shop in your own closet - hm conscious

What happens when you let someone with style shop in your closet

Do you want a fresh look at your existing wardrobe? Ask someone who knows you and your style to pull a few outfits from your closet for you. I took this to the test with Sanne, and I can wholeheartedly say it was a successful experiment. Like me, you may find that you don’t need to go shopping at all. Get inspired by the six outfits Sanne paired together.


About a week ago I made the decision to put a stop on shopping clothes for a year, with the loophole being allowed to make them myself. I hadn’t really thought about what this actually meant, but the reactions I got, soon cleared this up. This was huge. 

  • Omg, you’re so brave and inspiring!! 
  • Wow, I could never do that. Good for you. 
  • Wait, what, really? A year?

You would think I’d declared joining the Peace Corps for a year. Was this really such a big deal? Had I underestimated this? Was I going to crack and become a scheme that was shopcelibate by day, and shopaholic by night? 

Sanne roaming through my closet

Nonetheless, there was no point in second guessing. The word was already out there and I’d made my promise. Besides, I had accomplished bigger challenges than this. My former blog and first book was about finding out how to save the world. For my research I performed a good deed everyday for a whole year and blogged about it. 365 good deeds and 365 blogs.

This challenge had to be so much easier, considering the whole point is not doing something.

Fresh look

The first thing on the agenda to get through the buying drought, was a thorough and unbiased inspection of my closet in order to discover new possibilities. I could think of only one person who was up for this task. She inspired me to participate in the no-buying-challenge and is my fashion blog partner in crime; the ever stylish Sanne.

Sanne was also the one who suggested we should go on a shopping trip in each other’s closets since the start of this blog. So we decided this was the perfect moment to follow through with her idea. Sanne would come over and put together new outfits with my wardrobe.

Half an hour before Sanne arrived, doubt and panic started to seep in. I know this sounds silly and childish -it’s a dress up party for crying out loud- but I started to feel self concious about my clothes, my misbuys and the mess in my closet. I tried to Marie Kondo my way out of it. In just twenty minutes I had my whole wardrobe reorganized. What humans are capable of when the need is dire.

It appeared Sanne coped with her own uncertainties as well. Among other things, she worried about not being able to assemble an outfit that would suit me.

it shows the discomfort we all have to go through when we are trying something new

Why am I telling you this, instead of showing you the outfits Sanne created right away? Because it shows the discomfort we all have to go through when we are trying something new. Even people who have this effortless je-ne-sais-quoi-style going on like Sanne. Maybe it encourages you to start shopping in your friends closet too, gathering outfits that the owner would’ve never thought of. Or the other way around: let a friend restyle the clothes you own. There is something to be said for the way we see ourselves versus the way others see us.

Sanne and I confessed our nerves, laughed about it and we ended up having so much fun trying stuff. After just two hours it felt like a whole new wardrobe was given to my disposal, without spending any money.

And now, after all this talking, I present to you six new outfits assembled by Sanne:

1. Suit up casual

This suit is a tad large for me and I have a complicated relation with plaids. So I still don’t understand how I came home with this suit after a clothing swap party. But it’s here now.

Sanne found a way for me to start wearing it. She combined it with a hoodie to cover up the oversized bottoms and sneakers. And it created a whole new Pharrell-Williams-meets-Barney-vibe that I really enjoy.

2. Color blocking

Totally in love with this combination! I’m a sucker for vibrant colors and comfort, so I’ll definitely wear this outfit. Want to try this at home? See if you can find shoes, trousers, skirts or blouses in similar colors and pair this with a garment in an opposing or clashing colour.

3. Let it flow

So looking forward to spring with this combo! I can’t wait to stroll around in it on the first warm days.

It wasn’t love at first sight though. I thought: nice, but I won’t wear this. It’s not my style. But after looking at the pictures a few times, it grew on me.

It shows how you can broaden your style by inviting another pair or eyes in your closet.

4. Vintage heaven

I never thought about combining my collarless blouse with this floral jumpsuit. They’re both vintage pieces that I’m really fond of so this is a win win combination!

5. Wedding vibes

This jumpsuit is proof of how installing apps from stores on your phone, will make you buy stuff you don’t need. It’s by H&M Conscious. I installed the H&M app because I purchased some necessities for my daughter Norah, like rompersuits, soks and leotards made from biological cotton. Therefore I received points that I could collect on their app, that gave me these discounts, but only until a certain date.

Before I knew it, I was scrolling through clothes from H&M Conscious in the ladies department. I fell in love with this jumpsuit and added it to my favorites. I restrained myself from buying it. But, two months later a notification came up that it was on sale. I also had a wedding coming up. It was too much. I bought the suit. The wedding was canceled because of Covid and I haven’t worn it once. It’s so glamorous and I don’t know how and when to wear it.

Sanne came up with an easy but brilliant suggestion. Wear a white shirt underneath it. I hadn’t thought of it, because the fabric is so delicate, I assumed it would get all lumpy and ugly. But it didn’t. It looked lovely. It’s still a very glamorous look, but paired with sneakers and a short sleeved turtleneck, this jumpsuit seems so much more accessible and wearable.

6. Paris, je t’aime!

This black skirt is eight years old. Calculated to human years she’s over sixty. That’s quite an age. It would be disrespectful to make her spend her last days behind closed curtains. But that has been her reality for the past couple of years. I couldn’t remember why I didn’t wear it more often.

Sanne gave it a classic French turn that I like a lot. I even considered rewatching Emily in Paris, although it was only two months ago that I binged this ringarde serie. But then I remembered why I almost never pick this skirt.

It’s too tight. The first half hour everything seems fine, but then my stomach starts to churn by a lack of breathing space.

Another variation with a chunky cable knit

Luckily I have found some very simple hacks to solve this problem. One of them is adding small side panels, which loosen the skirt and add texture and charm to the garment. I’ll keep you posted about how this turns out.

I hope you enjoyed our shopping in your own closet adventure. Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences about this concept!

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