Eileen Fisher Alpaca Wool Coat

Eileen Fisher Alpaca Wool Coat

The Problem

That gorgeous Eileen Fisher Alpaca Wool Coat in sparkling white calls to you. At last, the perfect classic coat you can wear all winter (blending in with the snow!). You hesitate for a moment, afraid to turn over the price tag. There it is, $648.00. You can justify it if you figure out the cost per wear, but in the mean time, those new snow tires will have to wait…

Understandably, we all want new things for the upcoming season. Stores know how to amp up your appetite for buying expensive items with mood music, helpful salespeople and of course, fully outfitted manikins. Not everyone’s budget allows for the purchase of a new wool coat every year. So how can you keep your wardrobe fresh and exciting without spinning into debt?

Some Solutions

I’ve got some ways to perk up your wardrobe without wallet-busting mall shopping:

1. Host a Clothing Swap Party at the beginning of the season and invite girlfriends. It’s a great friend/social gathering, and even if your girlfriends aren’t even close to wearing the same clothing sizes, they can bring their cast-off scarves, boots, jewelry, purses, hats, gloves, etc. Everyone brings an appetizer, you serve the refreshments, and you all get to “shop” for free! It’s ideal if you have some folding tables and a portable clothing rack to display all the items, but I’ve hosted parties where we simply laid all the clothes on the furniture. You will be amazed at the nearly new items everyone has in their closets that are just waiting to be shared.

2. Set up a “personal shopper” appointment with a girlfriend whose taste level you trust. Ask her to come to your house and spend the evening going through your clothes, shoes and jewelry, and put together five new outfits for you. It’s a thrill to see how someone else views your closet and creates outfits you never imagined. As a stylist, I do this at every style appointment, and my clients are very happy with the results. It’s like shopping in your closet without spending a dime!

3. Consignment and thrift stores. I’m a huge fan. If you’re squeamish about buying “used” clothing, I would like to remind you that the dress you bought at Nordstrom was tried on plenty of times by strangers before you brought it home. Consignment offers shoppers a way to stretch their dollar by purchasing previously owned clothes at a fraction of department store prices. I also like to think of it as environmentally responsible to recycle clothing. The only disadvantage of consignment and thrift store shopping is that there is only one size – either it fits or it doesn’t. But there is such variety in these stores that you’re surely to find a treasure!

What ideas do you have to reinvigorate your wardrobe each season without busting your wallet? Share your thoughts by clicking on the word “Comments” below.