Sometimes I wonder if you all read my blog and think, “She has two small children, how can she possibly have so many clothes!?” Well, in truth, I don’t. Not as many as you think anyway…
Like any stay at home Mum, I don’t always have disposable income to spend on the things that I want – bummer. But if you are creative you can create the look you want without having to sell your children to fund it (although I have occasionally been tempted at 3am!)
Tip 1: Designer Recycle
There are so many recycle boutiques around these days, and often the designer pieces we once coveted hardly get worn or we no longer like them (cough, fit them!) Sort through your clothing and find the pieces that no longer sing to you and send them to a recycle boutique. You can then spend your earnings in store to replenish your wardrobe or take the cash and splash out elsewhere. I picked up both the stripy Petit Bateau dress and the black silk Country Road dress below with the credit I had accrued from selling my clothes at Encore Fashion Recycle.
Tip 2: Borrow (steal!) from your friends
Host a clothing swap and trade your clothes with your friends. I am really generous about what I let go from my wardrobe, and my friends are the same. I recently met a fellow blogger who has a wardrobe of things that I love and it all fits me! Carnage…I bought some things from her and she kindly gave me some, including the dress below. Now she is always on my mind when I am cleaning out my wardrobe. I think "Would Nicky like this? I should check before I pass it on." You can see more of Nicky's awesome wardrobe over at The Style High Club.
Tip 3 (for the brave): Get it for your birthday
Christmas/Thanksgiving, Mother's Day, your graduation, because you had a bad day...I love my new pink leather jacket, but it was just outside of my budget at the moment (what’s 10% of zero?!) I showed it to my Mum and she bought it for me for my Birthday - thanks Mum, love ya!) And yes I know my birthday isn’t until July, but don’t I look fab!?
Tip 4: Know what you have
This is a biggy. If you don't know what you have in your wardrobe you are likely to waist money doubling up on items you already own. I once realised I had 7 stripy tees. And I love a good stripy tee, but 7?! Clean out your wardrobe and organise like items with like so when you go to get dressed in the morning you can clearly see what is missing. Keep a post-it on the inside of your wardrobe to scribble down a ‘needs’ list and take it shopping with you. Having a focus to your shopping trip will stop you from owning 50 sparkly necklaces and no pants – ah, now I see how that happened…
Tip 5: Accessorise
Keep your wardrobe simple with neutral items and change them up with bright shoes, scarves, hats and jewellery. Oooh and bags….
Tip 6: Get creative about where you shop
Join some Facebook buy and sell groups. I have my own Dressing Up Buy and Sell group where you can sell your unwanted clothes and pick up some bargains while you are at it. You can join it here.
I have had some amazing opshop/thrift store finds. The brand new pink suede heels in the second to last photo (below) cost me about $25 and they make every outfit look cheerful and glam.
Make a habit of occasionally checking out stores that aren't usually 'you'. The stripy blazer above is from Pagani and is very well made and cut, I wear it all the time. Before I found it I had never shopped at Pagani but now I have added it to the occasional shopping rotation, every now and then I find a gem.
Tip 7: Have no shopping months
February was a challenge for me, no spending of any kind at all. Including popping makeup items into the supermarket trolley! It’s hard when you then see something you really want, but it's a relief for your bank account and makes you feel much better when you go shopping the following month. Also it becomes habitual, you get used to not spending for a while and the pain lessens, I promise (and you can make up for it 30 days later!)
Tip 8: Know your budget
Set your budget for the month and stick with it, shopping guilt free means you can grab what you want without agonising about it, or hiding it from your significant other. So much more fun!
Tip 9: 'Shop What You Got'
Create a capsule wardrobe from the clothes you already have and wear only them for a month! I did the 'Shop What You Got challenge with Icurvy at the end of last year - you’ll be amazed what creative outfits you will come up with when you are forced to re jig what you own! See how I did it here.
Tip 10: Enter Competitions
Instagram and Facebook comps are a great way to win beautiful items for your wardrobe. Follow smaller bloggers (like me...cough...you know, if you want...) and designers because when we have competitions you will have a higher chance of winning than from someone with a following of millions. It happens! I entered a competition from Phosizzle Threads and won the green dress I had been lusting after for months! Keep an eye out for more competitions coming up on Dressing Up next month.
One last tip! Know your measurements so you can check in on items you love but can't afford online and then grab them the second they go on sale. I am currently chasing after a tutu skirt from Society+!
I so hope this was helpful, you really can look fab on any budget.
Be you - wear the jewels!