Tired of the same old look? This year, consider spicing up your wardrobe without breaking the bank. I've seen some fashion segments on television that claim to have found new looks for less, but frequently they still run about $60 or more for one new ensemble. If we are looking to save money, we often need to cut more than that from our budgets. Here are some tips I have gleaned that I think will work for a pennies type budget:
- The rule of two matches. Try to buy new garments that can be worn with at least two other things you already own. Minimize the number of wear-alone or distinctive pieces from your wardrobe. If you are going to spend more on one piece in your outfit, make it count for multiple outfits.
- Buy high-impact accessories. You can look just as good in a little black dress (or another solid neutral color) paired with eye-catching accessories. The good thing is that, with the exception of jewelry made of precious metals or stones, your accessories usually cost less than the clothing you are wearing. Again, look for accessories that go with more than one ensemble, such as a floral scarf or a large piece of costume jewelry.
- Buy vintage. This is a huge trend right now, but it has a practical side as well. Frequently you can find high-quality things for a fraction of their retail price. You have to be willing to sift through the worn leftovers, but this time of year thrift stores fill with things people donated for a tax write-off, spring cleaning castoffs, and unused gifts the recipients were unable to return.
- Alter it! If you are cleaning out your closet, consider altering those "mistakes" you wanted to wear, but somehow couldn't. Maybe the sleeves or pant legs were too long, it didn't fit in the bust, or you hated the drape of the skirt. Frequently it is an easy change, but if not, look into your local dry cleaner's shop to see what they charge for alterations. Chances are they would be cheaper than replacing all those clothes.
- Ditch the guilt. If you have held on to clothes that you hate (but maybe you spent a lot of money on them), it's time to let go. You are much less likely to wear clothes that make you feel bad about yourself, especially if you own something you love more. As an added bonus, getting rid of the guilt gives you space for some replacement pieces.