I firmly believe style and money have nothing in common; style is an unwavering sense of self coupled with confidence, it is being authentic and true to oneself while also being fun and creative. I passionately advocate the less-is-more approach to style and fashion, not in a visual sense (although I do love me some classic minimalist design) but in terms of lifestyle, values and the bigger picture. I admire people with style who remain real, laid back and genuine - I appreciate those who love fashion but also know there is more to life. Style is deeper than the latest 'it bag' it is about the self and the display of individuality, which has nothing to do with status, cash or snobbery.
Living a stylish life doesn't need to come with a big price tag. I know wealthy people without a scrap of style and students living off pennies whose style is so incredible I almost want to enroll at UNI just so I can sit next to them in class. Money and style simply have nothing in common. There is no need to have bucket loads of cash to live a stylish life.
Here are some of the ways I get my style dose and fashion fix without the spend....
Host A Clothes Swap Party
I have touched on this idea before but I am bringing it up again because it is such a great way to extend your wardrobe options for nothing, not just for yourself but your friends too. This ideas can extended to a wider circle or kept small, you can invite your closest friends or make a group on social media to get more out of the event. Everyone wins, picking up new items, getting rid of old ones and there is no waste.
Hit The Op-Shop
My love for vintage is dangerously deep, so much so I can't op-shop for an hour, I need a good 1/2 day at the least. I get so wrapped up in the magic of pre-loved clothing I can't tear myself away. So many of my favourite clothes are from op-shops. Utilise this avenue to find unique, one of a kind pieces. The key to op-shopping well is to look for texture first - with overflowing racks, it can be overwhelming but once you can differentiate polyester from cotton, linen from acrylic, you will only pull out the worth while pieces. Next, look for colour. I go straight to neutrals - white, beige, grey, silver, navy, black etc. Looking for pieces that will last and ae worth adding to your wardrobe means being able to understand quality vs cheap. Don't buy anything 'cheap', polyester, ill fitting, pilling or tacky. Look at brands too such as Cue, Witchery, Country Road etc and if your lucky, designer.
Sew It Up
I have been sewing since I first raided my Nana's fabric cupboard and fell instantly in love. Having this skill has made a huge difference to my clothing retention, I have salvaged so many 'throw out' pieces with a few little changes, taking pants up, adding shape to garments and updating my clothes for different seasons with shorter sleeves, darts and different hem lines. Learn to sew basic stitches and tailoring techniques or ask someone you know who does sew to do your hem lines or fit alterations.
If you love the idea of a clothes swap party minus the party part, you could ask a few friends to do a direct swap and either post of exchange items in person. You can also do this via a Facebook group of classifieds.
I have a system for using Ebay which means it never costs me anything except any sellers fees. Every time I sell something I use the money to buy something. I won't purchase anything unless I have sold something to that value. I see it as a rotating wardrobe and it is a great way to shop because you can get great pieces for much less than the original cost.
Sell AT The Markets
Check out if there are any local markets you can get involved with as a seller. You will need to pay the stall fee and be orgnised with stock and display but other than that, selling your things at a market store is a great way to make some money from your old things. You will probably need to source a wheely rack but the markets should provide tables. Buy some sticky labels for pricing, invite some friends to join you with their items to ensure your stall has lots of stock and get selling. Make sure you display your items well, it should look visually appealing, be colour coded and shop-able.
Store The Special Pieces
I am 50% hoarder, 50% ridiculous minimalist...it all depends on my mood. I do weekly closet clean outs and love getting rid of things I don't need but I also have things in my wardrobe for the 90's. There are some things I will never part with and have thanked my lucky stars when something I have hung on to becomes relevant again. The 3 questions to consider when storing something are...
Does this item have beautiful memories attached to it?
Will I be sad saying goodbye to this?
Is it designer, quality, classic and timeless?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, keep it. Otherwise, let it go.
Store old items in boxes or tubs and keep in the driest place in your house. If you are hanging items, ensure you use large, quality hangers to keep the shape and condition of your clothing.
Get creative with fashion - it is ok to step away from the consumer wheel and recycle, re-imagine and review your wardrobe for maximum effect. Style is about YOU and while sometimes it is the best feeling known to fashion lover kind to purchase something expensive, shiny and new, remember that no new purchase or trend will make you 'more stylish'. Style comes from the inside.
Happy savings! x
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