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The first chilly morning of the season is always a thrill for me, because it means it’s time to build a new winter wardrobe. Of course, on a blogger’s salary, maintaining an up-to-date seasonal style takes some creativity, so I’ve decided to share some clever, inexpensive ways to stay on top of trends.
In This Post:
1. Learn simple alteration
Alteration can be extremely intimidating, especially when you’re just starting out, but it’s a great skill for any style-conscious person. Subtle changes like moving a seam or adding an accent can completely transform an old outfit—and as a bonus, you’ll develop a better eye for quality work when you go shopping. If you’re just starting out, take a couple outfits that you don’t mind losing, and experiment with moving hemlines around, matching fabrics, and adding simple accents.
This is a time-tested, simple way to maintain a fresh style, because wearing two or three layers of easily-matched, swappable items allows for dozens of possible configurations. A simple accent piece like a shawl or scarf can be worn in several different ways, each with a distinct vibe. It’s easy for excessive layers to conceal or distract from your curves—so use (at most) one chunky layer with one or two thin, lightweight layers underneath, and go easy on the accessories.
3. Go timeless
The cheapest way to keep your wardrobe up-to-date is to start with a few timeless basics, while cycling through trendy accents and accessories that keep your look fresh. Taking the time to find the right pair of jeans or a perfect black dress can give you one less item to worry about when it’s time to update.
4. Learn to spot a good thrift store
There’s nothing new under the sun, and this year’s winter styles are particularly earthy and retro—exactly the sort of thing you can find at a good thrift store. Thrift stores and consignment shops near wealthy areas are likely to have high-quality items, but you can also find vintage gems in small-town thrift stores, as many people let go of items just as they come back into style. While you won’t always find winners, the losers are reliably entertaining. Bring a friend.
5. Have a sale with friends
Especially if you’re fashion-conscious and make a real investment in your clothes, it’s worth taking the time to make some of that investment back. Get together with like-minded friends and pool together some old favorites that you’re ready to send off. Call it a “flash boutique”, call it a fundraiser, but do some old-fashioned garage sale marketing and be prepared to accept credit cards. If you limit your sale to just the highest-quality offerings, you can price your items higher with some credibility—and it’s a great way to clear out your closets.
6. Organize a clothing exchange
If putting together a sale is too involved for you, consider a clothing exchange with as many friends as possible. This works best for accent items that aren’t as dependent on individual measurements, but occasionally it also happens that you a friend will really rock an outfit that wasn’t working for you (or vice versa). It’s also interesting to see how you and your friends jive on matters of taste—I’ve been amazed at some of the things my friends were ready to cast off at these exchanges.