Create new clothing choices by mixing and matching.

Mixing Clothes to Create New Outfits

by Erica Loop

If you are looking for a simple way to save money on your fashion obsessions, mixing clothes to create new outfits can maximize your wardrobe while minimizing your spending. Instead of buying even more matching ensembles to add to your closet full of clothes, pull pieces from pairs and mix them up to make exponentially more options.


There's no reason to pack four or five bags that you'll have to drag around -- and most likely have to pay extra for on your flight -- when you can save space by mixing outfits for your trip. Instead of sticking to specific sets, pack pieces that you can mix with each other and create even more ensemble choices. For example, pack a plain black cotton dress that you can add a sweater or a loose fitting tank over for a casual look or dress up with a statement necklace. Another option is to pack a pair of black leggings that you can couple with a skirt and blouse for a dressy day or wear with a long T-shirt for a more relaxed appearance.


Solid piece aren't the only things that can be mixed; but when working with prints, it's important to be strategic so you don't leave the house looking like a costume-clad clown. Avoid over-mixing patterns that clash and look more silly than stylish. If you would rather look eclectic than outrageous, follow the fashionistas at "Glamour" magazine and balance the patterns -- choosing a smaller print to go with a chunkier one. For example, mix a fine printed floral dress to go under a wide-striped cardigan. Color is another consideration to keep in mind. Keep the colors within the same shade for each piece, adding a subtle hint of another hue on an accent piece such as scarf or your shoes.

Season Switch

Instead of packing away your full winter wardrobe when spring sets in, mix and match your seasonal clothes to create unexpected outfits. While you won't want to pair your ski pants with your favorite summer tank, you can add in key pieces to make a brand new look. For example, try a dressy winter bootie -- not a snow boot -- with a spring skirt. Another option is to pull out the cool-weather chunky cardigans and match them up with a swinging summer dress or denim cut-offs. When mixing your seasonal clothes together, keep it simple and take the temperature outside into consideration.

Day To Night

It's unlikely that the same suit that you wear to work in the morning will make an ideal date-night look. Mixing key pieces of clothing can transform your daytime outfit into an evening ensemble, without having to make a total change or packing two separate styles. Making this change is often as easy as swapping out your plain work shoes for a dressier look or switching your dark blazer for a brightly colored jacket or an embellished sweater. For example, if you start with shift dress under a matching blazer during the day, take off the jacket and add a sequined cardigan and stiletto heels for a nighttime event.

About the Author

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.

Photo Credits

  • Polka Dot RF/Polka Dot/Getty Images