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10 Hacks For Spicing Up Your Tired Wardrobe (Without Breaking the Bank)

10 Hacks For Spicing Up Your Tired Wardrobe (Without Breaking the Bank)

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American family spends over $1600 per year on new clothing, with more money spent on women’s apparel than on clothes for men or children. That’s a ton of money, especially during tough economic times.

If you want to look your best without spending a lot of money, there are a couple of tricks, tips, and tactics that can help you spice up your tired wardrobe.

    1. Check the Fit

    Examine every single piece of clothing you own (even your underwear and bathing suits!), and make sure it fits properly. Have a friend watch you model each outfit if you need a second opinion about how your clothes are fitting.

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    Toss what doesn’t work at all, and tailor the rest. If you can’t afford tailoring, get creative with the rest of your ill-fitting clothes: use big belts to cinch oversized shirts and dresses, or sew side panels into your favorite jeans to add room to the legs and color to your ensemble.

    2. Stay Organized

    It’s time to go shopping in your closet. But just like with any store, you need to neatly organize all the merchandise. Pull everything out, and you will doubtless find entire outfits you had forgotten all about. When you put everything back in the closet, set aside the stuff that’s out of season, and organize the rest by occasion, and then by color. This will make getting dressed in the morning a much more streamlined affair.

      3. Get Crafty

      The humble t-shirt likely makes up a large percentage of your wardrobe. To inject a breath of fresh air into your tired stable of t-shirts, all you need is a pair of scissors (or maybe a needle and thread, if you’re feeling adventurous.) Use scissors to cut a larger, boatneck-style opening at the top of the shirt to show off more shoulder or collarbone, or shred the sleeves and back for a vintage biker look. If you’re handy with a needle and thread, cut the front of the t-shirt down the middle, remove the collar and buttons from an old button down shirt, and sew the two together to create a button down t-shirt.

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      4. Get a Haircut

      So what does your hair have to do with sprucing up your wardrobe? Quite a lot, actually. Imagine a woman dressed in tight black jeans and a black trench coat. Now imagine her in the same outfit, but with long curly hair. Now with a blue mohawk. Now with dreadlocks.

      She looked completely different, right?

      Changing your hairstyle completely changes the way your entire outfit is perceived. Spend $40 on a haircut, or spend $400 on a new wardrobe? The results will likely be pretty much the same.

        5. Swap ‘Til You Drop

        Get together with your friends and swap clothes and accessories. Also keep an eye out for swap events in your nearest metropolitan area, which are generally free or ask for a suggested donation to benefit local charities.

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        6. Make New Accessories

        Have a drawer filled with shirts that are missing buttons or skirts with tears that you’ve been meaning to fix? Transform your clothing junk drawer into fresh new accessories. A length of fabric from a skirt can be used as a scarf, or braided together to create a woven belt. Take leftover buttons and use them to create earrings or necklaces, and scavenge any beading or decorative elements to use on future projects.

        7. Think Long-Term

        Long-term storage, that is. Here’s the thing. The stuff you have now that’s 5-10 years old is outdated, but not yet old enough to be cool and vintage. Store those items for another decade or two, and you’ll have a vintage wardrobe that will be the envy of everyone in 2031.

          8. Buttons

          Swap out the buttons on your shirts with fun and funky buttons from your local craft store. It’s a small change that only takes a small amount of time and money, but can completely overhaul the look of the staple pieces in your closet.

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          9. Deep-clean

          You can make tired items look brand new by taking proper care of them. Brighten whites with bleach or Oxi-Clean, and choose detergents that protect color. Always separate your whites from your colors, and wash your clothes in cold water to prevent against color loss over time.

          10. Distress for Success

          Rub jeans and t-shirts with 100-grit sandpaper to give them a distressed look. Why pay a hundred bucks for ragged jeans when you could just make them yourself?

          Conclusion

          Reinvigorating your bland wardrobe might take a little planning and elbow grease, but your wallet will thank you for doing it on the cheap.

          Do you have any tips for improving your wardrobe on a shoestring budget? Share them with us in the comments below!

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          Tucker Cummings

          Writer and social media professional sharing productivity tips on Lifehack.

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          Last Updated on July 10, 2020

          How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

          How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

          We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

          We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

          So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

          Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

          What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

          Boundaries are limits

          —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

          Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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          Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

          Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

          Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

          How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

          Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

          1. Self-Awareness Comes First

          Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

          You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

          To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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          You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

          • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
          • When do you feel disrespected?
          • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
          • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
          • When do you want to be alone?
          • How much space do you need?

          You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

          2. Clear Communication Is Essential

          Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

          Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

          3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

          Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

          That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

          Sample language:

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          • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
          • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
          • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
          • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
          • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
          • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
          • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

          Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

          4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

          Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

          Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

          Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

          We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

          It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

          It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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          Final Thoughts

          Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

          Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

          Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

          The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

          Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

          Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

          They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

          Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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