Want to refresh your wardrobe for 2020? Here’s how, according to two experts

From adding variety to cleaning out old favorites, these expert tips from two NoVA-based stylists will help you take control of your look in the new year.

woman organizing closet
© New Africa / stock.adobe.com

Each day when we wake up, one of the first things we do is head to the closet and decide what outfit to put on. While this is a quick and easy process for some, for others it can be daunting, as they aren’t fully satisfied with the options they see. 

If the above sentence resonates with you, it might be time to reconsider your personal style as we enter into a new year. Here, Naina Singla and Kelley Kirchberg—two experienced stylists in Northern Virginia—share exactly how to hit the style refresh button.  

What are some realistic goals people can make and stick to when it comes to changing their style in 2020?

Singla: Don’t try and completely alter your style and commit to doing a closet overhaul  in one day—it’s overwhelming. Instead, set small goals when it comes to your wardrobe and style and do it gradually in steps. First, you should define your personal style and know your signature style … before you start editing your wardrobe, really think about how you define your personal style and what types of clothes make you feel and look your best.

Spend an hour sifting through items and first discard items that don’t fit, are worn out, or don’t match your current style. I suggest following the two-year rule—so if you have not worn an item the past two winter seasons, then say goodbye because you will likely never wear it! On another day, organize your wardrobe by sorting through and separating items by category and color: pants, tops, dresses etc., and then organize from light to dark. From there, you can assess what’s missing from your wardrobe. Do you have the key foundational pieces in your wardrobe? If not, make a list and start adding these key pieces. 

Taking these small steps will lead to a more refined style. It doesn’t happen overnight, but you can slowly tweak your style and make it more current so it reflects who you are today. 

Kirchberg: Small change in how you accessorize or style pieces gives a fresh feel to what you wear. Changing your “style uniform”—aka the silhouettes you wear each day—makes a big impact. For example, instead of jeans and a blouse with boots, add variety in what you wear each day to be more eye-catching and unexpected. Also, shop your closet: Find the pieces you love to wear that you feel confident in. You can style your favorite pieces with new things or in a different way than you normally would wear them. 

Lastly, add one final touch to each outfit. This can be a bold lip color, switching a jewelry piece from what you wear every day to a statement or changing your go-to shoes and boots to make a statement, with animal print, snakeskin or embellishment.

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Tell me your top three tips for those who choose to clean out their closets this month.

Singla: In addition to what is mentioned above, try to continuously edit your wardrobe, especially with the change of seasons. I recommend keeping a bin in your wardrobe where you routinely toss items in you no longer want. Another tip is to invest in good hangers. It’s nice if they are all matching. I love these velvet slim hangers from Amazon. They are durable, non-slip and come in a variety of colors. Lastly, store things in the right place. Knitwear and sweaters should be folded and shoes should be out of boxes where you can see them. Also, store more expensive items properly too. Designer bags go in dust bags when possible. If you constantly rotate and use your bags, then keep them on a shelf stuffed so they don’t lose their shape.

Kirchberg: Your closet should be filled only with clothing and shoes that both fit you well and you know how to style and wear. First, go through your closet pulling out any items that need tailoring. Simply hemming pants, tapering pencil skirts, or changing buttons gives a fresh new look to clothing you own. Second, reorganize your closet displaying clothes, shoes and accessories, grouping pieces you wear together in outfits—if you add a blazer or cropped jacket over an outfit, those go in a group. Your closet should visually make sense and be displayed for your lifestyle and what events you dress for. Third, place any clothes, shoes and accessories that you aren’t quite ready to get rid of in a box or different closet. Do a six-month check to see if you have grabbed any of those pieces to wear. If not, consign or donate them.

Are there any big trends you expect to see grow this year?

Singla: Colorful and vegan leather; classic blue (Pantone color of the year); Bermuda shorts and shorts suits; updated cardigans, which are button down cardigans with a modern, chic look; polka dots, stripes, pleats and puff sleeves will be seen in 2020, as well. 

Clothing rentals and eco-conscious shopping are also going to be big. Rent the Runway has really taken off, and reselling fashion is popular too. More of my clients want me to shop more sustainably for them (Reformation, Everlane, etc.).

Kirchberg: The exaggerated sleeve or puff shoulder will continue to be a hot trend in 2020. From one-shoulder dramatic print dresses to blazers, blouses and dresses with extreme puff shoulders, go for the statement sleeve to be on trend. 

Cool cardigans will be a statement piece for winter and spring too. From bold animal prints to color blocking and outrageous designs, these aren’t your basic button down knits, but chic and modern layering pieces. Embellishment shoes: ankle boots, loafers, flats and heels continue to make a statement from head to toe … prints dazzle the feet in 2020.

Do you plan on making any personal style changes this year?

Singla: Since I have been pregnant for the past eight months, I haven’t bought a lot of new clothes and I have been wearing more black than usual because I think it’s the most flattering on me during pregnancy. I have also purchased items that are not super expensive because I knew I wouldn’t be wearing them for a long time. 

In 2020, I will go back to buying more high-quality items that really fit my style and lifestyle. I’d also like to incorporate more color like navy, cream and maybe even buttercup yellow into my wardrobe. In December, Pantone announced classic blue as its color of 2020, so maybe I will add this hue to my wardrobe.

Kirchberg: I plan to go outside the box more, aka more daring in different silhouettes and bolder mixes of colors and prints. I’ve always been a fan of statement accessories, so bold, outrageous boots and heels will be a go-to this year.

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