Healthy and Sane

Building a new wardrobe out of your own closet

March 10th, 2011 · 31 Comments · Uncategorized

Oh my grandmas are going to have a field day with this post!! [They’ve been complaining lately that there aren’t enough pictures of me on the blog. Well get ready, this is going to be a picture overload!!]

You know how I blogged about flattering clothes improving your body image? It really is amazing how an outfit can make or break your mood, especially as you’re working on accepting your body the way it is today!

The other day I was complaining about my lack of clothes (that I like!) and Melissa, the owner of the eco friendly fashion store Ecolissa offered to help me reinvent my wardrobe with a few layering tricks. I thought I was already layering but Melissa definitely took me out of my comfort zone this past Sunday and I have a slew of “new” outfits to show for it. Apparently she could “go on all day” because my closet was full of perfect layering pieces. Who knew?

We started with a few Bloody Mary’s while our husbands were drinking beers and playing video games, and then Melissa went to town on my wardrobe!

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My idea of layering was a camisole under a deep v-neck sweater or a cardigan over a short-sleeve shirt for extra warmth. Man, have I been behind the times! Confused smile Melissa started with laying out all of my basic turtlenecks and long sleeve shirts; the more interesting pieces went OVER those basics (never in a million years would I have put a tank over a turtleneck!!)

What do you think – does this work? I still have to get used to this idea!

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We did a few work outfits too by tucking a long sweater into a skirt and then again – layering one of my summer pieces over a long sleeved tee and finishing it with a belt.

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You see the theme here, right?

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My biggest break-through (that Melissa has been trying to convince me of for as long as I know her!) – leggings! I actually repurposed my Lululemon wunder under crops that I purchased to wear under my other pants when running outside in the winter (I did this once and decided that running in those temps is for crazies 😆 ). They are incredibly comfortable and apparently quite stylish!!

Totally my favorite outfit now!!

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This number felt very Vegas. I finally have a chance to show off those shoes!


Really, we could do this all day long but I think I got the gist of how to put outfits together now. I really do feel like I have a whole new wardrobe now!

Melissa also brought a few Ecolissa pieces for me to try on. Here is the low neck top in black + lark dolman jacket in grey.


I liked the little jacket but I fell head over heels over this Ecoskin Azurite wrap (below)! It has a cute thumb hole and is just incredibly comfortable and I think very flattering. It just draped over my body in that perfect way. And then I added the belt over it and told Melissa I’m not taking it off. 😆 Yup, I bought it instantly. It was love at first sight (apparently Melissa “bought” it from herself as well. It’s one of those pieces that once you put it on, it stays on.) LOVE.


We had a BLAST playing dress-up as Josh kept referring to it. Haha

Edited to add: Melissa is offering all Healthy and Sane readers a 20% discount on all Ecolissa purchases. Enter hs20 under discount code. :)

After dinner and drinks at The Other Side Café it was sad to have the evening and the weekend come to an end.


[Original Sin hard cider + Nature Boy plate]


[Pressed Greek sandwich]

Thank you, Melissa!! […and Josh, you’re cool! Winking smile ]

When was the last time you looked at your wardrobe in a new way? Are you into layering and/or leggings? Also, I’d really love feedback on some of these outfits. I’m still not 100% convinced on a few of them!

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31 Comments so far ↓

  • #1 - Joy

    You look so good in so many of them!
    My favorite is the red over the black

  • #2 - Megan

    Now you’re making me want to go through my wardrobe. I always just do sleeveless or short sleeve shirts under v-necks or cardigans. All the outfits you put together look so cute. I always think I need “What Not To Wear” help!

  • #3 - Lauren at Keep It Sweet

    You look amazing AND you look happy! Love that you were able to have so much fun coming up with new outfits.

  • #4 - Lauren @ Healthy Food For Living

    So much fun! You look fantastic, Elina – my favorites are the cropped black pants + white tee + gray tank/vest + skinny belt; the high-waisted skirt work outfit; the all-black outfit; and the wide belt + long-sleeved gray shirt you bought.

    It took me a long time to jump on the leggings and skinny jeans bandwagon (mostly because I thought I’d blend right in with the high schoolers I work with) but now I love it! I can only pull it off with knee-high boots, though – given my short legs.

    This post has inspired me to play around with my wardrobe. Great job, Melissa!

  • #5 - Michelle

    My best friend is about the same size as me but we both have totally different styles and fashion perspectives! Whenever we are together, we play around with each other’s clothes for a new perspective!

  • #6 - MelissaNibbles

    What a fun day! I want a stylist or a designer to come and help me out.

    I’m a huge fan of leggings. They’re comfy and go with everything. I think the dress over the turtleneck would look better over a plain longsleeved t. The turtleneck makes it look very young on you. The dress looks good over the leggings and shirt, but the turtleneck is throwing it off for me. The other looks all look fab!

    • #7 - Elina

      Thanks for this feedback… I’m definitely still struggling with the turtleneck thing. Good to know I’m not completely crazy 😉 Also, I’m now thinking about doing a clothes swap party – maybe we can help each other out to come up with new looks!! 😀

  • #8 - Katie @ Health for the Whole Self

    This is seriously inspiring! I never would have thought to do some of these pairings, but they look great! I like the brown long sleeve shirt with the floral tank over it.

