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Update Your Wardrobe on a Budget

2 minute read, by Closet America, on Aug 16, 2012

Whether you’ve recently changed jobs, are returning to the workplace, or perhaps an at-home mom, many of us find our wardrobes need attention. Closets are full of clothes that don’t fit or are out of style. With fall approaching, you may be taking stock of your fall and winter clothes and realizing you need some updated pieces.

This is a great time to go through your closet and sort through clothes that you can do without or have not worn in a few seasons and make room for some new fall finds. But most of us can’t blow our monthly budget to empty our closet and fill it with all new pieces.

Approach the task step-by-step. First, take inventory of what you already have. Go through your closet and separate items by pants, skirts, jackets, tops, and dresses. Anything that you don’t feel good wearing, that isn’t flattering, get rid of it! The golden rule is to toss anything you haven’t worn in a year. If you have items still in great shape or higher-end labels, consider consigning them. The money you make can be put towards new items. Have a yard sale, sell things online, or donate anything else that’s still in good shape.

Next, sit down with pen and paper and make a list of “must haves.” Depending on your work and lifestyle, you may need to stock up on business attire if your job requires it, or more casual wear if you work from home. Keep in mind that many key pieces in your wardrobe can serve double-duty – a simple sheath dress can be dressed up for a more formal or business occasion with heels and a blazer, or becomes casual with fun jewelry or a scarf and a cute pair of flats. Look through magazines and catalogs for inspiration. But avoid the urge to go too trendy – if that blouse will be out of style and dated by next winter, you’re better off buying a more classic piece and making it fit today’s style with accessories.

“Mix and match” is a great mantra to keep in mind when shopping. Invest in classic styles of basic items: slacks, blazer, skirt, a pair or two of jeans that flatter your figure. Keeping the colors neutral will help – taupe, beige, gray, black. Then add a classic white button down shirt, a few blouses, some more casual tops. Choose tops that can be dressed up for work or down for casual days. Splashes of color can come from blouses as well as accessories to tie the whole look together.

Don’t pay full price! While it’s fun to shop at high-end department stores, you can often find the same items and designer brands at discount outlets and consignment stores. End of season sales are where you’ll find the best prices on items you’re looking for. Online auction sites and internet classifieds can be a great place to find really fun and affordable accessories.

Getting rid of items that are taking up space in your closet, being smart about the purchases you make, and great accessories can give you a wardrobe that will cover any event that comes your way while not breaking the bank.

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