Wardrobe rehab on no money

It’s such a first-world problem. Staring at your over-stuffed wardrobe and sighing that you have ‘nothing to wear’. In all honesty, I have a lot of clothes to wear. I am just bored of them all. My sensible shopping habits mean that I am still wearing dresses and tops I bought three to eight years ago, and while they may still be stylish and in good condition, they’ve just worn out their welcome a little.

Kirst and I are currently both suffering from the same ‘problem’. We have clothes to wear – we just don’t want to wear them. They fit, they look good but right now, we feel frumpy and dull in the same dress we’ve worn to every summer BBQ for the last three years no matter how nice the fabric is. Dressing up has lost it’s fun and become of all things – a little depressing.

Wardrobe clothes

So much to wear but nothing you Want to wear

We also share another problem. Very limited funds. As Kirst is saving for her wedding and I am saving for an overseas trip, neither of us can afford to fritter away some ‘fiddies’ (kidding as if we’d have multiple $50 notes!) on unnecessary clothes.

So what to do? We are both in major style ruts and urgently need some wardrobe rehab – but is this even possible when you have little or no money?

I’m going to take a punt and say yes it is (you gotta have hope!) and here’s how…

Can’t shop? Swop.

Look at your wardrobe critically. Really assess your clothes as to whether you’ll ever wear them again or you’re just hanging on to them. If you can admit you’re never going to wear it again – get rid of it. Shops such as SWOP in West End will let you swap your unwanted clothes for someone else’s. It’s ethical, practical and rather fun to see what treasures you might find or want unexpected piece you’ll walk away with.

SWOP Clothing Exchange in West End

SWOP Clothing Exchange in West End

Do you have a friend also in need of wardrobe rehab?

If you have a friend equally in need of a wardrobe refresh, consider swapping clothes. A new wardrobe doesn’t have to be brand-new – rather pieces that are new for you and refresh your look. Of course this might not be an option if you’re different shapes and sizes but always remember – women tend to hold onto clothes whether they fit or not. Something your friend no longer wears may now be perfect for you. Just remember with this option be fair – don’t try swapping your Kmart rags for your girlfriend’s Zimmermann – unless they are cool with it and if so grab it and run like the wind!

Set yourself a budget

Ok, so this one involves actual spending of money, but who doesn’t love a challenge? Set yourself a clear and realistic budget, it doesn’t have to be big, even $100 can make a difference. So set a budget of dollar value or say, ‘one dress’ and take yourself shopping. Choose somewhere you know you’ll find a garment you love or shop at a DFO or the sales, to get the most bang for your buck. The trick with this is don’t just buy basics. Treat yourself to something that will make you feel special and even better – something that can hopefully be worn in multiple ways. There is no point in going shopping because you feel frumpy and then spending $100 on white t-shirts. A smart investment yes – but this isn’t about that.

Smart sales shopping, - getting a lot for a little or lucking on some amazing discounts!

Smart sales shopping, – getting a lot for a little or lucking on some amazing discounts!

Birgit in her $100 Maiocchi dress, bought in a February 2015 sample sale.

Birgit in her $100 Maiocchi dress, bought in a February 2015 sample sale.

Sell to spend

An alternative to swapping is selling. If you have good quality, good condition clothing – though sometimes even this isn’t a requirement – try selling it to make money to shop. You can sell through eBay, set up a temporary Facebook shop, or sell at a Suitcase Rummage. Whatever money you make from your unwanted clothes you can spend on something new that you’ll wear.

Suitcase Rummage in Brisbane CBD

Suitcase Rummage in Brisbane CBD

Hide your clothes

Ok, this one is more long-term but trust me, it works. If you have a wardrobe clean out you’ll find things that you love but perhaps no longer wear. If you can’t bare to part with them, hide them away in your garage. In six-months to a years’ time you can pull them out of the bag and either look at them in horror that you ever wore such a thing or you’ll fall in love with the piece all over again. It will feel new again.

Go Op-shopping / Thrifting / Rummaging for vintage

Why not refresh your wardrobe and do something good for the community? Pop all those unwanted clothes into a bag and drop them off at your local Salvation Army, St Vinnies or Endeavour Foundation shop. Then browse the aisles and find yourself some absolute gems. This is a list of all of Brisbane’s Op-Shops so now you have no excuse.

DIY or Sew

Ok so things are getting a little crazy now – what if you actually make yourself something new to wear? Learn to sew (a circle skirt is a super easy place to start) or take inspiration from blogs like a pair and a spare or A Beautiful Mess and get creative. Not only is it really fun but you’ll get bragging rights when you’re friends start coveting your wardrobe.

And if all of those fail…we hear ‘Derelict’ might be coming back into fashion soon.

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3 thoughts on “Wardrobe rehab on no money

  1. Pingback: The Weekly G&T |

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