Sunday, August 21, 2011

2 easy tips for buying less clothes (while still keeping things interesting.)

This weekend has been pretty eventful, due in large part to the fact that I got to attend my first wedding as an adult! (The other 3 occurred while I was between the ages of 2 and 13 so my memories escape me a little.)

I had a dress all picked out and I'd aimlessly left it lying on the bed. When Juha walked into the bedroom, he asked "What's this?" to which I replied that that's what I'd be wearing to his cousin's wedding on Saturday. "But the invitation says 'smart casual.'"


I didn't end up buying anything new though, so here's how I did it.

Tip 1: When dressing up for an occasion, invite a few friends over (1 or 2 days ahead of time) and ask them to rummage through your closet and dress you.
Maybe this is more of a tip for women, but regardless, it would work for men too. (Ask your girlfriend, sister, mom, friend, etc.)

Because seriously, when are you ever gonna wear this again? Credit here.

What ended up happening is that Juha's mom and sister were also wondering what to wear. They invited me over and since I had been with my friends that afternoon, we stopped by to give a trifecta of opinions! When a belt or scarf would have completed the outfit, one of us was likely to own it if the other didn't.

After this exercise, we headed to my place where I proceeded to empty out my closet, gather all my shoes and open up my jewelry box! Not only did I end up with a great outfit that I would've struggled to put together on my own, but I wore a few items which had been sitting in my closet with the tags still on, and the whole thing lasted about 10 minutes. Best of all, the total cost of the entire operation was $0.

This brings me to tip 2: Give your clothes away, swap them when they don't fit and borrow when you need something for an occasion.

A friend of mine did this a few months ago. She invited people over for an evening, and it just so happened she had emptied out her closet that day. She had a big pile of clothes on her bed and they were all up for grabs. Whatever we didn't want, she'd try to sell or give away.

This doesn't only apply to clothes but also shoes that never quite fit you but you love (you'll still see them around but on your friend instead) or other pieces which you've tried to incorporate into your wardrobe but it just hasn't worked (after trying out Tip 1). Whatever is left that none of your friends want, you can give away to second hand stores or recycling pickups. Of course there are still some things you'll need to buy new (underwear, socks, comfortable shoes, etc.) but try this method before heading to the store.

Isla Fisher in the movie Confessions of a Shopaholic, photo credit here.

What's in it for you?
- It's fun.
- You save a lot of money.
- You reuse and enjoy clothes (as they pass from hand to hand) instead of throwing them away.
- You discover different combinations, freshen up your style and keep boredom at bay.
- Your friends can do the same when they want to get rid of something and you'll be on the receiving end.

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  1. Great post Irina! And it was fun helping you guys this weekend! All three of you looked beautiful in your "new" outfits!

  2. Thanks for the idea Donna ;)
    I'll send you some pictures once I get a hold of them. We should definitely do this more often!