratty tees and sweats for some stylish loungewear. When paired with a pair of cute sneakers or slide sandals, these looks are as acceptable for running errands as they are for chilling at home.

10. Think Differently About Styling What You Already Own

Updating your wardrobe doesn’t always have to involve going out and buying a ton of new pieces. Instead, it means giving new treatments to old faves. Tucking in that oversized tee you were going to get rid of or pairing it with a chic, tailored blazer can breathe new life into the apparel items that used to bore you.

11. Pick a Few Statement Accessories

Some of the most stylish people out there are the ones who know that simple outfits become statement-makers with a few unique accessories. Stick to basic, solid-colored and neutral layers to build your look and then toss on some funky, vintage, thrifted or designer accessories. Belts, handbags and sunglasses are a great place to start.

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Updating the way you dress doesn’t have to involve dropping thousands on brand-new clothes or getting rid of pieces you love. In reality, you can give your style a head-to-toe upgrade by incorporating a few stylish new pieces or reimagining what’s already in your closet.

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