A lovely anonymous commenter popped this doozy into the suggestion box:
I’m not sure if you’ve covered this before, but maybe a post or two about how to revamp your style *without* shopping. Using what you already have. I feel like my clothes are frumpy and unflattering sometimes, but I don’t have the cash to add new pieces right now. What can I do??
Now you might think that a shopping lover such as myself would balk at such a question. But no! I LOVE it! Because there are a billion ways to retool your look without ever spending a dime, and I implement my favorites whenever I get bored with what I’ve got. Here are some easy, cheap ways to amp up your style without emptying your wallet.
Create thematic groups
We tend to parse our clothing very rigidly. This skirt goes with THAT top. Those shoes can only be worn with THESE pants. And yet, who makes those rules? Who’s to say that our clothes can’t bust out of their prescribed cliques and make friends with items from other parts of the wardrobe? To facilitate this cross-pollination, create some capsules. Color and era are both great jumping-off points.
Pull out all of your green garments and accessories. Create a green monochrome look, some analagous looks utilizing blue-greens and teals and purples, try putting green with an unexpected neutral like white or navy.
Pull out all of your 80s-reminiscent items. Take your neons and pyramid studs, your cropped tees and jelly shoes and construct outfits around them. Use only one retro item per outfit, and make sure to utilize clean, classic, era-less basics as the building blocks.
Explore belting alternatives
I know that belting isn’t for everyone, but still believe it to be one of the most effective weapons in the Fight Against Frump. And belting a dress or tunic or a layer beneath a jacket can completely transform your entire look. If you don’t have an arsenal of awesome belts at your disposal already, hit up the thrift store where you can buy several styles for just a few bucks. And, of course, scarves make wonderful belts … especially if you’re a little squishy around the middle and find that structured belts just reconfigure your midsection. For tips on HOW to belt, review Audi’s fantastic guest post.
Raid a friend or family member’s wardrobe
Moms and sisters who wear roughly your size are ideal. Friends and roomies, too. But really any lady you love is likely to lend a few key pieces. And if you’re the lone petite or plus in your family or social circle, hit folks up for accessories. Yes, you’ll have to return these items eventually, but they’ll tide you over until the cash starts flowing again.
Build outfits around closet orphans
To really get those creative juices flowing – and remind yourself that you DO have many lovely things to wear – haul out a few closet orphans. So long as you still love these items and they still fit, they are worth workshopping. Challenge yourself to build three outfits around each closet orphan, and see where this brainstorming takes you.
Overdye or rework
OK, this option isn’t technically free, since you may need to buy a package of dye or some buttons. But it’s cheaper – and better for the environment – than shelling out $4 for a new shirt from Wal-mart, and will breathe new life into your old clothes. If you’ve got an oyster colored skirt that fits beautifully but never gets worn, dye it black. If that blazer would be so much cooler sans those rounded gold anchor-printed buttons, swap ’em out. See if there are ways to rework or repurpose underutilized items.
- How to Make the Most of Your Wardrobe
- What to Wear When You’ve Got Nothing to Wear
- Combatting Wardrobe Boredom
Image courtesy jek in the box.
Originally posted 2009-08-10 05:55:00.