Frugal Tips For Updating Your Wardrobe

by Aileen


At the beginning of each new season, I have a need to be in touch with my inner “gatherer.” I’m not sure if it’s a female gene or something more than that, but I have this overwhelming itch to go gather new seasonal touchups for my wardrobe.

At one time, I blamed living in Los Angeles as the culprit for my material desires. Then I realized I’ve always had them I just hear it louder now.

Summertime is here and I’m feeling restlessness to add some fresh summer dresses, tank tops and shorts. My challenge is two fold (1) I’m rather frugal, which can be a headache when I find the perfect updates outside of the dollar amount I want to spend and (2) I don’t like adding more clothing to my full closet without getting rid of some.

So here are my two favorite frugal wardrobe tips to update your look and reduce what you currently have in your closet! YES

1. Go to recycled clothing stores where you can “Buy, Sell, or Trade clothing.It’s not a typical consignment shop or thrift store. Yes, you can just buy clothes there, but you can also sell your clothes for cash or trade them in (exchange them). This is for both men and women!!

How it works:

    • Bring in your clean items of clothing that are in good condition
    • You’ll have the option for cash or store credit to buy “new clothes.” Some of the clothes are “new” in that they still have their tags on and others are previously worn.

In Southern California, we have, Buffalo Exchange and Cross Roads Trading, both of these stores have nationwide locations. You can look online for “clothing stores that buy sell trade” in your area. Bring in the clothes you no longer wear and leave with ones you like!!

2.  Have A Clothing Swap Party. I’ve been to several of these and I find they work best when there are 15 or less people. Much more than that and it gets chaotic.

How it works:

    • Designate one or two people to coordinate the party, one of which will host it in their home
    • Make a list of who you want to invite and decide if you want them to invite others. Evite is great for this! Require an RSVP so you have an estimate of people. You can decide if you want both men and women. I’ve been to both, ones that are all women and ones that are coed.
    • Tell the guests to bring a bag or two for the “new” clothes they will take home.
    • Invite the guests to bring as much clothing and accessories as they want. Tell them to go through their closets and pull clothes they no longer wear, what no longer fits them. The clothes must be clean and in good condition.
    • Have a few clothing racks and/or tables to display the clothes. Ask the guests to bring extra hangers (and if they have a clothing rack or folding table bring that too).
    • Be sure to have a couple of full length mirrors (tell guests to wear leggings with tight tank top, or anything tight so they are comfortable slipping on clothes in front of people.
    • Be sure to have clothing sections set aside: pants in one area, tank tops/t-shirts in another area, blouses, sweaters, dresses on the clothing rack and an area for accessories and miscellaneous (purses, belts, scarf’s, shoes)
    • As the guests arrive, instruct them to put the clothes they brought into the correct area.
    • Have some fun music playing and have a table of snacks and beverages (afternoon cocktails are great) for the guests as they arrive. It’s a chance to mingle, and to preview (try on) the clothes before the selection process begins.

The Selection Process:

    • Divide the group into teams.
    • If you have 15 participants have three teams Team Red, Team Blue, Team Green with 5 people per team. To find out what team they are on, participants will pull their color-coded number from a hat.
    • When you write the numbers on paper, be sure to have them color-coded have numbers 1-5 in each color (red, blue, green). The participants will pull their number from the hat they will have a red 3, or a green 5
    • Take an article of clothing to represent each team (such as a scarf or T-shirt). When it’s person 1 on the RED team’s turn to select an article of clothing she wears the scarf and makes her selection. Then she passes the scarf to RED 2 and she picks an item, and passes the scarf to RED 3 and she picks an item. There should always be 3 people at a time (one from each team) trying on and choosing an item. This keeps it organized.

When it feels like things are wrapping up (usually two hours later) have a free-for-all and whatever items are still left at the end, bag them up and bring them to Goodwill or clothing charity of your choice.
* photo credit stevendepolo Flickr

Related Posts with Thumbnails

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen Daniels June 4, 2010

Aileen, very enjoyable post-great idea for an eco-aware
party. My favorite all time shirt is from a thrift store –
$2 more than 15 years ago and the shirt is still going strong!

Reply

Aileen June 4, 2010

$2 shirt – still going strong – I LOVE THAT! Thank you for visiting Karen!!

