One area that many of us women avoid during the “New Year, New You” craze of January is our closet, more specifically our clothes in said closet. We will organize and reorganize our closets and we may even get rid of a few pieces of clothing but we usually just add more to our wardrobes without assessing what we already have.
Before purchasing new clothes with your Christmas money or reorganizing your closet for the millionth time, use these five tips to help you freshen up your wardrobe without breaking the bank.
Before you can freshen up your wardrobe with new clothing, you need to get rid of the old, but more specifically the old that no longer works.
We all do it, we hang on to clothes for years thinking that we will wear them someday or we will be able to fit into them again one day. I literally still have clothes from high school that are starting to fall apart and for whatever reason have hung on to a decade after tossing my cap in the air.
It is time toss those clothes that are:
- Falling apart.
- Do not fit and were something that you never wore even when they did fit.
- Out of style.
- No longer relevant (think maternity clothes but you are done having babies).
- Do not go with your color palette (more on this one in a minute).
Items you should hold onto:
- At least one outfit that you could wear to an interview tomorrow (even if you are a stay-at-home mom with no plans of going back to work soon).
- Pieces that can go with multiple outfits (think cardigans, camisoles, solid color sweaters, etc.).
If you find yourself struggling with what to get rid of, make a pile of “maybes”, put them in a box or bag and store them somewhere out-of-sight for a month. Once the month is over, if you did not wear any items from your “maybe” pile, chances are you are not going to wear anything from it all year long. Purge so you can make room for the pieces that you actually wear.
2. Determining Your Color Palette
This is key to speed shopping for clothing for me. Knowing my color palette, what works for my skin tone and does not work, allows me to quickly scan the clearance racks for clothes. Chances are you already know your color palette. Look at the clothes you wear the most often, what colors are they? As women, we know what looks good on us and makes us feel good and thus we are prone to picking those items when getting dressed, even without realizing that we are doing it.
If you need help determining your color palette, ask your significant other. If they are anything like my hubs, they will have no problem telling you what works and what does not work on you. Do not take it to heart when they tell you that your favorite top does not look great on you. Ask why they do not like it (is it the color, style, fit, etc.) and then ask them to pick something from your closet that they do like on you. Compare the two pieces and determine the differences.
Last year, I did not pay for a single piece of clothing but my wardrobe continued to grow. I may be awesome at scoring my favorite items for free, but that is completely pointless if the pieces of clothing are cheaply made and will fall apart after a few washings.
Case and point: I ordered a pack of twelve camisoles for an amazing price. I was super excited about this because the pack had several colors and the deal was just too good to pass up. When the camisoles arrived at my door, I quickly realized my mistake once I started wearing them. They were cheaply made and after a couple of washings, they started falling apart and I found myself sewing them back together.
The point is that had I purchased my usual camisoles at full price, I would have actually saved my family money because I would not have wasted it on twelve camisoles that fell apart within a couple of months of purchasing them.
Stretch your clothing budget by investing in quality clothing, especially for your staple pieces (camisoles, cardigans, dress pants, etc.) to avoid having to replace them every year or every few months. Remember that quality matters over quantity.
4. Avoid Trends
Trends are both good and bad when it comes to freshening up your wardrobe on a budget. Trends are good because it allows you to try new styles that you may not have come up with on your own, but they are bad because if the trend is too trendy, you risk spending too much money on clothing that will be out of style before the end of the year.
Instead, pick the trends to follow based on your color palette and the existing styles that already look great on you. For example, tunics and leggings are my fall and winter wardrobe staples, so when the 1980’s decided to come back in style (really, whoever thought that would happen??), I knew the slouchy-off-the-shoulder look would work for my existing style and my existing wardrobe. Therefore, I only had to purchase one current trend sweater instead of dozen new outfits to make a new trend work.
Avoid trends that are too trendy and trends that do not work with your current style and wardrobe.
This is the easiest way to make an old outfit feel new again – accessorize it. Add a scarf or accent it with a statement jewelry piece. Apply your color palette knowledge to your accessories in order to determine which accessories work for and look good on you. If you follow Jen from Beauty and Bedlam, she has an awesome video on how to tie a scarf if you need a little help figuring out the best way to tie one. You can check out her video here.
Use these five tips to help freshen up your wardrobe for the New Year without busting your budget. It does not take a lot of money to look good, just a lot of knowing what looks best on you.
What tips would you add to this list to freshen up your wardrobe on a budget?
It's less than 10 weeks until Christmas??
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