Whether young or old, we all like to look our best and shopping for clothes, shoes and accessories is one of life’s little pleasures for many. However, with people cutting their cloth (sorry for the pun!) according to their means at the moment, buying new clothes can sometimes feel like a luxury we can ill afford. That doesn’t mean that buying clothes has to be something we no longer do as there are many ways to enjoy new trends and fashion without breaking the bank.
1. A great way to gain a new look for free is to hold a “swishing” party with your friends. Everyone brings an item or two (or more) they no longer want, maybe some shoes, a belt, a dress or a bag and then “swishes” or swaps them for another item. It’s a good idea to settle on how many items you will all bring as it is unfortunate if one friend brings a huge bag full and another brings one item! For the price of a few nibbles and drinks, you and your friends can get themselves a whole new look for free and also have an inexpensive fun evening trying on new outfits!
2. Shopping at charity/thrift shops and boot sales can uncover a whole new load of fashion treasures for mere pennies. The last thing people want to do when holding a boot sale is take all their items home with them, so there are many bargains to be had. I recently picked up a new suit from Mexx, complete with tags, for £1! The seller bought it on impulse and was just happy to get rid of it. Charity shops can also give you a great new look for less. My sister was looking for a winter coat recently but at £50 on the High Street, they were out of her reach. A trip to her local charity shop uncovered a great cream wool coat for less than £7! And her purchase also raised cash for a local good cause.
3. If you are lucky enough to have a local market, you will probably find traders who sell clothes and accessories for a fraction of the cost of those sold by the large retailers. These stalls are great for picking up items such as scarves, fashion jewellery and bags which can update your look. Our local market sells scarves and pashminas for a fiver for two, which can instantly transform an outfit.
4. If you are talented with a needle or own a sewing machine, why not consider making or customising your own clothes rather than buying new? With fashion gurus such as Gok Wan showing you how to transform an outfit for a few pounds, it is something which can be done at home with little outlay. A packet of dye and some string can transform a t shirt into a tie dye marvel. Or a few fabric flowers sewn on can update a dress or skirt instantly. If you are more serious, patterns and fabric can be found at most charity or craft/sewing shops.
5. A way of making fashion affordable is to consider a catalogue. A favourite of many women in 1970’s/1980’s, catalogues are now a very popular way to update your look and spread the cost. Many stars such as Fearne Cotton and Holly Willoughby have their own fashion lines in catalogues. Many catalogues also offer an incentive such as 10% off your first order if you purchase. Obviously only consider a catalogue if you are able to pay it off each month.
Hopefully these tips will show that fashion can remain affordable and give you a few new ideas when next considering a new outfit!