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How and Why I Updated These 10 Year Old Outfits: Spring

updating outfits 10 years later

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.

 

A few years ago, 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 them 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

 

I actually love this 2013 outfit, but there are a few tweaks that I made 11 years later that make it feel a little more polished.

Here is a breakdown of the updates:

1. I love longer dresses, but for the update, I chose a slightly shorter midi length dress because long dresses with jackets can sometimes be too overwhelming for my smaller frame and I’m drowning in fabric a bit. A shorter dress that shows a bit of leg is a better option for this look, in my opinion!

2. I love an olive jacket, but the olive jacket in 2013 was way too long for this outfit. I opted for a shorter version in 2024 to show a a little more of my figure and more of the dress.

3. Can you see in 2013 that my belt is loose and hanging? In 2024 I chose a belt that fit me better. I have no idea what’s happening in the original photo with that belt, but when wearing belts, choose one that fits!

LULU’S BOMBER JACKET (wearing size XS)  | BODEN DRESS (wearing size 2R) | SIMILAR HEELED SANDALS (exact pair here almost sold out) | APPLE WATCH BAND

 

 

 

This original outfit is actually not bad! I think it’s cute. It just feels very typical of that time — skinny jeans, THEEE gingham shirt we all had to have, utility jacket, and of course the hair bump!

Here’s a breakdown of the updates:

1. First of all I got rid of the hair bump…there are always hairstyles from certain decades that are not worth keeping around, and this is one!

2. Although you can absolutely still wear skinny jeans if they’re your favorite, I updated my skinnies to a cropped wide leg pair. They’re super flattering on my body type and I feel confident in them, so they’re a major win for me.

3. Instead of the gingham shirt, I updated to a more modern stripe. Gingham is classic, but stripe feels a little more updated when gingham was so overdone. I also tucked the shirt in 2024 to elongate my leg line and define my waist!

4. Both jackets here are good options, but with the wider leg jeans, I chose a shorter length to keep from cutting off my leg line.

5. And finally, the shoes. The first boots are a little lower cut and clunky at the ankle, where the new ones are a little taller and slimmer so they give you more of a slender ankle and elongated leg line.

All these little changes add up to be an outfit that I love and feels my style, updated, and flattering.

EXACT JEANS HERE but sold out, SIMILAR PAIR LINKED HERE (size up if in between sizes – use code MERRICKXSPANX for 10% off + free shipping) | SIMILAR STRIPED BUTTON DOWN SHIRT | NORDSTROM GREEN JACKET (my color is sold out, but three other colors are available!) | PEEPERS SUNGLASSES | SIMILAR TAN ANKLE BOOTS

 

 

I actually think this 2012 outfit is pretty cute, but a decade later, I’m ready for a few updates to make it more modern.

Here’s a breakdown of the changes:

1. The 2012 top is a babydoll style, where it cinches in under my bust and the flows out. I emphasized it more with a wide belt. While I don’t hate it, the longer length of the top hits at my hips, which is the widest part of my body, and creates emphasis right there. For the update, I chose a top with a little more fullness and tucked it to define my waist. It puts the emphasis on my waist, and doesn’t draw attention to my hips.

2. The sleeves and the neckline are two other major differences. A short, elastic banded sleeve draws attention to the widest part of my arms, which isn’t a spot I feel self conscious about, but a flutter sleeve doesn’t draw attention there at all. Also you can see I’m wearing a cami under the 2012 top, and now I almost never buy anything that needs a layer underneath cause no one needs more layers in the hot, humid summers,  and I think filling your neckline area with a white cami can ruin the look of the top!

3.  I absolutely loved the 2012 jeans, and they were great for their time, but I updated them to a raw hem straight leg pair they feels modern and chic. Also a giant cuff like that is coming back, and I think it just makes it look like your pants are too long, so I’m skipping that trend.

4. I loved those heeled Mary Jane shoes, but they were NOT practical for everyday life with a 2 year old, and they’re not practical now. I swapped for a simple leather sandal.

5. I can’t tell that I’m wearing earrings, but for the 2023 update, I added simple gold earrings and a few bracelets to elevate the look and add a little sparkle.

SIMILAR FLORAL TOP | SIMILAR JEANS | HERMES SANDALS (budget friendly option HERE)

 

 

Today we’re tackling one of my favorite summer outfits…a basic tee and skirt!

