5 Ways to Spruce Up Your Wardrobe (Without Buying Any Clothes)

5 Ways to Spruce Up Your Wardrobe (Without Buying Any Clothes)

Feeling depressed about your current wardrobe, but guilty about spending more on it? Try these budget-friendly ideas before you hit the mall.

1. Wash your clothes


Bring the annoying dry-clean-only dresses and suits to the cleaners (finally), and wash some of the things that you don’t wear often (and therefore don’t wash often). Use a spray-on spot-cleaner and scrub garments in the sink for annoying stains to see if you can salvage some otherwise good clothing.

2. Iron your clothes

Use a real iron and a full sized ironing board and do it the way your mother taught you (or look it up on Youtube). Sure, many women’s clothes don’t need to be ironed, but some of them might look more amazing than ever if you try it. Slacks and blazers tend to be the most important items for me to iron, but skirts, dresses, blouses, and even t-shirts can benefit from a quick press. It can make an old garment look crisp and new! Make sure to check the tags for heat-level  instructions. A spray starch can also help certain things (like jackets and dresses) to stay crisper longer, and a lint roller finishes the job well.

iron2 iron4  iron1 <- Before, during, after!

3. The amazing clothes shaver


My dad always used one of these, and I thought it was funny, until my clothes and I got older. The amazing clothes shaver is especially helpful on older sweaters to remove pills and lint, but can also be used on t-shirts or any other hearty fabric. After using this, no-one will have any idea that you’ve owned that shirt for 8 years, and you can keep on loving it. Bad snags are going to be too much for this little guy to handle, but consider…

4. The mighty snag-grabber


[Image courtesy of http://interrobangknits.wordpress.com/2011/06/20/on-the-needles-cornflower-shawl/]

The use of this wonderful little tool was my own idea, with which I saved my father’s new wedding suit after it was attacked by a raging pussycat. All you need is the tiniest crochet hook you can find in the craft store, and you will be able to restore many a sweater, dress, or suit. Whenever you find an embarrassing snag, pop the mini crochet hook up through the fabric from the wrong side as near to the snag as possible, and catch the snag with the hook, gently pulling it through to the wrong side. Give the fabric around the snag a gentle stretch, and the marring should cease to be noticeable.

5. Mending/altering

If you sew at all, you can surely figure out the basics of mending, especially with the help of all of the tutorials out there on the web. It’s easy to accumulate a pile of clothes that you like but that have been ever so slightly damaged, and therefore never get worn. Usually these damages are as simple as a popped seam or a lost button, and can be fixed by the most beginner seamstress in a matter of minutes. Also, ever-changing syles can often be conformed to by altering existing pieces of clothing. For example, wide pants can be taken in to form a more “skinny” style, shirts can be taken in or let out, dresses can be hemmed shorter or added to with a long fluffy slip. Another reason for alteration is changes in fit. Small darts in the too-wide back waistband of pants are easy to make and can be very helpful for fitting them to a person (like myself) with a larger backside. There are some fun tutorials I’ve seen on Pinterest that show t-shirts with the sides cut out and panels of lace or some other pretty material sewn in, making the shirts much looser. Search the web for ideas about how to make your clothes work better for you before you decide to replace them.

New from old outfits:

This, one of my new favorite outfit combinations, has benefited from many of the above methods. The pants are years old and needed to be hemmed and de-snagged, but they still fit well and look crisp after an ironing. The shirt is in good shape but was found at a thrift shop, and the jacket is a brand-new find with a need for proper ironing and dry cleaning maintenance. Hey, I look good, don’t I?

orangeOutfit1 OrangeOutfit2

After doing these things and hopefully re-discovering some wonderful clothing, you’ll have a much better idea about what you really need (and do not need) from your next mall shop. Note that I haven’t told you anything your grandma wouldn’t have, but sometimes we youngsters have to try these things out for ourselves to find their value. Have fun looking incredible!