It's really important to be innovative when it comes to clothing. When you consider buying an item, you most likely think about what you have in your wardrobe to go with it. You decide which shoes will go best and which purse will work well. You look at the item's versatility and how you can pair it with other pieces. This is totally normal...we all do this.
The one thing I always do is look at a piece not just as a single item, but at how it can transform itself and be something else. How can a skirt not just be a skirt? What other things can I do with a scarf besides wear it on my neck? By looking at a item this way, you can build an entire wardrobe with just a few pieces!
I call these types of items "convertible clothing" and here are some examples...
1. Long Skirt as a Maxi Dress
I discovered this convertible piece by accident. I was obsessing over buying a black and white striped maxi dress last year and could not find one that I liked enough (except the Rugby dress that I mentioned here - I wish I had a time machine!). I did, however find this adorable maxi skirt from Hive & Honey on Piperlime and I kept thinking I wish it was a dress! After thinking about it, I realized why could I not make into a dress? I ordered a size up (M) and used it as a strapless maxi dress; exactly what I had been wanting! Now I wear the skirt both ways and have two pieces instead of one!
**Tip - I went a size up because I didn't want armpit fat rollover, but when you try it, see what works best for you. The skirt should have decent elastic in the waist to keep it up when wearing it as a dress. If not, it probably won't work. If it fits but you are concerned about it falling, use a bit of fabric tape to keep it from sliding down and/or wear a strapless bra to give it some friction. Oh and experiment with folding over the top as a dress or a skirt...this will give you some versatility and help you adjust the length!
2. Shorter skirt as a strapless mini dress
This was also a fun discovery. I found a very cute coral and creme chevron patterned skirt while browsing Old Navy for some basic tanks last year. I loved the skirt, but kept thinking it would have cuter as a dress. So guess what I did? I found it in one size up and made it into a short strapless dress! This item is a MUST for packing for sunny vacation spots - you can wear it multiple times as completely different pieces! Oh and as a dress, it may be a little too A-Line and flowy for you; if that's the case, add a cute belt and cinch it in!
**Tip - Same applies as above. Make sure it fits up top and does not fall down! Oh and check the length. This works well for me b/c I am 5'2" but if you are super tall, the dress may be...well, a little inappropriate. But it never hurts to try!
3. Scarf as a shirt
Ok, this works for some people. I have to say it can be very dangerous - see my FFFP post here for more details on the danger of scarf tops - but also pretty fun! They key is to get a large scarf - like a wrap - and get creative with it. Wrap it like a halter, use it like a tube top - even twist and turn it into a dolman sleeve top! Check out the video tutorial from American Apparel to give you some ideas! I own a green one and have recently used it as a tube top like the one below.
4. Pants as crops
This is easy but not a lot of people do this. Take your favorite pair of skinny jeans and roll them up with wide cuffs and ta-da - cropped jeans. I mean, why buy these (although they are very cute) when you can take an existing pair of skinny jeans and get the same look!
**This is a really cute with colored denim - esp when the cuffs are lighter. You get a fun two-toned look!
4. Stretch waist mini skirt as a tube top (similar to #1 and #2 above)
5. Socks as leggings - Kidding...but it HAS been done.
6. Dresses tucked into pants as shirts - I actually do this a lot with sweater dresses
These are just a few examples of how you can maximize your wardrobe by looking at items differently and playing around with them to see what works!
And now it's time for a little challenge for you - and a contest!!
Take a second look at your own closet and find some convertible clothes that you already own. Once you do, share your secrets with us in the comments below and/or email me (pictures are great!) and I might feature you in an upcoming post!
Good luck & happy Memorial Day weekend!!