Entertainment Style Kirstie Clements: How to save money on fashion and still look great
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Kirstie Clements: How to save money on fashion and still look great

fashion revamp
In these straitened times, it's time to look to neglected wardrobe items for inspiration, writes Kirstie Clements. Photo: Getty
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In an uncertain economy where lettuce has become a luxury, it doesn’t quite seem like the time to spending money on fashion that you probably don’t really need.

For most of us it’s probably already in your wardrobe, so before you click the “buy now“ button or sift mindlessly through the sale racks, try these tricks at home. Maybe you won’t have to spend a cent and still feel like you have had a wardrobe update.

1. Take out the things you save for ‘best’ and wear them NOW. 

Most of us tend to keep some special pieces for ‘best’ – especially if we have spent a significant amount of money on them – like my mother’s generation kept the good china and silverware in the cupboard where it never saw the light of day.

I do admire the frugality of those times, but it was a waste not to use these beautiful things.

If you lashed out and bought a lovely evening dress for an event, don’t just put it back in the cupboard in its dry-cleaning bag. Wear it again, and soon – put a leather jacket over it, wear it to lunch with girls, wear it in the daytime with sneakers and a trench.

We must get over the fear of thinking “Oh, I’ll ruin it”. Wearing it is not ruining it – you’re just enjoying it. Which was the point after all.

2. Re-style what you have

Presumably you already have all the basics that you love to wear, like pants, skirts, coats etc. But maybe they just need a restyle.

Try putting things together in ways you haven’t thought of before, and if you’re stuck, ask a fashionable friend to help you get out of a rut and think differently.

You love blue cotton men’s shirts? Put them with something pink instead of black.

Put floral shirts under striped sweaters. Wear one colour top to toe. Take the sparkly evening jacket and put it with jeans and sandals. Add a silk scarf to your white T-shirt. Wear a cute hat. Mix it all up, your way.

3. Choose a different piece each day and style around it.

Now this might seem odd, but it’s currently working for me.

Leave yourself enough time in the morning, say 20 minutes, and try this exercise.

Choose the piece that is hanging at the front of your wardrobe rack and then style everything to go around it. The next day, move to the second piece on the rack and style around that, same deal on the third and so on.

It means you’re using all your clothes and wearing them in a different way rather than just reaching for the same things repeatedly. You’ll feel real joy in dressing differently every day and utilising all the lovely things you already own.

4. Sell pieces you no longer wear.

In the spirit of not spending more money, think about selling some things you already own and never wear.

A good wardrobe editing ratio is four things out, one thing in. And make sure you wear it.