What really makes a $300 skirt $300? Usually you can spot the difference in things like the tailoring, how it fits and the quality of the fabric. Of course, most of us are limited to what we can spend when it comes to our wardrobe so here are a few tricks to make your clothes look like you’ve spent high dollar on them.
- Trim off loose strings – Seriously. Even that $300 skirt can look $275 cheaper with strings hanging off! Be careful you don’t cut too close so that you don’t cut the fabric or pull the seam (I speak from experience unfortunately) and keep on top of it. Washing can make new strings come from nowhere so just clip away every once in a while. I usually give a quick glance every time I wear something but just do it regularly.
- If it doesn’t fit, don’t wear it – Fit is essential! If your weight fluctuates a lot, hang on to it but don’t wear it just because you can still “squeeze into” it. Same goes with things that are too baggy. It may have been your favorite at one time because it looked great on you but with a honest self-examination really ask yourself: “Does it still look good on me now or am I just in love with what it used to look like on me or the fabric or the design or idea or blah blah blah…” You get the point. In the words of Elsa: Let it go.
- Get it tailored – Yeah, it’s a nuisance. Trust me, I know. But a hem too long (especially for pencil skirts) can cause a horribly unflattering silhouette and 9 times out of 10 it’s only because it’s off by an inch, sometimes less. If it’s a great piece then just do it. It’s not that expensive and once it’s done it’s done.
- Wash it cold and delicate and hang it to dry – Washers and dryers put a lot of wear and tear on your clothes. Cold water will get them clean, I promise. And the delicate cycle cleans just as good while being a little less harsh and I use it on everything. As for the dryer, I only put t-shirts and jeans in there (and some tees and jeans I even hang-dry) so most of my stuff is hanging on the shower rod or lying on a flat towel and my underwear hangs from door knobs and corners. It’s crazy, yes, but it has extended the life of my clothes like you wouldn’t believe.
- Wear what’s appropriate for the occasion – Wearing a white silk top when you know you’re going to be eating red spaghetti sauce or messy hotdogs is probably not the best idea. Even with a napkin on your lap, that stuff is bound to find your shirt. Use good judgment before you leave the house. You may look good but you’ll regret your choice later when you have to walk around with a big red stain on your white pants and hide your face in shame at all of the awkward stares.
- Iron when needed – No joke, for little fixes I use my flat iron (yes, the one for my hair.) It works great on cuffs and hems that curl up and little wrinkled spots. For big stuff use the real thing, even if that means scheduling a day to do it. I hate ironing with a passion so I try to keep things from getting wrinkled to begin with but the occasion does arise time to time. Another easy quick fix for on the go is a spray wrinkle releaser that you can do it 30 seconds. From my experience it hasn’t worked on linen or silk but it does just about every other job I need in a jiffy.
Those are a few of my favorite tricks for giving new life to your old wardrobe. Have any of your own?
(This was originally a post I wrote for CHEAPITCLASSY)