How to Update Your Summer Wardrobe Without Breaking the Bank
Blame our genes! The desire to welcome summer with new clothes is beyond our control. Think about it. For five months of the year—or longer—we Canadians suffer. Hidden under sweaters, down parkas, and snow boots, fashion becomes more about warmth than style. It’s not surprising that we are so hungry for sun-drenched days and all the delectable clothing choices they inspire. Problem is, our bank accounts aren’t always willing and able. But there is hope! By following a few simple tips, you too can update your summer wardrobe without breaking the bank.
Don’t Go Overboard
Floral skirts. Chunky wedges. Lace blouses. With so many desirable new trends being unveiled this summer, it’s overwhelming! Where should you start? Before you fall into a frustrated heap in the mall, catch your breath and remember this mantra: "I don’t have to purchase every item deemed a must-have." It’s true! Going overboard trying to overhaul your entire wardrobe with one season’s worth of goodies will leave you penniless and deep in clothing chaos. Instead, select a few pieces that will work with what you already own. Many stores—Bebe, Jacob, H&M, Forever 21—feature the season’s essentials at prices that won’t drain your bank account. French Connection, Smart Set, and Dynamite also offer catwalk-inspired looks to please the pickiest of fashionistas. Treat yourself, but exercise self-control and walk away with new duds and plenty of money in your pocket.
Tight Budget? It Pays to Accessorize
If your bank balance is on the skinny side, you can still update your look and remain on budget. Accessories are the cheapest, easiest way to jump onto the trend bandwagon. Oversized sunglasses, beaded bangles, glittery hair bands, and embroidered belts are all the rage for summer 2011. Try Aldo Accessories or Le Chateau to scoop up these key extras. The right accessories can switch up the look of an old outfit quite dramatically. Choose wisely. Each piece should work with a multitude of items already in your closet. Buy several or splash out on one statement piece like a bright purse from Roots or Fossil. Accessories allow your creativity to shine and take an ensemble from ho-hum to sensational without overloading your credit cards.
Get More Bang for Your Buck
Did you know that shopping with your girlfriend could result in less spending and more clothing options? The game plan: sharing the cost and the clothes. You’ll both end up with more wardrobe choices and more cash in your wallet. Sure, it helps when your BFF is the same size as you, but even if she isn’t, you can still expand your summer wardrobe options. Here’s how it works: set a spending budget and purchase pieces that you both love. If a price tag is a bit steep, split the cost, and indulge in an item (or several) that you otherwise couldn’t afford. Sized differently? You can still use this strategy. Instead of clothing essentials like trousers, blouses, or skirts, focus on sandals, purses, jewellery, even jackets. Sharing clothes and accessories takes some organization, but the savings are worth it! Just be sure to set some ground rules (e.g., how long you can keep an item, how far in advance you must reserve it) before you begin such an arrangement. It would be a shame to fall out with your partner in crime over a dress or necklace.
Trust Your Instincts and Save Money
Many of us latch onto a look because magazines and stores tell us it’s what we should buy, even if we’re not fond of it. Falling prey to a trend just because it’s “happening” can be costly. If it ends up stashed in your closet, it’s a waste of money. To remedy this problem, follow your instincts. Don’t like biker chic? Keep your cash and turn your attentions elsewhere. If you fancy the fruit-themed prints showcased this season, but think an entire dress adorned with pineapple is a bit much, skip it. Instead, opt for a less conspicuous printed item like a scarf or high heels. You’ll be following the trend but in a more subtle way. Remember, you call the shots.
Updating your summer wardrobe doesn’t have to send you spiralling into the brink of bankruptcy. Pick up pieces that you will enjoy not only this summer, but the next as well. In all seriousness, it’s celebrities and rich folk who buy a trend today only to ditch it in twelve months' time. The rest of us don’t have the luxury to be so fickle. Be selective, lean on accessories, and combine assets with your girlfriends. When you’re a savvy consumer, being stylish and financially sound is always in fashion.
Written by: Jackie Middleton
Check out Jackie’s blog at www.losethatgirl.com