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  • Writer's pictureSumbella

3 unusual ways to make more outfits from your curated closet

In this series of articles we are thoughtfully exploring ideas to help curate your own signature style and a wardrobe that makes you more productive.

There are five parts in this series, and I've written mini, less-than-5-minute articles within each one for you to explore bit by bit.

This article belongs to the Curating chapter:

1 Reconnecting

2 Defining

3 Auditing

4 Curating < we’re here now

5 Sustaining

The Quote

The Analogy

Stationary geeks will resonate: at school I found those multi colour ball pens my teachers had so fascinating. Those pens that have 4 or 5 colour options, and you click down to get the one you want.

They looked unusual too - distinct from the other pens. Yet I realised later on I liked them most because they were so functional. They took up less space than having 5 different pens and I always had what I needed with the one.

The Premise

For a productive wardrobe to work well for you, it’s a bit like one of those pens.

If you consider that the frame/barrel of the pen is the equivalent of your colour palette, your style descrptors, your chosen materials.

Then the clothes themselves are the different outfits inside, they just spring out when you need them, matching seamlessly with the barrel.

Being able to mix and match with just a few pieces depends on good foundational elements, which we covered in earlier chapters.

Let’s look at ways you can make a lot from a few.

The Tips

Here are some ways to curate a functional, beautiful wardrobe. As mentioned, the joy of being able to make several outfits from just a few pieces, begins with the foundations covered in the ‘reconnecting’ chapter.

  • Have a consistent colour palette

  • Use complimentary materials

  • Design 3-4 fall-back styles/silhouettes for yourself

  • Have enough base/block colour layer pieces (like under-shirts, slips, leggings, etc.)

Once those are in place, you can combine your clothes more seamlessly. It becomes easier to do all sorts of things to make new outfits:

Mix & Match

Mix and match bottoms & tops

Seems simple, but once you have a consistent colour palette, materials and styles, you’ll find that one pair of trousers fits well with several other tops or tunics.

Back to front

Turn tops back to front to change necklines and match better with other pieces

This one is such an alternative way to make use of your pieces, especially your staples. It doesn’t work with all types of tops, sometimes only certain ones - but it can unlock a whole new set of options. Try it!

The Tuck

Tuck much longer tops inside skirts or loose trousers

While it can feel vulnerable to tuck tops into trousers or skirts, it often gives a great silhouette and helps unlock even more outfits. Have a go with the ones you have and see what you can unlock.

Do you have other ‘mix and match’ hacks that you love to apply? These three are my favourites, but I’m sure there are many more.


It’s been quite a journey to get to this point where you can make so many outfits from what you’ve curated.

If strong foundations of colour palletes are in place, this ability to mix and match the clothes you have with ease should help things in your closet fall into place more easily.

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