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Wardrobe Do-Overs for Midwinter Fashion Blues

Small tweaks to make your look go from blah to ahhh

spinner image Woman looking at clothes in closet
Westend61/Getty Images

It happens every year just around this time. Suddenly, all your clothes look tired, boring and out of date. You vow to clean out your closet, start a giveaway pile and follow stylish over-50 women on Instagram. Helpful, but in truth, none of these will fix the immediate “what to wear” problem. As a fashion editor-stylist, I know all it takes is one or two trending items at most to reset your attitude and refresh your wardrobe. Choose your favorite.

spinner image (Left to right) Abercrombie & Fitch Women’s Premium Crepe Tailored Ultra Wide Leg Pant in Cream ($100, abercrombie.com); Zara Women’s Belted Faux-Leather Trench in Ecru ($90, zara.com/us); Asos Design Curve Knit Midi Dress With Tie Waist in Taupe ($50, asos.com/us)
Left to right: Abercrombie & Fitch Women’s Premium Crepe Tailored Ultra Wide Leg Pant in Cream ($100, abercrombie.com); Zara Women’s Belted Faux-Leather Trench in Ecru ($90, zara.com/us); Asos Design Curve Knit Midi Dress With Tie Waist in Taupe ($50, asos.com/us)
Abercrombie & Fitch; Zara; ASOS

1. Just add beige

Endless months of wearing black and other dark neutrals like navy, brown and gray can give anyone the blahs. One of the fastest ways to brighten up a wardrobe is to go lighter by adding a statement piece — like a dresstrench coat or pants — in a beige, sand or cream color. Not only are paler neutrals trending, but they’re also classic hues that will stick around for seasons (or even years!) of style.

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spinner image (Clockwise from top left) Sam Edelman Women’s Loraine Loafers in Silver ($170, bloomingdales.com); Seychelles Mya Metallic Clogs in Platinum Leather ($140, freepeople.com); Steve Madden Victorine Mary Jane Flats in Gold ($69, macys.com)
Clockwise from top left: Sam Edelman Women’s Loraine Loafers in Silver ($170, bloomingdales.com); Seychelles Mya Metallic Clogs in Platinum Leather ($140, freepeople.com); Steve Madden Victorine Mary Jane Flats in Gold ($69, macys.com)
Bloomingdale's; Free People; Macy's

2. Opt for metallic shoes

One pair of gold or silver “daytime” shoes can infuse the most humdrum closet with a glam/punk/rock star edge that’s anything but dull. Keep the aesthetic modern by pairing metallic loafers, flats or clogs with basic everyday jeans, pants and midis — not with glitzier “evening” pieces. Since trend forecasters predict a wave of sparkle, shine and shimmer for the spring and summer, you’ll be way ahead of the curve and your clothes will have a festive feeling even on drab days.

spinner image (Left to right) Banana Republic Women’s Western Shirtdress in Indigo ($180, bananarepublic.gap.com); Nic + Zoe Top It Off Denim Jacket in Atlantic ($178, bloomingdales.com); Old Navy Extra High-Waisted Cropped Wide-Leg Jeans for Women in Light-Wash ($45, oldnavy.gap.com)
Left to right: Banana Republic Women’s Western Shirtdress in Indigo ($180, bananarepublic.gap.com); Nic + Zoe Top It Off Denim Jacket in Atlantic ($178, bloomingdales.com); Old Navy Extra High-Waisted Cropped Wide-Leg Jeans for Women in Light-Wash ($45, oldnavy.gap.com)
Banana Republic; Bloomingdale's; Old Navy

3. A denim upgrade

Like a black leather jacket, anything denim gives every 50-plus wardrobe a cooler, more modern aesthetic. The easiest fix is to add a pair of wide-leg, high-waist jeans. This creates a new proportion that updates and upgrades all you wear with it. Not a jeans fan? The new wave of denims include plenty of shirts, dresses and jackets in refined styles. Remember: It’s the mix that makes it work. For example, you might wear a silky blouse with a jean skirt, a denim dress with a leather jacket, or a cropped denim jacket with a floral midi dress.

