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5 Inexpensive Ways to Give Life to Your Wardrobe Right Now

1st August 2011

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With the world in the financial crisis it’s in, it’s easy to get caught up and dragged down by the drab and depressing state of things. It seems like everyone’s having to cut back on things once considered essential, and the reign of “shopping in one’s own closet” has come as a result of that.

Because the wealthiest people in the world are not affected as much, high fashion design houses can relax knowing that revenue will continue to pour in despite the economy. However, high street, better, and bridge lines are not so assured. As high fashion trickles down to more affordable lines, the latter scramble and compete to create clothing and accessories deemed necessary enough for their middle class target market to spend what little discretionary income they have on their merchandise.

As a result of these middle range stores and lines simply trying to keep their heads above water, lines have become relatively predictable and boring. Due to the phrase “investment piece” becoming commonplace and associated with staple clothing in the eyes of the middle class shopper, stores seem to be filled with basics and little imagination. Although consumers would love to stock up on imaginative and trend-forward pieces, revamping one’s wardrobe is not plausible for most people right now.

As the 90s minimalism trend that rocked the runways in 2009 and 2010 finally seems to be phasing out and reaching obsolescence, consumers are especially ready for pops of color and fun, statement pieces to be integrated into their wardrobes. Because of the seemingly unchanging fiscal state of things and the now stale concept of shopping in one’s own closet, the idea of consistently creating “optimistic” looks may seem futile. However, with the following tips anyone financially strapped can see some cheerful changes: 

1. Redefine the phrase “investment piece”.

The past few years have been about the importance of purchasing staple garments and accessories, splurging only on those things considered fundamental to one’s wardrobe. Now that your closet is filled with the quintessential black blazer, pencil skirt, dress, pumps and pants, pair of nice jeans and basic white Ts it’s time to inject some color. The new investment piece is something you can effortlessly throw into ensembles made up of the basic pieces listed above, for example a pair of glittery flats, a color-blocked dress or top, a bright stack of bangles, a wild statement purse and etc. The bright side (no pun intended) of the shopping situation of the past few years is that you’ve perfectly set yourself up to throw something fun into the mix that will mesh well with what you’ve already got. 

2. Keep an eye out for high-low team ups.

Although (for the most part) unaffected, high fashion designers are not blind to the financial turmoil occurring for the majority of the world. In order to create more revenue for themselves and to help boost profits for mainstream retailers, the high-low team up was born. Past high-low team ups included Karl Lagerfeld for Macy’s and both Jimmy Choo and Lanvin for H&M. Missoni will soon be unveiling a line for American retailer Target and Versace has recently announced a collaboration with H&M to be released in January. These partnerships are frequent and are an excellent, inexpensive way to update your wardrobe with a high fashion twist.

3. Update your manicure.

If you’re never without a classic red or basic black lacquer on your nails, it might be time to change it up. Nail polish is one of the most frugal ways to update your look and keep up with color trends. A quality brand rings up at about eight pounds a bottle, which is a financial commitment anyone can make for an on-trend color change.

4. Invest in a maxi dress.

A printed or color-blocked maxi dress is multi-faceted and can be incorporated into a wardrobe year-round. For the summer it can be worn as a swimsuit cover up, something to wear while running errands or going on a date and can even be dressed up with a heeled espadrille for night. Because of its length, a maxi dress can be layered to make up looks appropriate for colder months and its colorfulness can add panache to a drab winter day. This wardrobe update does not need to break the bank: beautiful maxi dresses can be found for as little as eleven pounds at Primark.

 5. Use the Internet to your advantage.

Scour eBay or Gumtree for cheap and unique treasures to mix into your ensembles! Both of these sites are filled with thousands of undiscovered clutches, brooches, cardigans, and vintage shoes all for a pittance. With a bit of patience you can get past the expensive bid-war items and find pieces that have gone unnoticed by other buyers. Aside from the excellent prices items purchased from sites like these will also be unique, allowing you to create an even more individualistic look. Also in the Internet realm is Browse the site for style inspiration* and DIY clothing projects - the epitome of budget friendly!


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