Have you ever made a promise to yourself to expand your wardrobe, but resisted due to budget constraints? Millions of men and women face the difficult task daily of attempting to throw together a stylish outfit, but are challenged due to lack of options and empty wallets. However, the main issue with this mentality is not the fact that your bank account looks drier than the Sahara, but that aspiring fashion-lovers need to think outside the box. Just because the latest Dior line is priced well over your current life’s savings does not mean you can’t acquire these looks, but simply means you need a little help from those who know how to replicate styles for half the cost. This is where Trend Hunter comes in. Consider us your out-of-the-ordinary stylist who understands paying a thousand dollars for a purse is like throwing your wallet into a pool of money-hungry, well-dressed sharks.
From DIY accessories to using undervalued retail stores as a purchasing haven, we’ve uncovered the thriftiest sources for finding ensembles that scream chic. Everything from scarves to paper can serve as excellent sources for your in-vogue apparel, so save the trip to the dump because there are sure to be a few gems in that recycle pile of yours! We’ve even tossed in a tidbit for the more daring fashion-lover, which includes a healthy amount of duct tape and a whole lot of courage.
Stop blaming your unfashionable ways on monetary woes and start standing out from the crowd with these savvy, money-saving methods!
1) Thrifty Couture Fashion
Scarves are an absolute must when it comes to wardrobe staples, and you can purchase these in hundreds of colors and patterns for no more than five bucks. Deal eh? The best part about these gems is their versatility. Gone are the days when scarves were scoffed at when worn anywhere but around the neck, and in are the times of DIY glory. Looking for a new shirt to wear to that fancy lounge on Friday? Just take two ends of this colorful material, wrap it around the torso covering the necessary bits and pieces, and voila! Your five-dollar scarf has now become the sexiest top you’ve ever owned. The clever style aficionados over at Comme Des Garcons know this secret all too well, as shown with their vintage scarf skirt. What’s great is the design, what’s not is the $1,125 price tag. Yikes.
Now, the old me would have left this site faster than you can say "Chanel," but my redesigned, fashion-savvy self saw the aesthetic inspiration behind this overpriced feature. Instead of paying over a thousand dollars for an expensive piece (let’s face it, you might as well start flushing hundred dollar bills down the toilet as a form of entertainment), you can take this design on as a DIY project. All you need is a needle and thread, a slew of scarves to choose from and some uplifting beats to give you focus. Start piecing together each individual section until you’ve achieved the ruffled effect seen in the original. When done, pair with a plain tank top, some killer heels and accessories and you’ll be able to give even the most stylish fashionistas a run for their money.
2) Affordable Eco Fashion
Have you ever met someone who claims to be one with nature, is most likely vegan and makes a point to dress in the most obvious, ugly, eco-friendly clothes? I’m talking about those who look like they are from the sixties wearing what looks like a two-dollar poncho, but was actually fifty overpriced dollars. While some give sustainable material a bad rap when it comes to style, others are paving the way to make saving the world one shirt at a time a bit more accessible. The good folk over at Pickled Green Clothing understand that maintaining the health of the planet does not have to be costly, and can look just as hip as any upscale retailer. According to the company’s website, only certified organic cotton, recycled material and sustainable fabrics are used in the making of the clothes, and every piece must be produced under Fairtrade policies. Although this company is based in the UK, thrifty and eco-friendly fashion-lovers can still browse through and purchase the material online. The pieces are affordable, and will give any wardrobe a much-needed, eco-conscious makeover.
3) DIY Fashion Accessories
The number one style tip for turning an otherwise bland outfit into a fashionable look is to accessorize to the max. It’s amazing what a few bracelets, a dangling necklace and chic earrings can do to a casual jeans and tee ensemble. The more bracelets you can mix and match on that arm of yours, the better. Fashionable onlookers will appreciate these finishing touches and appreciate your savvy sense of mingling colors and material. The challenge is building that accessory drawer without spending an arm and a leg (you’ll need the former for adornment purposes). Luckily, the clever and stylish Cynthia Devening has come up with an alternative way to polish off an outfit by using the most basic pieces of stationary: a paper and a clip. She has created a pair of origami earrings, which would look fabulous on a warm summer’s day with a flowing white sundress and sandals. No need to know the price of this great idea, because you can make it yourself! Go online, look up the best pieces of origami, find some patterned paper and start customizing your next pair of dangly earrings for next to no money at all. Now that’s saving.
4) Fierce Adhesive Fashion
Now, before introducing this next piece of style advice I will warn readers: this chic, money-saving tip is not for the faint of heart. You must be ready to make a statement, and do so with some major swag. "Wear it loud and wear it proud" is the best motto to keep in mind when walking the urban runway in this outfit, because it’s made from 100% duct tape. Yes, you read that correctly. Conceived and designed by Lookbook.nu members Leah H., P B. and Sandra E, this thrifty piece is sure to get you noticed for a number of reasons. How often do you see people walking around in duct tape?! The best part is that these savvy fashionistas have managed to throw together the strapless number without it even looking like it was made from a product made for quick fixes around the home. Grab a few colors of this household adhesive and start sticking like your style depends on it. You could be surprised at how a little tape goes a long way.
5) Nautical Styles for Spring
Last, but certainly not least in this cost-effective guide is a heavy-hitting retail store that is anything but DIY. Primark is a UK-based department store that raises the meaning of thrifty and fashionable to a whole new level. The above link is slightly outdated, but visiting their current website and seeing the array of pieces to choose from just goes to show that the company’s fashion-savvy sense is never passé. The store is filled to the brim with outfits even trendier than the latest Versace collection, and you can be sure no item from this store will ever break your bank. The 2012 collection features deep blue summer dresses paired with simple, yet sophisticated belts, a colorful selection of jeans as well as blouses similar to those found in Aritzia for half the price. Most items sell for less than $40, and for those not based in the UK, have no fear. Target has just made its big move to Canada and is the North America equivalent to this money-saving store.
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By: Jamie Danielle Munro - Published: Mar 6, 2012 • References: trendhunter