When Your Budget Is Tight Shop Your Wardrobe

I am sure like me you are recovering from the expense of Christmas and despite all the sales on at the moment can’t really justify any more expenditure. The problem with this is that January is such a depressing month that we are desperate to treat ourselves to something new!

Use one of those dull Saturday afternoons to “go shopping” in the warm and dry in your wardrobe. Rather than this being a clear out, it’s an opportunity to try different item combinations, work out which key items you need and come up with some new outfits.

Have handy a notebook, some pins and a full length mirror. You could use a camera too if you want to be really organised.

Pick out some items you love but don’t seem to wear very often and try to figure out why. Is it because of the fit? If so could it be altered? Is it because you don’t have the right, shoes or accessories to go with it? Or is it because it doesn’t really reflect your personal style despite you loving the colour?

With each item check the following three rules to determine whether to keep it and create a new outfit or whether it just goes to a good home (charity shop, friend or ebay):

  • Is it flattering?
  • Do you love it?
  • Does it reflect your style personality?

Once an item passes mix it with other keepers to create new looks. Try different combinations of lengths, colours, fabrics, and style. For example would that velvet jacket work during the day with jeans and a sweater? One of the key looks for autumn winter was tunics and trousers – could a short dress become a tunic? Could a dress that sits in your wardrobe for best be mixed with ribbed tights, boots and a chunky cardigan, to make it less formal? Add a belt to a long top, just keep trying different accessories, and pieces together.

When you find an outfit combination you love make a note of all the items that make up that outfit – even take a picture. You could be really organised and categorise the outfits into occasions so the next time you have a smart lunch to attend you can check your notebook for the right outfit.

As you go through you will find some pieces that you want to keep but you know need a new item to make them work. Make a list of all the things you need. But BEFORE buying check the laundry basket, and any storage just to make sure you don’t have that exact item hidden away. You may also have the right item but in the wrong colour so think about dying it – this is really simple to do in the washing machine and I have had great success creating new outfits this way.

Accessories can really change the look of an outfit – I am a great collector of costume jewellery and a scarf magpie! Almost any outfit I wear will be accessorised with my signature – something on the neck, whether that is some chunky pearls or a favourite Armani scarf that is about 12 years old. Think about starting a collection of accessories to put the finishing touches to your new outfits. Sometimes you can get something reasonably inexpensive that works perfectly.

Finally when you put your clothes back into the wardrobe treat them with love (after all if you don’t love them they shouldn’t be going back in!) and a plea from your clothes “Never hang me on wire coat hangers” invest in decent wooden or padded hangers they really will make your beautiful clothes last longer.

Some treats for your wardrobe:

Storage Solutions from The White Company
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