Fall Fashion

CC Image courtesy of Samuraijohnny on Flickr

I don’t think too much about the clothes I wear (and don’t wear) until I have to move. And then it’s just embarrassing to see the number of boxes that my stuffed closet and dresser translates into.

If you have a similar affliction, the good news is you’ll probably be able to put together a fresh fall wardrobe with very little expenditure. If you don’t have an extensive clothing collection, there are also a few things you can do to stay up-to-date without succumbing to designer prices.

Shop Your Closet

If you fall into the first category and your closet houses more items than you care to count, you’ll likely be able to put together new looks from what you already have. A great way to get fashion inspiration is to look at runway trends and fashion blogs and pick out pieces that are similar to items you already own. You may have a sweater or blouse stashed in a dresser but never thought about pairing it with a certain pair of pants.

Checking out the latest trends with an eye for what you already own can help you save big bucks! For example, floral skirts paired with boots, skinny belts and crisp blouses are a very hip look right now. You may have a flowered skirt from seasons past, but paired with a white blouse (tucked in!) and cinched with a skinny belt, you’ll have a look that you might not have otherwise put together. When you find yourself needing a certain item to complete a look, see if you can get it second-hand, or do a clothing swap with a few friends to get items that are new, fresh – and free!

Thrift vs. Second-hand

Buying used items is a great way to augment your wardrobe or pick up a few new pieces if your closet doesn’t look like a small department store! I don’t know if there’s a technical distinction between thrift stores and higher-end designer second-hand stores but I use the two for different purposes.

Shopping thrift stores (think Goodwill and ARC) will offer you an extremely affordable way to put together some of the latest trends. True, you probably won’t find off-the-rack seasonal items in thrift stores (although you may luck out!) but if you have an idea of a look you’d like to create, you can usually find the means by which to assemble it. I use thrifting as a way to dress in some of the trendier, more-likely-to-go-out-of-fashion looks. Then, I spend less money on something I might not wear in another year, and it’s a much more eco-friendly option for “disposable” fashion.

Higher-end second-hand stores are perfect for name brand and designer clothes that will have more staying power. I recently purchased a black Banana Republic sheath dress and a white blouse from one such store. I paid more than I would at a thrift store, but not near as much as I would’ve paid for new items. These are pieces that have stood the test of time so I feel comfortable investing a bit more into them knowing that I won’t be taking them back to the thrift store next season.

Looking at what you already have (or what your friends have) and perusing thrift or second-hand stores are perfect ways to update your wardrobe for fall and still have enough money to actually go somewhere in your fabulous new clothes.

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