I know right?? Doesn’t sound like me at all does it! I had a little bit of an epiphany yesterday as I trawled the sales.  I don’t have a lot of money to spend at the moment (full time student anyone??) and I do get excited about a bargain, but what do the bargains really do for me? Fill up my already-overflowing wardrobe? Create more confusion each morning when working out what to wear?

Sooooooo what I have decided to do is set myself a challenge – NO SHOPPING FOR FOUR WEEKS!!!!! Why four weeks? On July 31st, I am heading to Melbourne with a whole bunch of wonderful bloggers to attend Blogopolis, a one-day conference on all things blogging in Australia (I’m SO excited!) and what has just opened in Melbourne? ZARA!!!!!!

ZARA Melbourne opening day

My mission, should I choose to accept it, is to save all the money that I would have spent on sale bargains, chainstore crap chic and cheap shoes and hit Zara when I arrive in Melbourne. Why? Sometimes I think we get caught up in having stuff, I know I do! So for the month of July, I am going to give up stuff – clothes stuff  anyway (because there is no way I can give up alcohol for Dry July).

And since I am giving up new stuff for a little while, I’m going to need to come up with some more inventive ways to make the most of my wardrobe so here are a few ideas that I thought of to work with what I have in some new and exciting ways!

1. Alter or adjust  what you already have:

I have a few items of clothing that have been sitting in the mending pile for a while – now seems like the time to get them fixed (or altered). If you have clothes in your wardrobe that you love but just don’t wear anymore, can you do anything to them to make them seem new again? Cut off a dress to make a blouse? change the hemline on a dress?

Here is just one piece that I was not wearing but with a little snip (literally, I just cut out one section of the jacket) I can now resurrect into the wearable section of the wardrobe. It is a little hard to see, but this Sportsgirl blazer had almost like a waistcoat insert that did up underneath the lapels of the blazer. I decided after a few wears that I didn’t like how it sat on me (generally I don’t do blazers or jackets up, it makes me look too busty, but wearing them open, you create a nice vertical line down the front of your body, and repeat after me girls, “vertical lines are slimming!”)

So with my trusty (SHARP) sewing scissors (do not cut ANYTHING but fabric with your sewing scissors or they will blunt very quickly) I just snipped out the inner piece of the jacket I didn’t like! Luckily, you cannot see where I have cut the piece out because it sits under the lapel of the blazer so no sewing required.

My altered Sportsgirl blazer - the pic on the right is the finished product. Only a small change, but I will ACTUALLY wear this blazer now!

Altering clothes that are not quite right is easy, if you are not the worlds best sewer yourself, take it to an alterations shop – every major shopping centre has one. Just explain to the store what you would like to do and they will help you out for a FRACTION of the cost of a new outfit!

2. Do or Dye!

Have a dress or a blouse that is a little tired-looking? Not so white anymore? Husband put it through the wash with the wrong coloured socks? (not mentioning any names….. but Kaylie does this sound familiar?) Then dye it! Whites are hard to keep clean at the best of times and some stains just never come out so why not make that white linen skirt into a pale blue linen skirt?

Dylon have a great website that helps you work out which of their dyes (not this is not a sponsored post!) will work with the fabric you have. It is really easy to do (just make sure you wear gloves! Dyed fingernails? not so hot) and takes no time at all. For the cost of a pack of dye, generally available at the supermarket, you have a brand new look!

3. Wear it how you least expect it!

Just because it looks like a dress, doesn’t mean you JUST have to wear it as a dress? I have an a.ma.zing SACHA DRAKE maxi dress that has a shoestring strap halter top – I’m bigger in the bust so a)shoestring strap does not work on me and b) halters generally don’t work on me either but I looooooved the fabric so I had to have it! My solution? I wear it as a maxi skirt! Because it is a halterneck that ties at the back, and the fabric has some stretch in it, I just pull it down around my waist and wrap what would be the neck ties, around my waist too. Add a white singlet or t-shirt and a wide belt to cover any ties, and hey presto! I have a new maxi skirt!

Other options include:

  • tucking a (slim-fitting) dress into a skirt and wearing the top of the dress as a blouse.
  • Pulling a (long-ish) skirt up over your bust, belt it around your waist and wear it as a little sun dress
  • Turning a cowl-neck dress or top around back to front, and wear the cowl at the back, and have more of a boat-neck look at the front
  • wear a wrap dress over skinny jeans and a top but DON’T wrap it around, just tie the ties in front of you and make the dress into a cool coat

There are so many cool things to do with your wardrobe to step outside the box just a little!

What is your best tip to turn something that you already have into something new and exciting?

Oh, and do you think I can make it four weeks without buying any new clothes?? Could you?