Here’s a breakdown of the updates:

1. The most important difference is the fit of the skirt. Look at where the waistband sits in the 2013 skirt…right across my lower belly, which accentuates that area and makes it look wider. The 2023 skirt sits higher on my narrowest part (natural waist) and flows out from there. It’s just a few inches different and makes a massive difference. I’m literally the same size in both these photos but the fit of my clothes makes my body shape look totally different.

2. Another big difference is the hat. The straw hat from 2013 was SO popular, but a baseball hat is a much better fit for my style and feels more current. If you want to wear fedoras now, they’re very trendy, but choose a wider flat brim fedora, but these tiny straw hats are best left to the grandpas these days.

3. 10 years later, I’ve figured out that my style is just really casual and effortless. A simple slide on sandal is much better for my style than an Oxford. It’s not a bad choice in 2013, just a simple sandal feels more current and effortless and works better for my style.

The striped tee (in crew or v-neck) is a classic and that can stay, as can the classic leather bag. Both were good choices then and good choices now.

 

SIMILAR CHAMBRAY SKIRT | BODEN TEE (wearing size 4) | SIMILAR WOVEN SLIDE SANDALS | MADEWELL HAT | MADEWELL CROSSBODY BAG

 

 

Ok, not AAAALLL of my old outfits are bad… this one from 2012 is ok! For this #MerrickUpdatesOutfits, just a few updates make it feel more fresh and modern.⁠

1. The pants in 2012 are TOO LONG. Bunched up hems are not your friend — they just make your pants look like they don’t fit. Give them a chop or take them to a tailor to hem. I don’t have these pants anymore, so I swapped them for a pair of olive green joggers that fit amazingly and are a little more chic for my 30 something self!

2. The 2012 top is boxy, but not unflattering. Maybe just an inch or two too long for me. I loved that top. But with my body type (hourglass), accentuating my waist is always the most flattering option…so I tucked the 2021 top in for a defined waist.⁠

3. I think I bought those leopard 2012 flats at Target and they were so cheap and uncomfortable (no hate on Target…things have changed in the last 9 years). But the pop of pattern is fun! This time around I chose my leopard loafer mules cause the leopard print is rich and stunning, the shoe matches the sophistication of the outfit, and the almond toe elongates my leg line.⁠

4. Handbags can make or break an outfit (as can shoes!) The 2012 bag was cheapy plasticy faux leather. The 2021 bag is also vegan leather but it’s beautiful and looks way more expensive than it is.⁠

5. I added a bit of jewelry (instead of a hair tie on the wrist) to complete the outfit.⁠

SIMILAR WHITE BUTTON UP TOP | SIMILAR JOGGERS HERE and HERE | SIMILAR LEOPARD LOAFER SLIDES | SIMILAR LEATHER BAG HERE | BUDHA GIRL BRACELETS

 

 

merrick updates outfits yellow top

Here’s a breakdown of the updates:

1. First of all the shape and length of the yellow top. Instead of a long, jersey top, I swapped it for an elevated sweater with a dramatic ruffle sleeve. Not only is the silhouette more elegant, the fabric is elevated as well. And tucking in the top helps define my waist at my narrowest part, rather than cutting at my widest part.

2. The belt! In full disclosure, I was newly pregnant in the 2012 picture, which is why I put the belt up high on the tee. But even so, a belt around a fitted tee is just a 2012 decision that we won’t repeat 😉 In the 2024 outfit, I’m wearing the belt in the jeans belt loops to add some interest to a simple outfit, and define my waist.

3.  I swapped the wide cuff skinny jeans for a cropped straight leg pair of jeans, and swapped the statement necklace for a pair of statement earrings. Both options just feel more modern!

4. And lastly, instead of a flat, thong style sandal, I chose an elevated neutral loafer. Nothing wrong with the sandals, but with an elevated top and chic belt, a pair of elevated shoes makes more sense.

SEZANE YELLOW SWEATER | EDITED PIECES BELT | SIMILAR JEANS | SIMILAR LOAFERS | SILVER EARRINGS

 

I hope these outfit update breakdowns are helpful for you to see what’s in your closet and needs to go!

 

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2 Comments

  1. slope says:

    Your style creates your net worth. Just be confident in yourself.

  2. Talia says:

    What size are you wearing in thr green joggers please?

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