The kids have been back in school for a few weeks now, the weather is turning cooler and fall fashion is in full swing. While all of us would love to buy a new wardrobe every season – complete with all the key pieces and trends (aubergine anyone?) – the reality is most of us simply can’t afford it. Tight purse strings don’t necessarily mean you have to skip out on a new season of fashion, they just mean you need to get a bit more creative. Here’s how you can revive your closet without spending a dime this autumn:
Go through your closet and edit, edit, edit. Set aside anything that no longer fits, has never been worn or will never be worn again, and still looks virtually brand new. Then ask three or four of your friends to do the same. Since this was your idea, invite them over to your house one afternoon or evening for a pot luck meal. Pot luck is best so you aren’t saving money on shopping and then spending the funds you’ve saved on entertaining. Ask everyone to bring the clothing and host a swap.
Tip: This works best when everyone involved is around the same size. And you can do it with kids clothes too!
After your clothing swap, you may still have a few items remaining. Instead of donating what is left, consider selling choice pieces online. Sites like eBay and Craigslist let you sell almost anything with little to no cost. Any money you make can be used towards new clothes. Bonus points if you make those dollars go even further by finding the new items through another online seller.
Tip: This works best for name brand clothing, or if you put together a “lot” of mixed pieces. And make sure to price shipping accordingly!
For special occasions (fall weddings, anniversaries, events) consider borrowing a cocktail dress from a friend whose style you already admire. Offer to do the same in the return and you both will benefit. Since party dresses are often only worn once, you’ll save significant money without sacrificing style. Just remember to follow the rules of borrowing: Treat it well. Dry clean the item before returning and make sure you give it back in the same (or better) condition as you received it.
Hopefully, after this experience, you’ll have a few new things to wear without having wreaked havoc on your pocketbook. And, if these ideas worked for you, try them with your kids’ wardrobes. Just imagine all the money you can save by doing so.