spinner image (Left to right) Lauren Ralph Lauren Geo Print Faux Wrap Skirt in Black Multicolor ($245, bloomingdales.com); Boden Multi- Ruffle Maxi Skirt in Carnation Garden ($180, bodenusa.com); The Drop Women’s Manon Vegan Leather Wrap Front Midi Skirt in Camel ($54, amazon.com); Ann Taylor Color-Block Wrap Midi Skirt in Night Sky ($109, anntaylor.com)
Left to right: Lauren Ralph Lauren Geo Print Faux Wrap Skirt in Black Multicolor ($245, bloomingdales.com); Boden Multi- Ruffle Maxi Skirt in Carnation Garden ($180, bodenusa.com); The Drop Women’s Manon Vegan Leather Wrap Front Midi Skirt in Camel ($54, amazon.com); Ann Taylor Color-Block Wrap Midi Skirt in Night Sky ($109, anntaylor.com)
Bloomingdale's; Boden; Amazon; Ann Taylor

4. A longish winter skirt

Even if your closet has a bunch of midi dresses, I’ll bet you don’t have a fashionable midi or maxi skirt! In style now, these are on track to become an even bigger hit for spring and summer 2023. A wrap or faux wrap skirt in a midi length — or for those with trendier tastes, a maxi skirt — will reboot all your winter sweaters and boots and also work with tees and sandals when the weather heats up.

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spinner image (Left to right) Eli Tote Bag by Ideal of Sweden in Olive ($160, nyandcompany.com); Ouygzou Handmade Woven Hobo Bag in Wine Red ($56, amazon.com); & Other Stories Grainy Leather Tote Bag in Grass Green ($139, stories.com/en_usd)
Left to right: Eli Tote Bag by Ideal of Sweden in Olive ($160, nyandcompany.com); Ouygzou Handmade Woven Hobo Bag in Wine Red ($56, amazon.com); & Other Stories Grainy Leather Tote Bag in Grass Green ($139, stories.com/en_usd)
New York & Company; Amazon; & Other Stories

5. A new-for-you hobo or tote bag

If anything rejuvenates your clothes quickly, it’s a “wow” bag in a hot color, shape and style. After all, your everyday bag is a constant companion to whatever you wear, and the first thing people notice. Don’t be tempted by yet another black or brown bag on sale (boring!) or by designer “investment” bags at resale sites (so obvious and still so expensive). Instead, look for a soft chic hobo bag (they’re back!) or a puffy tote that’ll stand out in the crowd and in your closet.

spinner image (Left to right) Ebifin Women’s Crewneck Pullover for Women in Pink ($37, amazon.com); J. Crew Waisted Sweater Blazer With Stretch in Classic Pink ($198, jcrew.com); Gap 100% Organic Cotton Big Shirt in Viva Magenta Pink ($47, gap.com)
Left to right: Ebifin Women’s Crewneck Pullover for Women in Pink ($37, amazon.com); J. Crew Waisted Sweater Blazer With Stretch in Classic Pink ($198, jcrew.com); Gap 100% Organic Cotton Big Shirt in Viva Magenta Pink ($47, gap.com)
Amazon; J. Crew; Gap

6. A blush-toned top

Compliments are the ultimate wardrobe wake-up! You’ll get plenty every time you slip on a pink shirt, jacket or sweater. Yes, white shirts do illuminate your face, but a rosy top does that and adds a healthy glow to your skin, making everything you wear look fresher. Shades range from palest ballet tutu and rich vibrant magenta to warm peachy-pinks and cool-blue flushes. You can’t go wrong. Just select a shade of pink you’d choose for a blush, lipstick or nail polish. It’ll be flattering and in constant rotation.

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