  • #9 - Annie

    I love both of the work outfits with the pencil skirts. Those look great on you. The gray wrap sweater is very cute as well. I have a few similar sweaters that I wear all the time – I throw on a black belt like you did to dress them up. The first outfit with the gray also looked great on you. :) Very fun post!

  • #10 - Stephanie @ The Cookie Battle

    I just recently bought my first pair of leggings, I feel so behind the times! Lol

    I have never been good at layering, but it’s definitely something I need to work on because I have a lot of “summer” pieces that never get worn except in the summer and it’s a shame since they are so pretty!

  • #11 - Tiffany

    Ooh, you know I love this post! 😉 Everything looks amazing (especially the work attire options, and I’m totally digging the Vegas outfit – so excited for that, btw).

    I’ve always thought I was layering the right way, too, but this post is making me think about shopping my closet ASAP.

  • #12 - Elizabeth

    That last gray wrap does look great, especially with the belt.

  • #13 - katecooks

    i love leggings! as long as something covers my butt, i am comfortable wearing it with leggings. i dont really love the tee shirt over a long sleeved top or turtleneck look for myself, but i think you came up with some good looking combos. one of my favorite wardrobe mix-ups is pairing really loose, patterned tees with a more fitted skirt. you can tuck in the top and then pull it out so it is flowy and hides everything you want hidden!!

  • #14 - Jess

    so many great ideas, i especially like your work outfits. they look so modern and fresh, love that you used clothes you already had to create the outfits. i know what i’m going to be doing this weekend!

  • #15 - Jessy

    I have to admit that I’m not that good when it comes to layering and combining pieces. I play it way too safe! I really need to start looking at my wardrobe in a different way and switch things up a little.

    My favourites among your outfits are the last one (what a beautiful wrap! and it fits you perfectly!), your favourite, the little jacket one, the first one (that t-shirt works great over that) and the pencil skirt one. I don’t like the floral dress + leggins one, because in my opinion such thin/light dresses work better with thighs (if anything). In general I do like leggins, as long as they’re not worn as pants.

    You’ve motivated me to start experiment with my clothes more! 😉

  • #16 - Kelly

    I’m horrible at putting together outfits. I am so hopeless that I usually ask for a lot of advice whenever I am shopping, usually Anthropologie. It would be lovely to have someone come into my closet and teach me how to wear my clothes in a new way.

  • #17 - Jessi @ Quirky Cookery I am in love with that wrap! Oh my, so adorable. Love it, love it, love it. <3

  • #18 - Sassy Molassy

    I’m a big fan of the red shirt, black belt and skirt combo AND the very first combo with black turtleneck under your tshirt. I’ve been trying to do more of that type of layering when I’m super cold because I don’t have a ton of thick cozy sweaters. It works like a charm and feels comfy!

  • #19 - Shannon

    i totally need someone to do this for me too! i think i should get those leggings… and that wrap, LOVE. although i have no belt like that, so maybe i just need someone to play dress up in some (cheap) store :)

  • #20 - Lori

    You Look AMAZING! Quite sexy in your work attire! : ) You really do look, Elina. Don’t be so hard on yourself! Work it girl! : D

  • #21 - Olivia

    My fav is the black skirt with the belt and the red sweater combo. Very slimming and the last one with the belted sweater and jeans. All look great but those are my favorites. How fun! You have some fabulous friends. I want someone to redesign my wardrobe! lol : )

  • #22 - One Healthy Apple

    I like both of your work outfits and the grey wrap- very cute. I also like the comment about your grandmas :)

    I guess my only comment is that some of the lighter pieces (lighter, flowy tops) don’t make sense to me with the heavier textures of the turtlenecks, but what do I know? I also gave in to leggings and skinny jeans, but it took some time since I carry my weight in my butt and thighs and I didn’t know how it would work.

    I have been hating my wardrobe lately and I want to overhaul my closet too.

  • #23 - alicia

    omg the grey vest over the white tshirt with the belt + black pants is sooooo cute. also the pencil skirt with the cardigan!! you’re adorable!

  • #24 - Jen @

    What a great way to revamp your wardrobe! I love the “new” looks.

  • #25 - Nat

    I’m a fan of layering but not of long shirts under shorts sleeved shirts, especially for work. Doesn’t look professional.

  • #26 - Marika

    My favorites are the wine-colored shirt under the black sleeveless (you look hot!) and the belted red top with the black skirt. I need to carry some of these ideas over to my wardrobe!

  • #27 - PN

    I love the layer look. I can’t seem to pull it off – but you look adorable!

    I especially love the black and pink tops, the leggings, and the skirt with the black heels!

  • #28 - alicia

    Melissa needs to come to my apartment and do the same with my clothes! its amazing what someone else can see when they look at the same clothes….

    You look great!! I love the red top with the skirt – very va-va-voom!

  • #29 - Kerstin

    Aww, how fun, such cute outfits! And I love the wrap too!

  • #30 - Diana @ frontyardfoodie

    You totally don’t give yourself enough credit sister, you look great! I mean GREAT! Any weight you might have is totally hidden.

    Those outfits are darling! Your friend really does have the magic touch. I should go through my wardrobe and see what I could make out of it.

  • #31 - inna

    woa totally missed this post until i saw it in the suggestions. i like this very much, and have never layered this way before either! too bad i own like ONE long sleeve basic. i’m all “tanks and tees with sweaters” in the winter. guess i have a lot to learn 😉