If you haven’t updated your closet in a few years and aren’t really sure what’s worth keeping or tossing, here are some outfits I’ve worn in the past and how I’m updating them now to be more modern.
Last year I started an outfit update series on Instagram. I replicated old outfits from a decade ago, but updated them to be more modern. You can see it all HERE.
Lots of you tell me that you struggle to update your closets, so here four old outfits with really popular items you probably owned and wore, and I’ll show you how I updated them to be more modern and classic.
Check out the pictures and the explanations to show how and why I updated certain items in my closet.
I hope this is helpful!
How to update your outfits to feel more modern
Upgrade your tee and layers
If your closet is filled with old t-shirts, it’s time to upgrade and add some blouses or “better than basic tops” to your closet. They don’t need to be fancy, but a few non t-shirt tops in your closet are an essential.
In this outfit, I upgraded my slouchy, thin T-shirt and traded it for a blouse with a little more structure and polish. I definitely don’t think T-shirts are bad, but if you want to elevate your look, choose a blouse over a tee.
As for the layer… I love a cardigan, but a cropped jacket with a little more structure is definitely more of an elevated look than a small cardigan.
Skip the tall boots with jeans
Tall boots are classic and currently popular, but feel outdated when worn with jeans. Also the tall boots just feel too heavy for this outfit. A less clunky shoe, like a loafer flat, makes the bottom half of the outfit feel less heavy. You could also do ankle boots.
Add appropriate accessories
You know I’m all about the little details and accessories to finish an outfit, but a beanie and a red lip are the wrong choices for the outfit. The beanie is casual, where the red lip is bold and dramatic, and both feel out of place with the rest of the outfit. In the 2022 outfit, I chose a simple pair of earrings and a half tuck to elongate my leg line. The details in the rest of the outfit or anything but boring, so it doesn’t need more than that.
SIMILAR FLORAL BLOUSE | SIMILAR OLIVE JACKET | GOOD AMERICAN SKINNY JEANS | SIMILAR LEATHER LOAFERS
Choose pants that work for your body
No, skinnies are not out! But the wide leg fit is popular right now and colored skinnies definitely feel dated (remember when we ALL had red skinny jeans??), but wider leg chino pants are modern, and the brown color is neutral enough. But the biggest issue with the old pants is that the skinny jeans are too long…see all that bunching at the ankles? That means you should hem them! Your pants should hit right around your ankle bone or slightly above.
Skip the low rise pants
Look where my top and pants meet in 2011 vs 2021…the high rise is much better suited to my body shape and accentuates the narrowest part of my figure rather than wider down at my hip bones. Also the wider leg is really flattering on my shape to accentuate the hourglass shape.
If high rise doesn’t work for your body type, that’s ok! Choose something a little more mid rise. But don’t choose a super low rise. They’re just unflattering no matter your body type.
Get rid of the super long layered tee
I love a layered striped tee, but a big section of it right at the widest part of my body draws all the attention there…not good! In the 2021 outfit, I tucked my sweater and left a tiny bit of layered striped tee peeking out at the wrists. Just enough to add some interest. I have a video about the long layered tee RIGHT HERE, with some ideas of what to do instead!
SIMILAR WIDE LEG PANTS |SIMILAR BLACK SWEATER |NORDSTROM LAYERED LONG SLEEVE TEE | SIMILAR LEOPARD LOAFERS
Skip the leather on leather
Tall leather boots are great, leather jackets are great. Together, it’s a lot of leather. instead I swapped the shoes for some low key flats…still leather, but much less. Alternatively, you could wear suede or leather ankle boots. Also the tall leather boots are totally fine to wear, but they look more outdated when wearing them with jeans. I have a post about it RIGHT HERE.
In the updated outfit, I’ve combined black and brown with the jacket and the flats, and that’s totally fine. They’re both neutrals and can be mixed. But do black shoes if that feels more comfortable for you.
Pay attention to the length of your tops vs. your outerwear
When you wear shorter jackets, tuck in your tops or wear shorter tops. They should not stick out below your jacket in the front or back!
If you don’t want to tuck your top, just choose slightly shorter tops, or choose longer jackets. I have a whole post about this RIGHT HERE.
SIMILAR LEATHER JACKET |SIMILAR BLOUSE | GOOD AMERICAN JEANS | SIMILAR LEATHER LOAFERS
Create a waist with your outfit
I love a good skirt and top combo, but creating a waist and a shape with your outfit makes SUCH A DIFFERENCE. In the outdated outfit I’m drowning in fabric and you can’t tell I have any shape under there. If you don’t want to tuck or half tuck your top, that’s ok! Just choose a shorter top so you get that waist line (between your top and bottom) at or near your natural waist.
Show some leg with your skirts or dresses
If you still own a floor length maxi skirt, it’s time to either hem it or retire it. Maxi length skirts were all the rage back then, but a shorter skirt is much more flattering (and easier to wear). Something with an A-Line shape works really well for my hourglass shape, but also works for pear and rectangle and inverted triangle body types. Try it.
Choose modern accessories
We all loved colorful statement necklaces back then (nothing wrong with that), but delicate gold jewelry is much more modern so I stuck to simple earrings and a stack of bracelets for this outfit. Also, this outfit has bold, bright colors, so choosing more neutral, simple jewelry is a better option, in my opinion.
Balance your flowy pieces with structured pieces
If you want an extra layer, a long cardigan with flowy skirt is not the best choice. From the back in the old outfit, I was a giant tube shape. Instead, choose a cropped jacket with structure, like a denim jacket, that shows your shape!
SIMILAR DENIM JACKET | SIMILAR WHITE V-NECK T-SHIRT | SIMILAR SKIRT | SIMILAR LEATHER SANDALS | SIMILAR HAIR SCARF
I hope seeing these four examples was helpful to show you what pieces you should add to your closet or retire and update!
See more of these outfit updates RIGHT HERE.
Wearing Loungewear every day is an amazing idea adn all these outfits look good. Thanks for sharing this with us. I really appreciate that. Now it’s time to avail 1 litre bottle for more information.