Choose your clothing strategically to make the most of a limited budget. Here are seven smart choices that’ll keep you fashionable for less:
1. Buy clothes in colors that mix and match. Neutrals give you the most mileage out of pants, skirts, suits, and shoes.
2. Buy clothes that are versatile, such as pieces you can dress up or down. The more outfits you can make from a few garments, the more money you’ll save!
3. Buy classic clothes. Stick to items that stay in fashion, and you’ll never run the risk of looking outdated.
4. Avoid trendy clothes. Don’t spend your hard-earned money on something that’ll be “out” in a few short months.
5. Buy clothes that fit. Don’t waste money on clothes that need to be tailored—or pieces you can’t wear until you drop those extra pounds.
6. Buy clothes that flatter you. You’ll wear them much more often, and avoid wasting money on wardrobe “mistakes.”
7. Accessorize. Instead of dropping $200 on a new outfit, freshen up an old one with a $20 scarf.
Want to save money on clothing? Get the most wear possible out of the pieces you already own.
Here are eight easy ways to care for your clothes and make them last longer:
1. Wash them in cold. High temperatures can shrink fabrics and fade colors.
2. Air-dry them. Machine drying can cause clothes to snag, fray, and shrink.
3. Pre-treat stains. They’ll be much more likely to come out in the wash.
4. Learn to mend. Fix small tears before they become big ones.
5. Don’t wear delicate materials (like silk or suede) in bad weather.
6. Wash them less often. Air them out on a chair or clothes rack instead of laundering after each use.
7. Hang up your clothes (or put them in the hamper) immediately after getting undressed. Don’t leave them in a pile on the floor.
8. Store out-of-season clothes in airtight containers.
The less often you have to replace your clothes, the more money you’ll save!
It’s common for men to rent tuxedos—but did you know that women can rent formal wear as well?
It’s an affordable way to look your best for a special occasion; and certainly more economical than spending hundreds (or thousands) of dollars on a dress you’ll only wear once.
Check your yellow pages to find a rental service in your area. They’ll typically offer a range of formal attire, from cocktail dresses to bridal gowns.
If you don’t have any local options, don’t despair: several websites now offer similar services, allowing customers to rent dresses as they would movies from Netflix. Designer pieces are typically available at 5-10% of retail prices, with pre-paid packaging provided for returns.
Try the following links for your formal wear needs:
Wear Today, Gone Tomorrow
Girl Meets Dress
Rent the Runway
When it comes to fashion, the best buys are the most versatile. Stick to neutrals for shoes and handbags, for example, and you’ll stretch your wardrobe budget much further.
Think of all the outfits you could wear with classic black pumps—they go with just about anything. You’d never be able to match such versatility with lime green stilettos.
It’s the same with handbags. A simple bag in black, brown, or beige serves you well every day. Red patent leather, on the other hand, would be appropriate on far fewer occasions.
From now on, resolve to purchase only the most versatile accessories; make them earn a place in your closet by working with a variety of outfits.
It’s not always easy to resist impractical items—especially when they’re unique, sexy, or super-cute. But when the urge to splurge strikes, just remember: money in the bank will take you much further in life than gold-sequined ballet flats!
Would you like to have a stylish wardrobe, without spending a fortune? Frugal fashionistas swear by the following techniques:
1. Wait for sales. Never pay full price for department store clothing; it’s almost guaranteed to be on sale sometime in the near future.
2. Shop out of season. If you’re willing to buy a winter coat in June, or a bikini in October, you’ll be rewarded with big savings!
3. Buy vintage. Consignment shops and vintage clothing stores are a treasure trove of finely-tailored, classic clothing.
4. Shop eBay. Online auctions are a great source of gently-used, brand name clothing—at rock bottom prices.
5. Swap with friends. Trade clothing, handbags, and accessories with frugal friends. It’s a great way to double (or triple!) your wardrobe.
6. Swap online. Websites like Bigwardrobe.com help you trade clothes you’re not wearing for something “new.”
7. Shop your closet. Before you buy anything new, take a peek into the dark recesses of your closet. You may discover something you can bring back into regular rotation.
An article of clothing is a good investment only if you wear it often. Otherwise, it sits in your closet, giving you no benefit—reminding you of the wasted money that could have been put to better use.
Therefore, resist the temptation to buy “wish” clothes—those items that are more appropriate for your fantasy self than your real one.
Fancy dresses, for example, won’t jump-start your social calendar. Wait to buy the ballgown until the black tie invitation’s in hand.
Exercise wear won’t make you an athlete. Refrain from splurging on sport-specific apparel until you’re actually involved in the sport.
