5 Ways to Change Up Your Style Without Buying New Clothes

In this guide, I'll show you how to change up your style without buying new clothes. You don't necessarily need to shop and continuously add new things to your closet to change a look or come up with new outfits.

I have some very basic day-to-night outfit formulas for you. I'm going to style them for work and then restyle them to look a bit more casual for date night or going out with friends.

As we go through the outfits, I'm going to do a bit of a style analysis and comparison between the two different styles that I'm creating. Having a clear understanding of the different styles means that I can really build looks with intention.

1. Structure and tailoring

Some of the key themes that stand out for me when I think of traditional office attire are structure and tailoring. So, we're talking blazers and trousers with a crisp front pleat. These clean lines and sleek edges really lend themselves to that sense of authority, which can be very empowering.

Tailoring is also a huge theme in office attire generally, and I'm not just talking about something traditional like a two-piece or a three-piece suit. Sometimes it's just a little bit of tailoring to make sure garments fit beautifully and that they're not too shapeless or baggy.

Fit and tailoring are just as important when it comes to casual clothes. However, there can be a more relaxed sense to them, which might mean pieces of clothing with a little more movement and flow, and less structure.

2. Subtle styling tweaks

The little styling tweaks from day to night wear might seem subtle, but they do bring attention to an outfit. Things like wearing closed-toe shoes instead of sandals can make a huge difference for an office look.

In casual looks, such as this one, we have a fun element of mixing styles together. So something a little bit more street style and edgy, with something feminine.

Playing with these style genres is a really easy way to make your outfit feel more playful and ready for social activities. 

3. Playing with balance

Traditionally speaking, office attire is a little more balanced; there isn't a lot of drama in terms of volume or silhouettes. There is nothing too crazy happening, everything is a little bit quieter and understated in terms of proportions, and I think that goes for accessories as well.

I also find that styling techniques for office wear feel a little bit more buttoned-up, so shirt collars come up a little bit higher, and maybe cuffs are buttoned all the way down. 

4. Texture and color combinations

With more casual looks, there’s a little bit more of an appreciation for different textures and color combinations. In the casual outfit, I’ve added some pops of color in the tassels on my shoes and the scarf on my bag. With a casual outfit, you can be a lot more bold and edgy with your color palette.

The tassel detail of the shoes and the loose flowy knot also add some texture play to my casual outfit. In terms of silhouette, we can see that the casual outfit is a lot more loose, free, and flowy, whereas the work outfit has more structure and definition to it.

5. Different fabrics

Compared to casual outfits, fabrics found in workwear—whether it’s silk or linen, or wool—feel a little bit smoother and softer, and I think that there is a bit less of a texture play.

In the formal look here, the thick blazer adds an element of gravitas to the outfit. The buttoned-up shirt and blazer of the formal outfit contrasts with the open neckline of our casual look.

And those are my five work-to-play looks. Using a bit of creativity, it is possible to transition an outfit from day-to-night or smart-to-casual. Not only is this more sustainable than constantly buying new clothes to add to our wardrobes, but it will also save you money as well.

Knowing how to style your clothes in different ways and for different occasions will really allow you to get the most out of them.

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