Nothing beats the feeling of trying on a new outfit, but sometimes all your wardrobe needs is a breath of fresh air. Like breathing, refreshing your wardrobe is free. “Free” is in my top five favorite words and if you’re into saving big bucks, it’s probably one of your favorite words, too. This is also the perfect opportunity to pretend you’re on a television makeover show. These ways to refresh your wardrobe won’t cost you anything but a little bit of time.
1. Host a Clothes & Accessories Swap
Before the next get-together, ask your friends or family if they’d be interested in participating in an informal swap. Everyone can bring clothing, accessories and other wardrobe items they no longer want. This swap won’t cost a dime and can help you and those around you find new pieces to love.
2. Have Friends & Family Style You
Finally, you can feel like a celebrity with a squadron of stylists. Although, if your friends and family tend to be your harshest critics, it might turn into an episode of “What Not to Wear.” Have someone whose style you admire play stylist and put together some looks for you. Perhaps they’ll pair shoes and accessories you never thought could work. Everyone’s mind works differently and this can help you discover new ways to style your favorites and rediscover pieces you may have forgotten.
3. Sell Clothes You Don’t Wear Anymore
Minimizing your wardrobe is a great way to refresh it. By cutting out the excess pieces weighing down your wardrobe, you can make some cash and create more space to focus on your favorites. There are plenty of places to sell your clothes for cash. You can also pay it forward and donate pieces you no longer love or that no longer fit. If you need motivation to toss clothes, grab an empty box or trash bag and make it your goal to fill it. The empty container may ignite your inner clothes purger.
4. Craft Old Pieces Into New Ones
No need to be a do-it-yourself master for this one. Even something as simple as ironing a decorative patch onto your dated jacket or turning a T-shirt into a tank top using scissors will do. You can also play around with dye or spray paint to give accessories a new look.
5. Focus on Styling
There’s magic to be found in simple wardrobe hacks that require no tools and minimal effort. Try tying straps in a new way, re-lacing shoes, cuffing up jeans, rolling up sleeves or adjusting the straps of pieces in your wardrobe. A styling trick as simple as tucking in your shirt and cuffing your sleeves can create a more fitted and polished look.
6. Turn to Technology
There are plenty of free apps that can help you refresh your wardrobe. Apps like Closet+ and Cloth let you organize your wardrobe and keep track of the pieces you own. These apps can help you fall back in love with pieces you’ve forgotten. They also help prevent those “I have nothing to wear!” moments by allowing you to plan outfits in advance. If you’re less tech-savvy, you can plan outfits using an instant camera and a marker.
7. Take a Stab at a Capsule Wardrobe
Minimalism is in and it can even be expanded to your wardrobe. A “capsule wardrobe” is all about paring down your wardrobe to the essentials. Capsule wardrobes typically consist of 30 to 40 pieces that can be mixed and matched into different looks. Limiting yourself to a few pieces is a great way to cut down on shopping and, if you take care of your clothes, they can last for years.
Although this strategy can be done using your current wardrobe, if you choose to shop for your capsule wardrobe to invest in quality basics built for long-term wear, limit yourself to a short list and shop with caution. Overspending can lead to debt and have major consequences for your credit. (View your free credit report snapshot on Credit.com to see how spending affects your finances)