Fashion Gone Economical

As a student, I was incessantly bankrupt and living off Tesco value packet soups, which made it pretty difficult to find awesome outfits for a decent price. As a now ‘working woman’, I find my situation rather indifferent; with the credit crunch literally chomping its way through our pockets, the desire of grasping on to a pair of chewed up pumps, claiming they’re ‘meant to have holes’  is rising (trust me, I've done it). And so the question arises; what does one do when one is quite literally beggared? Here are a few tips on looking great this winter without busting your bank accounts...

I know what you’re thinking. The faint, musky smell of old women combined with unwanted wedding dresses that make Havisham look like Kate Moss. However, if you delve deeper amongst the tweed, the possibility of finding something decently fashionable arises. A particular favourite of mine is
Traid. Holding two branches in Shepherds Bush and Hammersmith, Traid has a sale every couple of months where every single item is £4 or less. Last year I found a Jasper Conran pinstripe blazer with the tag still intact, bearing a pricey £100, for three quid. Bargain or what? Teamed with a slogan teeshirt and high waisted denim shorts, it’s a perfect addition to a spring outfit. Outside the sale, most of the items are good quality, respectably priced, and from high street stores such as Topshop, Mango and River Island. The best thing is the money goes towards a good cause, profits supporting work and education in some of the world’s poorest communities. They also house accessories, DVD’s and books if you feel for a well earned break after your shopping spree. 

With our constant oh-so busy schedules, faffing about with sequins and bits of feathers can be a slightly overbearing concept. Nevertheless, customizing clothing we already own is the ideal way to create new looks without splashing your cash. Start simple – rip up an old pair of jeans and stitch pieces of netting underneath the holes. Embroider an old denim jacket with decorative buttons or patches.  If you really feel like going for gold, Hawkins Bazaar sells a set of tee-shirt graffiti pens for a mere £6, that allow you to invent your own designs and personalise hats, clothes and shoes. This can be an ideal way to illustrate your creative flair through your clothing, which demonstrates originality (something we all strive for, right?). For maxi dresses, purchase a cheap knecklace and sew it on to the kneckline, creating a sheek, pricey looking garment for next to nothing.

Everyone has that particular piece of clothing they borrowed off a friend for a party and longed to keep. Swap parties give a fantastic opportunity for you and your friends to sift through unwanted clothing and trade with each other. Organise a venue, gather up old clothes, shoes and accessories, and start swapping! If any items are left over, they can be put up for auction to the delight of the highest bidder. This is the most efficient way to dispose of any clothing you don’t wear, but also to gain new outfits in the cheapest way possible. The only thing you need to worry about is making sure you’re still friends after tussling for that H&M dress; www.posh-swaps.com is a fashion swapping website where you can buy, sell and swap clothes with fashion gurus all around the UK. Just in case.


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