Spring 2023 Is All About Loving What You Already Own

Fashion experts say the best trends are already in your closet.

Placeholder Closet

Getty Images

Every so often, we look at our closet full of clothes and piles of shoes and think, “Ugh, I really need some new stuff.” It’s not necessarily our fault — with new ‘cores’ popping up every day (Barbiecore, Mermaidcore, Gorpcore, Schoolcore, etc.) and micro trends aplenty, we’re constantly being tricked into thinking we need to spend money to look good. Perhaps worst part of it all is that, deep down, we know that’s not true. And that’s especially the case for spring 2023.

While this time of year tends to be all about a seasonal refresh and finding pieces to add to your wardrobe, we’re hoping to make the most of what we already have. After all, most today’s top trends are either super nostalgic or basic staples, and it’s likely that, hidden somewhere in between the jeans you wear every day and that strappy dress you wore once, there’s a treasure trove of stuff that will work for the months ahead.

“Finding new ways to wear pieces you already own will help you maintain your personal style, optimize your closet, and reinvigorate your love for the items you already have,” says personal stylist Abigail Valentine. The pro adds that it’s a great time to get creative, styling shirts backwards or knotting them in new ways. “It’s important to make fashion fun and keep it new and exciting without spending money on each new trend.”

On top of keeping your budget in check, textile expert and co-founder of textile care brand Steamery, Frej Lewenhaupt, points out that rewearing old clothes is better for the environment.

“If you buy new just for the sake of a new micro trend, you will end up over consuming, which leads to tons of textile waste ending up in landfills,” he says. “Once they end up in a landfill, it can take hundreds of years for the materials to decompose.”

Still, the trickiest part is figuring out where to begin, so we turned to fashion experts, who agreed that 2023’s top trends are likely tucked away in your collection. Ahead, they shared their best tips for how how to rewear and love what you already own.

Get Nostalgic

Loving What You Already Own

Getty Images

It’s not news that ‘90s and Y2K trends continue to resurface, and stylists are betting that a variety of “in”-again styles are already sitting somewhere in your closet.

“Wide leg pants and baggy jeans are big this year,” personal stylis Elysha Lenkin tells InStyle. “So are retro sneakers and the simple and utilitarian styles we wore in the 90s and Y2k.”

Lenkin recommends scheduling time to really sift through what you (probably) forgot you had.

“Don't forget to explore the dark corners and rarely visited sections, as these areas often have your hidden treasures,” she advises. “Once you've rediscovered these gems, experiment with different combinations to create new and exciting outfits.The trick is to keep it light — have fun and get creative!"

DIY and Experiment

Loving What You Already Own

Getty Images

Another easy way to make the most of old clothes is to knot, twist, and fold them into something new(ish). 

“Use a tank, sleeveless or short sleeve dress as a jumper over a blouse or sweater,” Hollywood costume designer and private stylist Leesa Evans tells us. The pro also dares us to break out those scissors. “Try shortening your wide-leg jean or pant mid calf to make a culotte, or cut off the sleeves of an old sweater to make a vest,” she says, although recommends head to the tailor for that last one “so it doesn’t unravel.”

Add a Little Extra

Loving What You Already Own

Getty Images

Many people consider accessories to be an afterthought — a bit of sparkle or texture to blend in with the rest of your look. But an old hat or belt can be used as your outfit’s statement piece.

“Don't be afraid to add accessories and a diverse pattern,’ says Pilar Scratch, celebrity wardrobe stylist, and adds that “a pop of color always brings an older outfit back to life.”

Valentine agrees, saying that accessories “make an outfit feel intentional and well-styled.” Her go-to for 2023 will be long drop earrings. 

“Big, long earrings are making a comeback this year,” she tells InStyle. Even if you don’t own drop earrings, there’s a workaround. “Try connecting hoops you already own to one another in order to achieve this look.”

Break Out the Basics

Loving What You Already Own

Getty Images

Thankfully, so many of spring 2023’s top trends involve wardrobe staples — trousers, button-downs, and, accord to stylist Tara West, blazers.

"Whether it’s long or short, single-button or double-breasted, a well-made, finely tailored blazer is a mainstay for any wardrobe,” she tells InStyle, and recommends livening up with piece with a sheer top.

Valentine is a fan of blazers, too, and says that adding a belt to this layer is a fun way to turn this piece into a top. In fact, she’s all for reinventing old workwear and making those pieces more versatile.

“Try styling your workwear out of the office by pairing a tailored trouser with a chambray shirt for day and a leather jacket at night,” she tells us.

Make it a Maxi

Loving What You Already Own

Getty Images

Our top fashion rule is always wearing what makes you comfortable and feel your best. However, if you really want to refresh you outfits, trade that mini for a maxi skirt.

“We've already seen celebrities like Kendall Jenner and both Hadid sisters wearing different versions of the trend,” Susan Padron tells us. The personal stylist says that “instead of buying a new skirt, wear a maxi dress that's already in your closet and layer over it to give the look of a maxi skirt.”

If you don’t own a cropped top, Padron tells us to simply add belt to the look, then tuck a sweater or top layer into the belt for the same effect. “Also tie your button down in a knot at the waist to accentuate the curves of your body.”

Try a Temporary Fix

If you’re really itching for something new but aren’t into racking up a huge bill for stuff you might wear once, another solution is renting clothing and accessories from services such as Nuuly. Sky Pollard, Nuuly’s Head of Product, says that after seeing so many casual metallics on the spring 2023 runway, the site curated a collection of similar pieces to make it easier for customers to test them out.

“That will be a great way to experiment with this trend without the bother of having to find them yourself, and more importantly, save on those dry cleaning bills!”

Related Articles