And finally, by all means, don’t shop for the you who’s ten pounds thinner. Skinny clothes won’t help you lose the weight; they’ll just remind you that you haven’t. Purchase clothes in the size you wear now, and reward yourself with something new after you’ve shed the pounds!
No matter how frugal we try to be, every once in a while we crave new clothes. It’s no surprise, of course: with each change of season, magazines, retailers, and advertisers ply us with luxe images of the latest fashions. Whether they’re featuring tweed skirts in fall, cozy sweaters in winter, flirty dresses in spring, or cute bikinis in summer, the ads tempt us with a formula that never fails: novelty.
How can we resist their siren call? By finding novelty in our own closets. We may be embarrassed to admit it, but many of us have pieces lurking in there that haven’t seen the light of day for months (or even years!) Well…it’s time for a “shopping” spree!
Here’s what to do: take everything out of your closet. That’s right—everything. You’re going to need it all out in the open so you can experiment with new outfits and combinations.
Now try on each piece in turn, and attempt to find five other items with which you can wear it. Don’t be afraid to try something “bizarre”—you may inadvertently discover a very chic ensemble!
Using this method, you’re sure to find at least two or three items you can bring back into regular rotation. Perhaps your weight has fluctuated, and something that didn’t fit before is suddenly just right. Or maybe your bubble skirt or bohemian top is back in fashion this season.
So before you set foot in a mall, spend a few hours shopping your own closet. You may very well find you can put together that “new” look you crave—without spending a dime!
Today I’m going to share one of the best secrets of frugal fashionistas: you can up the chic-factor of almost any outfit simply by donning a scarf. It’s the easiest and most effective way to get BIG style on a small budget.
Why drop $200 on a brand new outfit, when you can spice up an old one with a $20 scarf?
A scarf can instantly add pizzazz to almost any item of clothing. Its magic: the power of distraction. Our brains are wired to pick out the brightest, most colorful, or visually-interesting stimuli in a given scene (and ignore the duller details). Therefore, adding a lively scarf to a tired outfit will make the whole ensemble look fresh to the eyes of beholders.
What’s more: scarves are super-trendy this season, and stores are stocked with them. You’ll have plenty of choices, and look wonderfully chic with minimal expense!
Instead of buying new clothes this fall, slash your fashion budget with this simple strategy—and keep your money in the bank. In the midst of a recession, it’s more fashionable to have a fat wallet than a full closet!
Don’t worry if you’re a newbie to the world of scarves. The following sites take the mystery out of how to properly wear (and tie) one:
Scarf Tying Guide
Style 101: How to wear a scarf
Zia Moda: How to tie a scarf
Don’t toss that sock with a hole, or shirt with a missing button. Do as your grandparents did: mend it!
Learn to make these small repairs, and you’ll save a ton of money—by extending the life of your clothes, and reducing the need to replace them.
No sewing machine? No problem. In most cases, a simple needle and thread will do.
Borrow a basic sewing book from the library, or search the internet for instruction. You’ll find online tutorials for a plethora of mending tasks—following are some examples:
How to Replace a Missing Button – eHow.com
How to Mend a Split Seam – eHow.com
How to Repair a Hem – eHow.com
How to do it: Darn Socks – zigzagstitch
A Guide to Mending Your Clothing, Zippers and Fabric – About.com
We all know the best way to save money on dry cleaning is to buy clothes you can put in the washing machine…but when you’re trying to build a professional wardrobe, sometimes you can’t avoid that “Dry Clean Only” tag!
Here are three ways to cut the cost of laundering your delicate garments:
1. Air them out. Most items don’t need to be laundered after every wear—instead of sending them to the cleaners, hang them on the back of a chair to let them “air out.” Don’t pay for professional cleaning until they’re stained, or fail the “sniff test.”
2. Hand wash. Some items marked “dry clean only” can be hand washed—as long as you follow some basic rules for the specific fabric. For detailed tips on how to wash (and dry) cashmere, wool, silk, linen and cotton, see the following websites:
Hand Washing 101
How to Wash a Cashmere Sweater
Should you wash wool clothing? Check out these tips.
How to Hand Wash Silk (and Everything Else)
How to Care for Linens
3. Use a home dry cleaning kit. Such kits (like Procter and Gamble’s Dryel, and Clorox’s FreshCare) typically consist of a stain remover, dryer-activated cleaning clothes, and a reusable dryer-safe bag. Simply follow the directions in the instruction booklet, and you’ll be able to freshen up your clothes with little effort and expense. It’s a great way to extend the time between professional cleanings!