Even the most drab outfits can be turned into something unforgettable with the right accessories. Here’s how some stylish people are saving money while looking great.
If you like making a statement with a hat but don’t really want to spend the money, try buying them used. Many people buy hats for special occasions and only wear them once, so there’s plenty of second-hand hats around, often at great prices.
Bags of style
- Look out for old leather handbags from second-hand stores or the family attic. Vintage handbags have a timeless appeal.
- Old leather camera cases and satchels also make unusual but stylish accessories.
- Clean up old bags with saddle soap, then use shoe polish and buff well. For a quick shine, rub with hand cream and wipe off with a tissue.
Best foot forward
- If you need shoes to match a dress for a special occasion, buy plain satin pumps and have them dyed instead of spending time and money searching for the right colour.
- Strappy summer sandals bought at end-of-season sales can double for evening wear.
- Sew beads or sequins on plain canvas shoes for fun, casual wear.
- Jewelry doesn’t need to be pricey. You can find colourful beads in craft shops and make your own.
- If you’re looking for jewelry in precious stones or metals, visit a wholesaler. Most larger cities have jewelry wholesalers.
Repair your jewelry
- Repair gold or silver-plated jewelry with a fine paint brush and gold or silver spray paint. Spray a little paint onto a piece of cardboard, dip in the brush and touch up the chips.
- To unknot a chain, lay it on a piece of wax paper. Put a drop or two of baby oil directly onto the knot. Use two needles to gently untangle the knot, then blot the oil with tissues.
- If the post on a pierced earring has broken, use a nail file to smooth off any residual glue from the back, then mount a new post with permanent glue.
- If the pin on the back of a brooch is broken, don’t throw it away. You can put it on a chain to make a necklace, sew it to a jacket or repair it with permanent glue.
- A scarf is one of the most useful accessories in your wardrobe. Here’s some fun ways to wear a scarf:
- Use a large woollen one as a fall shawl or poncho instead of a coat.
- Twist a wide cotton scarf into a bikini top for the beach, or use a big scarf as a sarong.
- Use a small scarf to tie up long hair into a ponytail.
Buttons and bows
The buttons and other trims used on designer or vintage clothes are sometimes worth more than the garment itself. Look for damaged second-hand designer outfits in second-hand stores, snip off the buttons and use them to give a touch of class to a plain jacket or sweater.
Accessories add variety to your wardrobe, transforming clothes from casual to dressed up, or taking a simple outfit from day to evening. A few well-chosen items can make a simple, inexpensive outfit look like a designer creation.