It's the plight of nearly every woman at least once a year - you open your closet, sigh, and find that you're bored with everything that hangs before you. And then you remember your bank balance...yep, about as vacant as the aftermath of a DVF sample sale. Ugh.
While both of these scenarios are certainly not ideal, don't lose your fashion optimism. With the help of these simple tips, you'll learn how to update the items already in your wardrobe and develop new ways to wear pieces that already call your closet home.
1. Chain reaction (Cost: under $10)
Instead of investing in new jewellery at a trendy department store, switch your shopping destination to the jewellery and beading section at your local craft store. Bring a few pieces of jewellery that you're tired of and choose components that you want to replace or adjust. Choose a thicker chain, update the clasp, combine a few necklaces into one, or even change the chain to suede string.
Tired of your dated, short necklaces? Change the length to make them long, layer them, or add extra pendants. You'll never see anyone else wearing it and you can continue to switch, change and adjust your jewellery when you get bored of it. After all, it's a woman's prerogative to change her mind.
2. Button up! (Cost: under $10)
Do you own a rainbow of cardigans that look like replicas of one another (and of everyone else's)? Give your basic cardigan a splash of style, just by changing the buttons. To update your knit, try experimenting with studded, pearl finished, oversized, animal print, or irregularly shaped buttons. Don't forget to bring your cardigan to your local sewing supply store to ensure that the new buttons will fit into the button holes on your sweater. Sometimes the smallest details can make the biggest change.
3. The bangle jangle (Cost: under $40/ free)
Remember back to your Girl Guide days and be resourceful with what you have; combine items you already own to create an entirely new look. All you'll need is one bangle and a shawl neckline cardigan.
With the cardigan on, feed both panels of the cardigan inside the bangle, and pull it until it's snug against your stomach. Tuck the right panel into your right pants pocket and the left panel into your left pants pocket; if the cardigan is long enough, try tying or pinning the ends behind your back. The result is a fitted, eye catching sweater that looks drastically different from the drapey cardigan that you already own.
4. Scarf styles (Cost: under $10/free)
A lightweight scarf is the multitasker of any closet; look for a scarf made out of silk, rayon, cotton, or a blend of light fabrics. Scarves are versatile, feminine and are often thought of as a last minute outfit addition.
To switch up your closet, start with a scarf and build your outfit around it. Add some spunk to your favourite purse by simply tying the silk wonder around the handle. Want to add some excitement to your outfit? Fold a long, printed scarf diagonally, wrap it around your waist, and tie or tuck the ends in. Suddenly you have a textured, unique, and comfortable belt.
To wear it around your neck without looking dated, fold it diagonally and tie the two longest ends in a knot behind your neck. Let the scarf hang, and give Thelma and Louise a run for their money.
5. Embrace your masculine side (Cost: free)
Even though venturing into a male's closet may be unchartered, unorganized, and unfamiliar territory, it's also a lot of fun. From boyfriends to brothers, a male's closet can offer a wide range of possibilities. Key items to try out are manly wool scarves, plaid button-up shirts, and oversized sweaters. To give the sweaters and button-ups more definition and femininity, try adding a belt, rolling up the sleeves, pairing them with eye catching jewellery, or wearing 'em with tights. An added bonus is that you'll feel extra comfortable in your borrowed menswear, but also seriously stylish.
Transform your closet
Upgrading your wardrobe doesn't mean you'll need an upgrade in pay. So grab a scarf, arm yourself with some bangles, and prepare to transform your closet, one cardigan at a time.
This article was provided by Kendra Hagerman, a writer who manages her own Vancouver fashion blog VanCityPretty, as well as writes for Tyra Banks' typeF fashion and beauty website, and is a contributing fashion writer for frockOn.com. A vintage clothing addict, she is currently writing a chick-lit book that will make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, while simultaneously splitting a gut with laughter.