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7 Ways to Update your Wardrobe without Breaking the Bank

Updated on December 17, 2015

Want to look fashionable but not break the bank account? If you’re like me, you want to keep up with the trends without spending a lot. Luckily, all you have to do is shop your closet before going out to the stores. By adding a few inexpensive fashion game-changers and mixing them with pieces you already have in your wardrobe, you can keep up with the trends and afford to eat at the same time.

Stick out your neck.

Drape an eye-catching necklace over your everyday outfit and all eyes will notice the jewelry, not that you’re wearing the same black top or knit dress. There are lots of expensive-looking pieces in the cheaper chain stores, which makes it easy on your budget to buy several to change it up. I wear one I got at Ross Stores and people are usually too busy complimenting me on it to notice I’m wearing the same black t-shirt I wear all the time.

Stick out your neck.

Go from basic to eye-catching with a statement necklace.
Go from basic to eye-catching with a statement necklace. | Source

Make your sportswear do double duty.

These days, sportswear as fashion has become so trendy, the fashionistas have even coined a new term for it- athleisure. To hop on the trend bandwagon without spending a lot, use what you already have. You don’t have to buy the new labels that look like sportswear but are not – wear the real thing. Got a pair of cool yoga pants? Wear them. Cute tennis dress? Wear it. Trendy running top? Yep. IF you’re not particularly sporty but want to wear this trend, dig that pair of sneakers you meant to use for working out but never did. Wear it with anything from jeans to skirts to palazzo pants and you’ll look like you’re on top of the latest look.

Just do it- use sportswear for everyday fashion.
Just do it- use sportswear for everyday fashion. | Source
Go on the prowl for great leopard print items.
Go on the prowl for great leopard print items. | Source

Look for leopard.

One small piece will go a long way, and there are lots of inexpensive accessories out there. A leopard print scarf, bag, or flats worn with a basic outfit will instantly update it for a chic new look. The other great thing about this is that it doesn’t go out of season – transfer it to spring or winter for a timeless outfit. If you decide to splurge a little, a skirt or jacket with leopard lining can be worn with pretty much anything. Leopard print doesn’t make your fashion animal roar? No problem! Other animal prints like zebra print or snakeskin are hot right now,too.

Dust off your jean jacket.

I found my 10-year- old jean jacket during a recent closet clean out (I know, I know). Since then, it has become a regular staple with my maxidresses and skirts – put it on and seconds later I have a great outfit – for no extra money. Layer under it to extend it to colder weather wear. A short leather jacket also works for cooler spring/summer nights or fall/winter wear. Obviously, a jean jacket works well over any kind of dress, jeans, shorts, or anything else you can think to wear-just throw it on and you'll instantly look more chic.

Belt it.

I love dresses and sometimes want to wear the same loose, comfortable shirt dress or oversize sack dress over and over. Luckily, I can get away with it by using a variety of belts. There are a variety of cute obi-style, leather-look or eye-popping novelty belts out there. Or for a more dressy look, use satin or grosgrain ribbons (you can get them from any shop that sells sewing supplies)-weave them together in different colors, use one for a simpler effect, or tie them in interesting shapes to make an impression.

Change your look with a unique belt.
Change your look with a unique belt. | Source

What's your fashion style?

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Go to different lengths.

Luckily, thanks to the new interest in sewing, I don’t actually have to sew to get a new look on an old piece with just some heat-activated stitching tape and my trusty iron. With a quick swipe, I can transform my straight-leg pants to adorable capris or my out-of style knee length dress into a new mini.

Change those old jeans to new capris.
Change those old jeans to new capris. | Source

Get lippy.

If all else fails, invest in a new lipstick in a vibrant, trendy shade. With a pop of color on your lips, who will notice what you’re wearing? Drugstore brands have the same hues as the designer cosmetic counters, which makes it easy to find one that will help your lips look fabulous.

All the well-dressed woman needs is an eye-popping lipstick.
All the well-dressed woman needs is an eye-popping lipstick. | Source


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    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      3 years ago from Chicago Area

      I am definitely a statement jewelry person! It's served me (and my budget) well. Thanks for sharing the tips!

    • ghalkett profile imageAUTHOR

      Genevieve Halkett 

      3 years ago from Dayton, Ohio

      Happy to do so! I don't think you should have to have a huge budget to look well-dressed and fashionable, and I agree-some of the classic pieces you hang on to are often the best items in your wardrobe--notice how these fashions always come around again?

    • brakel2 profile image

      Audrey Selig 

      3 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      Hi Excellent suggestions. I have a new pair of pj lounge pants that look very chic and expensive to wear anywhere. It's fun to put clothes together and feel trendy. I know some wealthy folks that wear tennis shoes and inexpensive outfits similar to this hub. I have a twenty year old jeans jacket still in great shape. Thanks for sharing. Blessings, Audrey

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      3 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Very helpful tips for up-dating a wardrobe. Jean jackets are so handy. Voted up and sharing.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 

      3 years ago from United States

      Love your suggestions. Will have to try the belt trick!


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