Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Update Your Wardrobe for Less

Photo by Kevinrosseel on

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Every season, designers come out with must-haves that send many of us scurrying to the store to make sure we look current. I have to admit that I’ve wasted way more money than I should have on purchases that only lasted a single season. Over time, I’ve learned how to stay current without recklessly spending money that can go toward something more permanent.

The key is to start with a basic wardrobe filled with quality pieces that won’t go out of style. Then each season, add trendy items that complement what you already have. Rather than discard your entire wardrobe, you’ll replace just a few pieces, ultimately saving money, while being as stylish as ever.

Basic Wardrobe

Start with a basic wardrobe in your favorite neutrals and accent colors. I have pants in several basic colors—black, brown, navy, olive, and khaki. Add tank tops, T-shirts, and a white button-front shirt that make good standalone or layering pieces. A dress or two that can be worn alone or with a sweater or jacket will add more looks to your wardrobe. Two or three blazers, a cardigan, and a vest will help you mix and match for a variety of outfits. Other pieces you may want to add to your basic wardrobe over time include a trench coat, jeans, shorts, and capris. If you have a frequent need to dress more formally, you may want to have a long black skirt that can be paired with different tops and jackets.


Accessories can pull together an outfit and take it from blah to exciting, fun, and glamorous. Swapping out your pearls for a chunky necklace gives your outfit a completely different look. Try on various accessories with your basic wardrobe to maximize your trendiness.

One of the biggest trends over the past several years has been accessorizing with scarves. Pick up a few rectangular and square scarves in your favorite accent colors and learn different ways to tie them.

Add trendy belts to change up your outfit. Wear skinny belts in layers with your favorite dress or layer a tank top, white button-front shirt, and a candy-colored wide belt for accent and a fresh new look.

Necklaces are the perfect pieces to fill in the frame created by a scoop neckline or V-neck top. Choose trendy pieces that are flattering to your skin tone.

Wear a single bracelet or stack several for more drama to get the current look without spending your entire paycheck. The arm will be the focal point, regardless of what else you’re wearing.

A cute, fashionable handbag can make the plainest outfit come alive. Carry an animal embossed leather bag with your black slacks, white top, and jewel-tone blazer for a current look. Or choose a metal mesh bag from Whiting & Davis to show a hint of edgy-glam style.

A new pair of shoes may be all you need to update your wardrobe. Look for the latest shoe fashions at discount sites such as Zappos or BlueFly.