You can look fashionable on a budget.
Buy solid-colored and classic clothing with clean lines, such as crews, turtlenecks, V-necks, tailored jackets and cardigans, pencil skirts, pants and jeans. You can pare down to 10 to 20 articles of clothing that are easy to layer, mix and match, and add accessories. The first reader shares her method for saving on work clothes.
CAPSULE CLOTHING WARDROBE: It’s pretty much a mix-and-match concept to stretch not only your dollar but your wardrobe by creatively mixing your core clothes in various ways. And yes, there is a method.
Out of four blazers, seven bottoms (suit pants, skirts) and 32 tops, I can create 896 outfits! The backbone of mine are neutrals (black and gray for blazers and bottoms), which can be mixed with a variety of tops (black, white, gray and a variety of solid-colored ones, as well as a few patterned ones).
I do want to add a three-piece suit (blazer, skirt and pants) in either navy blue or brown to create even more outfits To change the look of each outfit, I have a variety of cheap but versatile silk scarves, belts, jewelry, footwear (one pair of black high heels, one pair of black loafers/flats, one pair of black boots, one pair of tall brown boots and one pair of black 1- 2-inch heels) and two purses (one black — goes with anything and a black clutch purse for evenings out etc.).
If you are just entering or returning to the workforce, the capsule clothing concept is awesome, as you get more out of your clothes and spend less money once you get the hang of it.
I purged my closet, donated clothes that I no longer fit into or wanted, and made a list of what I needed to get. I stick with more of a classic look and incorporate only one to two trendy pieces if budget allows. — Yvonne, Canada
REPURPOSE: I used a wooden paper towel rack that stands upright for toilet-paper storage in the kids bathroom. I used the square tissue box cover that comes with bathroom decor sets to store a spare roll, too. — Denise, California
RUG CLEANING: I clean my area rugs in the winter. I haul them out to the garage and leave them for a couple of hours so they’re cold.
Once they’re cold, I shovel fresh snow on top of them. I let it sit for a while. Then I brush the snow off with a bristle brush. They’re clean and not wet. — Lynette, New York
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