It’s no secret being a fashionista isn’t a cheap lifestyle.
Trying to keep your outfits fresh and trendy can be difficult when your bank account can hardly afford a pack of malteasers. Often we forget the goods we already have hiding away in our wardrobe because we’re so caught up in the ‘I can’t be seen wearing that again’ attitude. Well first off that’s bullshit. Unless you have a limitless credit card with a never ending supply of cash and a revolving wardrobe of new clothing, you’re gonna have to get over the idea of not wearing your clothes again.
The secret is to finding ways to make old clothes new again. The key is recycling outfits by giving them a new lease of life, that sets them apart from their first appearance. Here are a few of my top outfit tips that I live by.
#1 The Onion
Layer. Layer. Layer.
Just like an onion, you gotta build those layers up.
90% of my outfits are based on layering, I just cant get enough of it. One of the greatest perks with this outfit technique is that it not only looks cute but it’s also extremely cost efficient as it enables you to re-wear pieces of clothing multiple times, each time with a new angle.
So let’s look at our layering options:
The first is pretty simple: The top- top combo. Literally take a top, I usually wear turtle necks and then place another top on top (Wow that’s a whole load of ‘top’). When it comes to layering the only rule is- if it looks good go for it. You can layer almost anything.
For the bottom layer try a shirt/ t-shirt / turtle neck / jumper. My top items for the top layer are corsets, string/vest tops, leotards, shirts and bralets. As you can see this is a long list of clothes which all serve other outfit functions. Take the bralet for example, you can wear this by itself as part of an outfit for a night on the town, you could wear it under a mesh top or shirt, it could substitute a bra. Already you’re seeing seven uses for this one piece of clothing, all equally as nice and the greatest part of all is you didn’t have to take you wallet out for any of them!
Follow the same principles for dresses, jumpsuits, dungarees and so on. Try dressing down some of your “night out” dresses by adding a cropped jumper or shirt over it- You’d be surprised how great it can look!
#2 Ice, Ice Baby
Given the Irish climate’s reputation it can be a teeth clenching moment putting your hands in the pocket to buy summer clothes for a weeks holiday abroad that you know will only come out of the wardrobe again for the odd night out or a miraculous heatwave.
Here’s a few tips on how to re-wear these items of clothing without getting pneumonia.
Skirts and shorts and everything in between- the obvious thing here is to tell you to slap on a pair of Dunnes school girl tights and call it a day but there are other stylish ways to work it. Try mixing it up with a pair of patterned or coloured fashion tights or better again trade the tights in for a pair of high knee socks. Differentiate the skirts and shorts from other outfits by accessorising them with different belts- not just your average brown and black belt, try and mix it up using hoop and clip belts.
Culottes fit into this category too. My advice with these is to do the same as above. Try adding tights or high socks under them. I’m not a big person for fishnets but when it comes to culottes I think they work beautifully.
#3 Night > Day
A big thing I notice with people and their wardrobes is that a lot of people have a distinct divide between their nighttime clothing and their daytime clothing and rarely overlap the two. Back to the bralet scenario, many girls see bralets as night time apparel and would never even consider wearing one during the day. In order to maximise the use you get out of your wardrobe and enjoy value for money, you need to branch out of your comfort zone and start thinking outside the box. Ask yourself the question- how can I make this day time appropriate and then go from there.
If you have a beautiful dress you paid a lot of money for, that’s been worn once and now remains hanging in your wardrobe then ask yourself how can I wear this. If you have an event coming up and it fits the part then why not wear it again, maybe dress it up with different accessories this time and a new take on hair and makeup. Have you any jumpers or cardigans that would compliment it nicely for day time wear? What tights would go with it?
If all this fails then why not consider selling it. Depop is a safe online way of selling on second hand clothing, why not consider signing up for something like this? That way you’re freeing up wardrobe space for new clothes and making money to buy them- it’s a win win!
Sometimes it’s not always about the outfits but rather what you wear the outfits with that sets them apart from the next. Accessorising is a big part of completing outfits and setting the vibe you wish to convey.
If you wish to recycle an outfit maybe considering switching up the blazer or coat you wear with it or even the bag. You can also simply switch the jewellery which may seem subtle but can make all the difference. Consider the colour theme- if you wore all pink with the mufti last time could you try blue this time? Makeup and hair is important too. And of course as Carrie Bradshaw would say, you can’t forget the shoes.