If the clothes in your closet scream last season — or so many seasons ago you can’t even remember when you got them — it’s probably time for a wardrobe update. Clothes are pricey, though, and if your things are still in good shape it seems a waste to toss them. Employ a little creativity and some help from your friends so you can avoid buying new clothes and still look stylishly current.


Clean Up and Organize

An investigation into what you currently own can help you update your wardrobe. You may have forgotten about the perfect little black dress that’s pushed to the back of the closet behind the harem pants and crop tops of last season. Bring classic, foundation pieces — such as black slacks, solid skirts, blazers and blouses — front and center. Explore new ways to pair or layer these items to look updated.

Swap and Share

Chances are you’re not the only one of your friends feeling a little “out” this season. Sometimes clothes aren’t out of fashion, but you’re tired of or uninspired by them. Host a “swap” party, where each of your friends bring five to 10 items of clothing with which they’re willing to part. They then trade those items for others’ giveaways. Depending on the rules of your party, you could leave with as much or more than you came with. Anything not claimed can be donated.

Upgrade Your Accessories

Brighten up a tired outfit with different, fresh accessories. Bangles, shoes, necklaces, gloves, scarves and belts can completely alter an outfit’s vibe. Add colored pumps and a bag to a little black dress to make it work for the office, or add a scarf and cork wedges for a weekend day look. You can also invest in accessories that tap into the season’s patterns and colors so you look up-to-date without scrapping the classics you own.

Tailor It

Take ill-fitting or out-of-date garments to the tailor to update their look. If you’re handy with a needle and thread, you can make the alterations yourself. Turn an A-line skirt into a pencil skirt, or narrow the legs on your 1990s palazzo pants. You can also change sleeve lengths, hemlines, neckline shapes and fit to make older clothes look new.