Nothing can kill the buzz of shopping for new, colorful spring fashion faster than a limited budget.
The good news is that you likely already have many of this season’s faves in your closet. Not convinced? MainStreet went to Marjorie “Dree” Harper, on-air fashion expert for HSN and owner of the online vintage boutique TheUrbanCollection.com, for her signature shopping-your-own-closet strategy.
“Get down to the skeleton pieces, which become your foundation of timeless classics,” says Harper. “Once you get to your ‘yes’ pieces, then go through trendy items with a fine-tooth comb.”
Four Key Questions for Every Closet Item
To more effectively sort through a closet, every piece goes through Harper's four-step jettison process:
1. Does it fit?
2. What is its condition? If it's pilled, faded, overwashed or stained, it's out.
3. Does the color work for you? It should flatter, not wash you out.
4. How versatile is it? A good piece will work in several ways.
“Be ruthless,” she advises. “I usually go through my closet with a friend, because you can get attached to pieces and become disillusioned about what really works.”
Harper shopped her own closet just before we called her and here’s what she discovered and brought into her current spring rotation:
The ubiquitous scarf. You have to have at least one buried somewhere. Harper hunted for silk prints, long layering styles and rich solids in unusual textures. “They can change the whole direction and attitude of an ensemble,” Harper explains. “They’re fluid and relaxed accessories. Pair one with a little black dress and instantly you’ll have a more relaxed, confident attitude.” Plus, they’re multipurpose: Harper likes tying them in her hair, on her bag or as a belt.
Statement belts. Instant update! She seeks out styles that can completely transform a look, like a wide croc-embossed belt in a bold color, skinny belts in prints or stretchy corset styles that cinch in the waist. “You can wear the most simple outfit and have a rockin’ belt and you’re done,” she says.
Bold jewelry. Harper raided her jewelry stash for long, layering necklaces, and divided them into silver and gold to shave time off pairing pieces together. Other treasures to keep? Artsy cocktail rings "are the power players in the fashion world,” she says. “You can add a lot to a simple dress with an interesting piece. Add a turquoise pendant necklace to a tank and you’ve raised the style ten notches.” The key? Don’t wear them all at once!