There are two times in the year when life gets a bit more challenging for the frugal woman; when the fashion circus comes to town. It is difficult to avoid fashion when the shows are covered in all the papers. Everyday more beautiful things to look at, it is a kind of torture for women that like clothes and accessories.
I get the urge to shop when I see the new colours, the new shoes and all the pretty dresses. I find springtime is when the urge is the worst. That is when I am tired of wearing my winter coat and big boots, when I can’t wait to get out my favourite sandals and paint my toes the exotic shade of the season.
This year is no exception but I am determined to get through this longing and all the urges without spending too much. In a lot if ways, spring is the easier season to be on a tight budget as you don’t need to buy big ticket items such as a winter coat.
My strategy to get in the fashion groove this spring is the following:
1. Shop your own wardrobe first – after a long, cold winter it is super easy to forget what you already own. Before spending a single penny, go through all the clothes you put away last year. You never know what treasures you actually have in your closet.
2. OK, so you found a few nice items but they are not rocking your world; now is the time to get customising. Change buttons, put in a contrasting zip in that sun dress, cut last year’s maxi dress into a top. There are always ways to give an old item, a new life.
3. What to do with the items that you will never wear again? These are the ones that are too short or too revealing for your age or the fashion mistakes that you will never wear. That is when you find a Swish. Swishing is ethical shopping where you do not spend a penny. You go to a event where everyone brings items they no longer want and trade for new stuff. I wrote about my experience of going to a Swish. You can even organize one of your own.
4. Get out the accessories – in the spring/summer it is easy to look chic if you are wearing some fabulous sunnies and a few bangles. Hit charity shops in wealthy areas to grab hats, necklaces and sunglasses.
5. Do your nails – the past few seasons nail polish has become a very easy way to show that you are in the know. Browse fancy department stores for the colour of your dreams then hit eBay. It is impossible to make a mistake if you note the exact brand and colour. You don’t need many shades, just make one your signature for the season. The same goes for lip colour.
Start digging in your closets this weekend before your urge to hit the shops gets too much.