Over 50 style

How to Perfect Your Look with this Affordable Closet Makeover

Updated October 30, 2023
closet makeover


A closet makeover is just what we need to banish the same old clothes blues isn’t it? If you’re like me it’s hard to remember what’s in your closet season to season. There’s no better time to refresh your closet than spring or fall but you can try this year round.

Just as we rearrange furniture and accessories to create a new look at home; tweaking our wardrobe can happen without breaking the bank. It doesn’t have to mean buying new clothes but hopefully discover new outfits already hanging in our closets.

Our ultimate goal is to only wear clothes that makes us feel fabulous. Got it? Keep a pen and pad handy.

Closet Makeover – Shop Your Closet Tips

Step One

Take everything out of your hanging wardrobe or closet, one item at a time. Start creating one pile for pants, one for tops, sweaters, skirts and dresses.

Inspect each item carefully. You’re looking for pilling, stains or rips. If the pilling is minimal consider investing in a clothes shaver. It took me forever to buy one but they’re amazing little sweater savers. Toss anything that looks grubby or you’re even slightly embarrassed to be seen wearing.

Trust me on this one! Make a “donate” pile for wearable items you’re tired of or that you haven’t worn in over 6 months.

Step Two

If it doesn’t fit, it also goes in the toss or donate pile. No exceptions. Got a pair of pants you never wear because they’re just a little too tight at the waist? Let them go. They’ll just be a constant reminder of the money you spent, not how great you look wearing them.

Same goes for that velvet jacket that’s now the wrong cut. Thanks fashion gods! I’ve lost count of how many times velvet has gone in and out of style, but if the cut and length is wrong you’ll never wear it. Trust me on this one.

Now hang your favorites back in your closet. As you’re putting them back, take that extra step and sort your pants, tops, sweaters, dresses etc to hang in groups.

Step Three

Get started with your “bottoms”.  Pull out one of your pairs of pants or slacks. Next step is to find three tops to pair nicely with this pair of pants. It’s best to do this in natural daylight so you can get a true idea of color. You want at least three good flattering matches for each pant, skirt or bottom. Think of the pants are your base layer.

Can’t find at least three tops? If a skirt is fabulous then make a note on your pad such as “sexy black pencil skirt”. Keep it on the hanger and move on. We’ll get to that later.

Every “bottom” should have at least three mates and if they’re not fab, drop them in the DONATE pile. Sometimes you have to be ruthless to be chic!

Step Four

Now move on to your “tops”. Which ones are you going to keep? Which ones are flattering, in good knick and look great with more than one pair of pants or skirt? If you’ve got some tops that don’t really go with anything at all, then they need to go in your DONATE pile, right?

Unless they’re smokin’ hot and fit you like a dream. In which case, make a note on your pad “peasant blouse that makes me look like Sophia”.

Step Five

Ideally each pair of pants, jeans or skirt in your closet should create an outfit with one or more of your tops.

Next pull out your jackets, blazers or cardy sweaters and repeat the process. Does the jacket go with several outfits? I’ve had awesome jackets that I adored but I ditched them when it became clear they were no longer fashionable or working with anything else in my closet. Now’s the time to be unmerciful.

Leather bomber jackets or winter coats are different, they’re OK to keep. Unless they’re in bad knick or out dated.

Step Six

Whew, almost there! Now be just as ruthless with belts and shoes. If the shoes are worn out or uncomfortable, donate or toss them. While you’re trying on an outfit, try on the shoes you plan to wear with it. Does it still work or do you need another shoe or boot to make it chic? If the outfit is on point, but you don’t have the shoes to pull it off, make a note on your pad, “shoes for grey wool flares”.

Step Seven

Alright my love, you’ve made it. You only have in your closet what you love and what loves you back. We’ve come to the best part. Take your little notepad and go shopping because now you know exactly what holes in your closet you need to fill. That little black skirt? Does it need a daytime blouse or a nighttime glittery plunging neckline?

It may help to take a snap of the piece as a reminder. I’ll use my phone since I always have it with me.

Only buy NEW to finish a look with pieces you already have hanging in your closet.

Keep it affordable by only shopping consignment shops and thrift stores. But make sure it goes with what’s hanging in your closet! Pick up some new hangers too while you’re at it. The Container Store makes a nice white wooden one.

A closet makeover can be a little tough. We just have to channel our inner Marie Kondo and remember only keep what gives us joy. You’ve just taken the first step towards looking chic and pulled together. Try always to run any new potential purchase through the  “does this make me feel fabulous” and “do I have anything to go with it in my closet” filter. Congratulations, you did it!

Ready to shop for some new favorites? Try my shopping resources.



About Author

With over 30 years in a creative role in advertising and publishing, and a lifetime of journeys between the US and UK, I've created Hipoverfifty for you. I hope my journey and perspective will guide you on yours.