Reply

Lauren June 4, 2010

Der Aileen,

Very very cool! I’m having the summer itch for a few neat items myself.

I have just recently started tapering off and GETTING RID OF clothes. My best friend helped me when she came over the Christmas holiday. It was very fun. She was merciless and I took her advice and got rid of lots of stuff.

A party would be very fun.

Thanks for all the great suggestions – including links to the stores.

Warm regards,
Lauren
.-= Lauren´s last blog ..7 Tips for Choosing a Therapist =-.

Reply

Aileen June 6, 2010

It makes it more fun and easier to do when a good friend participates! So very often I’ve had favorite clothing pieces that didn’t look good at all – and only the greatest of friends would tell me – oh the blessings of friendships!

Reply

emily June 4, 2010

Yes, our season has changed and the weather is now full on summer where I live. I too have the need for up dates, and it seems my circle of friends do also. I am a busy mom with a busy husband and clothing updates have been rare for me. I have recently asked an equally busy mom friend for a playdate exchange where my children play with her children at the mall play area for 2 hrs and then we switch. However you go about the wardrobe update, even the busiest women need to hear that inner calling and invest in herself whether it is an amazing sale or you find a buy,sell, trade store! After all, we are happier people when we feel good about ourselves. :) Thanks again for an inspiring post!!!

Reply

Jean Sarauer June 5, 2010

My wardrobe is in a sorry state of affairs :) I have worked from home for years, plus I’m frequently out back in the garden messing around so my clothes tend to run on the casual (ummm, more like shabby) side. Lately though I’ve been going through the closets and getting rid of a lot of ratty things, and some nice looking pieces have emerged. Finding things I’ve forgotten I even had is definitely a cue for me to carry on with the my minimizing mission!
.-= Jean Sarauer´s last blog ..6 Things That Get Easier About Blogging if You Just Keep Going =-.

Reply

Aileen June 6, 2010

Isn’t it wonderful when nice pieces emerge!!! I love that! The closets can be a highly informative place – revealing our own truths to us.
:)

Reply

Chania Girl June 5, 2010

A good girlfriend is really itching to do a clothing swap party, a lot like the one you described. I think it will be a good way for me to offload some of the things I won’t be taking with me if we leave. I may be the only woman to leave the party empty-handed! :)
.-= Chania Girl´s last blog ..Is Your Head in the Clouds? =-.

Reply

Aileen June 6, 2010

That could be a great experience just letting things go. Even if you stay and don’t move it might feel nice to have just let items go. It feels refreshing.

Reply

Angela Artemis June 5, 2010

Aileen,
I’ve never heard of a clothing swap. What a wonderful way to get a new wardrobe. I love this concept.

I probably have some brand new things in my closet I’ve never worn before. The problem is the closet is so over stuffed I can’t tell what I have so I just keep buying new things. I think I could contribute quite a bit to a clothing swap.

Thank you so much for making me aware of this option. It certainly fits the budget!
.-= Angela Artemis´s last blog ..Would Your Rather Have a Big House Or A Big Life? =-.

Reply

Aileen June 6, 2010

Maybe you’ll host one in your area :) Not that you need another thing to add right now…. but… could be great! :)

Reply

Clearly Composed June 6, 2010

I love trading clothes with friends. I also like to shop in my own closet. Sometimes just trying everything on and coming up with new combinations by switching things up and adding new accessories makes it feel like the clothes themselves are new. :)
Clearly Composed´s last [type] ..~ So That Is What A Muscle Looks Like!

Reply

Aileen June 6, 2010

“shop in my own closet” :) so wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Trading does make it fun and keep’s clothing new & exciting
:)

Reply

Aileen June 6, 2010

Yes, tell them I sent you! :) A little confusion is always good.
It is very, very true that we often do have some nice things that we just don’t wear maybe because they just “don’t feel like me” or we’re bored like you said and they could be fresh and great for someone else.

Reply

Aileen June 6, 2010

Hi Claire, Thank you for visiting & thank you for your comment!

Reply

Kimmie June 10, 2010

I LOVE shopping at thrift and consignment stores….especially for the boys…
my fav finds are some R.L. pants with tags on for 4.00! And the original price
was 29.50….gotta luv a great deal:)

Reply

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: