New season, new you – or so you tell yourself, browsing through the pages of Vogue and wondering if there’s anybody in the world who could ever afford these clothes, besides celebrities, who often borrow the designer stuff for sessions, and lucky millionaires. If you don’t want to spend too much cause you’re not sure if you really like these newest trends or if they fit you, your student budget doesn’t really go hand in hand with a runway look, or you just want to improve something, start small (rightfully so!) – and read our guide to transforming your wardrobe cheaply.
Change it yourself
If you have something in your wardrobe that you’re bored with, or if you found something that could be a little snazzier, think of how you can change it. It might be too big for now, or you’re bored of wearing it, or you’ve replaced it with something nicer in the same colour. Sometimes it really lies in details – this autumn, we see these furry keyrings or tassels clipped to every bag. Do something similar! Embroidery is big this season, so try embroidering a shirt or iron a cute patch to a skirt. Cut out two even circles of fabric, cut them in the middle and stitch to a long-sleeved shirt for this season’s hottest wide sleeve. Ladies and gents, here’s an author’s story: when I was a teen, I really liked the look of one of the necklaces on ModCloth. But it wasn’t in the colour I wanted it to be, and I don’t think they shipped to Poland – so I looked at it a few times, bought the beads in the right colour, and created one. One-of-a-kind, and much cheaper – the only thing you need is patience and creativity, and perhaps a few online tutorials.
Set out for a charity shop raid or a vintage fair
So many times I’ve been strolling through the streets to see something I really like in a charity shop – sometimes, you’re lucky enough to snatch a deal and find something from the high-end price range of high-street shops, or, as legends say, even designer stuff. With a good eye and a bit of time, you’ll find things you think would fit your style. The same thing goes with vintage fairs and street markets: be it a piece by an emerging designer or something from the previous century, it’s not that difficult at all to find something that you can pair with a variety of things in your wardrobe. Good luck finding a white coat that was present on the runways so often!
Dig in your (grand)parents’ attic or basement
A bunch of hoarders in your family? It might be a good thing: chances are, a really cute pair of flared jeans your mum wore in the 80s is still packed up into one of these boxes in the attic. You’d have to do a lot of picking through better and worse pieces of clothing, but you might end up finding a real gem. I own some clothes that are older than me which I found that way – and you can pair them with the stuff that you get from the high street to wear something unique! If you happen to pick up some fancy prints, try to pair them and clash them in an interesting way, or tone them down with layers and calmer colours.
Sell your clothes, or better yet, swap
Run through your wardrobe and pick things you’re bored of wearing. Then, instead of throwing them away, sell them, or better yet – swap! There are a few websites and apps that will help you with that. eBay is the most obvious solution, but there are also dedicated online marketplaces like Vinted, or apps like VarageSale (if you happen to speak Polish or have a friend who does, Szafa.pl is one of the most popular clothing swap/sell sites).
Get basics right and accessorise away
Almost every outfit can be completely changed with jewellery or bags, so accessorise! Start with a solid selection of basics in neutral colours, then pick some eccentric pieces lurking through charity shops and online swaps. Be minimalistic: you can spend a fair amount of money on something that would last and will still be looking great with other things after the new seasons shift things completely. Then, build around that and take a smaller share of your budget for the things that will most likely change this time next year.