Thursday, January 1, 2009

Living in a tough economy is hard enough, looking good
should not be so hard. Economically Stylish is a special
series just in time for 2009. This series will feature
posts that give you advice and tips on how to save money
while looking (and feeling) terrific!

In a perfect world, we could buy a brand spanking new wardrobe
every season(including a few handbags and some great pairs of
shoes). In a perfect world you could buy some stylish designer
dresses every time you go to the mall. In a perfect world, you
could walk into any store and buy whatever your heart desired.
In a perfect world everyone would own designer clothes if that
was something that we wanted.

But we don’t live in a perfect world. In fact, most of us have
to stay within a budget, even fashionistas like us. We are
career women, mothers, high school and college students. We have
bills to pay, and our time is often limited. But we all want to
look our best. We don’t need new designer clothes every season
if we can’t afford it, and most of us can’t. And with the economy
the way it is, are wallets are even tighter. Why not do a closet
makeover? Love what you got, drop what you don’t love, and only
buy what you need.

Here’s how:

1-Do A Closet Inventory

I am sure you look in your closet daily, but do you really look ?
What do you wear frequently? What have you abandoned but still
have? Is there anything that doesn’t fit or is stained, and
therefore you cannot wear it anymore? Make a few lists and go
through everything in your closet. Don’t forget to include
accessories like shoes and bags. Once your done organizing,
figure out what to throw out and what to donate(to friends or
a charity perhaps). Heck, you could even organize a Clothes
Swap Party with your friends(more about that later!).

2-Assess Your Keep Pile And Organize What You’ve Got

After you are done piling your Giveaways and Throw-Aways in
their appropriate boxes or bags, its time for the fun to begin.
First of, you need to figure out your lifestyle. Do you have a
job outside the home? Are you a student or a stay-at-home mother.
This way you can determine what you wear the most frequently and
what you wear on occasion. Then choose key pieces that will go
with many other items and therefore stretch your inventory. I’ll
bet at least a few of those pieces can be used for both work and
weekend, and maybe even evenings.

Take a few of your favorite pieces and see how many outfit combos
you can create. Don’t be afraid to change bags, shoes, jewelry
and even other accessories like belts and scarves. Sometimes all
you really need is a change a pair of shoes or add a scarf to take
your outfit from day to night! Don’t be afraid to use your

Remember to keep your most loved fashions in the front of the
closet if you can. Buy extra hangers if you have to. Use your
hangers for dresses, blouse, and pants. It would a help to purchase
at least one storage shelf(if you don’t have one built in your closet)
to store tees and jeans. Also stock up on storage boxes for seasonal
items like coats and swimwear, and you can keep them under your
bed or wherever you have room. Buy clear shoe boxes so you can
see your shoes as your store them.

Keep you handbags on the storage self if you can. If not, then
you should buy extra storage shelves or clear boxes to store them
in. Your goal here is just to find a place for everything.

You can find some terrific as well as affordable storage options at
Walmart, Ikea, Target, and Utility Design.

Whitmoor Pastel Satin Hangers available at Walmart for $8.96
Simply Shabby Chic Hanging Closet Organzier available at Target for $14.99
Kartell Componibili Squares available at Utility Design starting at £49.50

3-Find and Buy Missing Elements

Okay, this one is easy to get carried away with. Look through all
your items and key pieces, and make a list of it. Then make a
week’s worth of outfits(that would be Sunday through Saturday).
Is there anything missing? Maybe an extra tee or pair of jeans?
Or maybe something classic that could really stretch your wardrobe
such as a trench coat?

Make a list of what you need but don’t have, or a few more key
pieces that are similar to the items you love. While making
these lists, remember to note common brands/labels you love,
and the size tag on each article of clothing. More often than
not, each label’s sizing can be different. Example: you may
wear a size 6 jeans from Old Navy, but you’ll wear a 5 with
Express. Checking your size not only streamlines shopping,
it can save you from future store returns. Save these lists
and start shopping for what you need.

4-Play With Your Accessories

You may have a limited wardrobe, but you should have an
abundance with accessories. They’re more affordable and
versatile than clothes. Stock up on shawls, scarves, hats,
and jewelry including brooches. Simply take a dress you
normally wear to work, add a shawl and a brooch and you’re
ready to go out to dinner. Take a break from a belt and wrap
a long scarf around your waist and tie it. Your clothes are
basics to start out with, but your accessories are extenders.

Utility Design

Next up: Bargain Shopping. Its coming Sunday January 4.


artfulfrog said...

Good tips. You make me proud! *sniff sniff*