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How to shop your closet: Four tips on getting ready for a trip by turning old outfits NEW.

To wrap up summer 2022, we decided on a staycation in the west end of Jamaica. We love Negril and had not been since 2019 due to COVID and the distance! When I tell you, Negril is FARRR from Kingston, in the words of Dames Negril is FURRRRR! But if you’ve ever seen how delicious the beaches are or felt the presence of GOD at sunset, you drive the 4-5 hours west. While getting ready for our mini get away, I stumbled upon a gem that I am compelled to share with you.

Vacation translates to rest, fun, and Instagram worthy outfits right. Well the latter is largely for us women. Dames threw in some shorts and muscle tees, with a pair of jeans and two shirts. Abs is in the ‘I just want to wear my hoodie, Jeans with crocs phase.’ Me on the other hand though, O, I needed outfits.

I started by listing the activities we had planned, even thought about the photo -ops and started visualizing outfit options to suit the experiences. I needed a whopping total of 7 vacation outfits inclusive of swimsuits and cover -ups. I absolutely had to go shopping! Instead of the traditional and most used route to shop online or go to local boutiques, I used this tried and proven brick and mortar gem. – I shopped my closet!

My mom and aunty perfected the art of this shopping technique. They believe in quality and versatility over quantity, I’ve followed suit. I went through my closet and paired pieces I have worn before to create new looks. The only new piece I wore was a top I bought from a locally made and owned boutique, a few months prior.

We left for Negril, early Saturday morning, with plans to stop at the Pelcian bar in St. E. For the long drive, I wanted something comfy with lots of skin out. Nothing feels better on early morning drives than the sun rays kissing your skin! I wore a black and white spaghetti strap silkdress, that I previously wore in 2020 on vacation to dinner.
This time, I swapped the heels, chandelier earrings and red lips for brown flats and a large matching belt to snatch my waist. It served, legs, thighs, boobs and shoulders plus it was super comfy. Win – win.

Once we got to Negril and settled in, by settling in, I mean Abiah got the wifi password and logged in to her games. I changed into my first beach ensemble, to stroll on the beach, stretch my legs and indulge in the glorious display of the sunset when it was time. I wore a one-piece emerald- green swimsuit I’ve used several times before – it’s my fav because of the support for the girls.

Because I shopped my closet, all the cover ups I own were ripped, threading etc, so I used a sheer long sleeved, two toned animal print top and wore it slightly off the shoulder as my cover-up .

For our casual dinner on the west end at pushcart, I wore loose fitting wide leg denim pants, I’ve had for almost 4 years paired with a body suit, I used a few weeks prior to celebrate my friend’s birthday.
The view at pushcart is beautiful, its always a great vibe.

The following day, I wanted to be on the beach before the sun was out, the water is always warmer at that time. I Opted to wear a loose-fitting button-down white tee, I’ve worn way to many times to count, as a cover up for my swimsuit, with cut up jean shorts.
If you’re on my WhatsApp or Instagram, you have seen those shorts before!

Once we were all beached out, I mean wrinkled and shriveled up. we decided to check out the new mall across the road, grab some popsicles at Chill pops and head to Rick’s Café. Chill pops is an aesthetically pleasing gourmet popsicle outdoor shop at the new mall on Norman Manley Blvd. It was literally across the road from country country where we stayed. The popsicles were delish!!!! The customer service was top notch.

If you are in Negril, do yourself a favour – stop by. I wore the top I got from – Boobs galore. Paired with shorts I owned pre pandemic for a sexy, relaxed chic look.

For dinner, we went to #BlueMahoe restaurant- it was our best dining experience on the trip. The service, food, drinks, ambience - 15/10. It was excellent. Abs, rated it Chef’s Kiss. I wore an A-line, semi- pleated blue skirt, with a casual tee I cut, to reveal some boobs – flaunt it if you got it.

All pieces I owned and worn prior.

On our last day, we got dressed to grab some lunch and hit the road, for the journey back home. Comfort is a must, so I wore these causal loose-fitting pants, for the 100th time and a button-down stripped polo shirt I’ve owned since 2015.
I tied at the front for some mid-rib action.

Whoever needs to hear this, it’s ok to re-use your clothes, even if you post online regularly. You bought it because you love it right. Get your money’s worth honey!
Here a few tips for shopping your closet:
1. Take time to know your personal style and your body. What makes you feel your best? What areas of your body do you love to show off, what are the areas you are concerned about and try to conceal. Build your outfits around those key points. E.g, I love to show off my legs and my chest, not so much my stomach and to a lesser extent my back. I create outfits around this. Your outfits should always feel good to you.

2. Invest in quality. This is a tried and proven lesson I keep learning. I still wear a lot of the clothes I brought from Dominica 5 years ago. Stick to your personal style and dabble in new trends very lightly. Always look at the quality of the material before purchasing to gauge durability. There are some wardrobe pieces which are staples and will never not be classy, like a well-tailored white button-down shirt.

3. Everything is not supposed to go in the washing machine – some items are meant to be hand-washed or dry cleaned. We’re investing in quality right, so we must take care of it properly. Always read your labels on how to launder your clothing and be mindful of the detergent that you use. A hack dames taught me, do not hang coloured clothing in direct exposure to the sun. Fun fact, we almost always wash darks and coloured clothing at nights.

4. Mixing & matching is our friend. We have gems sitting in our closets right now, if only we just went through our pieces and paired them with something, we’ve never paired them with before.
Start small:
*Swap the accessories: Add a belt to a casual outfit or pair with an oversized button-down shirt.
*Mix pieces: Pair a casual bottom with a formal top and heels or vice versa.
*Play with you prints: Pair bold prints and patterns with closet staples.
*Take risks with colours: mix and match your colour combinations.
*Get crafty: cut basic tees and jeans to create new looks for mixing it up.

There’s a Jamaican saying that I love ‘ tun yuh han and mek fashion’ which loosely translates to when you need something you will figure out how to do it yourself.

For me, I want to look good when I got out, but I prefer spend the bulk of my trip budget on the actual experience rather than the outfits.

I’d love to hear how you shop your closet, let’s chat in the comments.

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