If you’re anything like me, a good trip to the mall or a 20-minute jaunt on your favorite online retailer’s site can really do wonders for your mood, but probably not your bank account. How glorious would it be if your wallet loved to shop as much as you do? So that brief dream sequence got me thinking about how I could get the most bang for my buck out of the clothes that manage to sneak into my cart when I’m not looking – isn’t that how this whole ‘shopping’ thing works? Go looking for one thing, and come out with 10… am I right?

For many of us, the changing seasons are generally the protagonist for a closet over-hall. Whether you’re donating, selling, swapping out your shorts for pants or finally returning that cute top you borrowed six months ago, there is some serious movement going on in there. Here are a few tips to creating a flawless wardrobe that can take you from beach to blizzard in a snap! (And, if you’re reading from a place where you don’t encounter blizzards, then let’s be friends so I can have a tropical place to visit).

What To Do: Layer

Before you pull a 180 and toss those light and frilly summer staples to the side, take a minute and think about the art of layering. This technique is a god’s send for many reasons. Not only does the effortless look of multiple layers make for a really chic ensemble, it’s also extremely comfortable, and pretty amazing if you’re a beauty on a budget because you’re incorporating items you already have.

How To Do It:

– Pair shorts with tights and a chunky knit and you could be well on your way to being stylish and warm without the bulk that you may experience with jeans or other pants paired with the same oversized top. Keep in mind that you can use your standard tights for a polished office-ready look or knit ones to keep things more casual.

– Don’t discount those short sleeve shirts, either! They are perfect under a pullover sweater for extra warmth, or use with a cardigan for a pop of color or to add a playful, graphic element.

– Also, feel free to layer on top of summer maxi dresses. Just remember to be mindful of your stature. Sometimes, this look can be overpowering on tiny frames– you wear the clothes, they don’t wear you!

What To Do: Use Color

Pay special attention to color. Certain hues are season-neutral and can be as current in blustery January as they are on your bathing suit in the warmer months. Win!

How To Do It:

– Take white, for example. The “no white after Labor Day” rule is basically obsolete and for that we should rejoice because white/ivory is one of the hottest colors for fall and winter. This color can easily transition from being nautical to cozy with the help of a few accessories and the right fabric (sorry linen lovers, leave those breezy tops and bottoms for summer).

– Looking for other versatile colors? Think navy, black, mustard/yellow, and even the right shade of green – after all, emerald is so in right now.

What To Do: Accessorize

– Your neck, wrists, ears and fingers get lonely, too, ya know! Help keep them happy with your favorite accessories. Aside from the occasional novelty item, these babies can be instrumental in pulling together a killer outfit regardless of the weather.

How To Do It:

– Those bright statement necklaces and rings you purchased months ago could be just what the color-blocking doctor ordered to beat the winter blues.

– Sunglasses. There is sun year-round, just in varying strengths so finding a great pair that complements your face shape and works with your style is key. Personally, I’m a gold aviator and tortoise shell sunnies kind of gal. Protecting your peepers never looked so good.

– Play with scarves! Some are made from super versatile fabrics that can work throughout the year. Just be careful with patterns – anchors and floral prints may be a little tough to pull off when the temps plummet. But, if you choose to rock them anyway, bonus points for self-expression and for just being fun and fearless.

What’s your favorite year-round piece?


Closet image via ShutterStock; Shopping bags image via ShutterStock