How fashionable ladies save by accessorizing

July 28, 2015

Even the most drab outfits can be turned into something unforgettable with the right accessories. Here's how some stylish people are saving money while looking great.

How fashionable ladies save by accessorizing

Second-hand hats

If you like making a statement with a hat but don't really want to spend the money, try buying them used. Many people buy hats for special occasions and only wear them once, so there's plenty of second-hand hats around, often at great prices.

Bags of style

  • Look out for old leather handbags from second-hand stores or the family attic. Vintage handbags have a timeless appeal.
  • Old leather camera cases and satchels also make unusual but stylish accessories.
  • Clean up old bags with saddle soap, then use shoe polish and buff well. For a quick shine, rub with hand cream and wipe off with a tissue.

Best foot forward

  • If you need shoes to match a dress for a special occasion, buy plain satin pumps and have them dyed instead of spending time and money searching for the right colour.
  • Strappy summer sandals bought at end-of-season sales can double for evening wear.
  • Sew beads or sequins on plain canvas shoes for fun, casual wear.

Jewelry tips

  • Jewelry doesn't need to be pricey. You can find colourful beads in craft shops and make your own.
  • If you're looking for jewelry in precious stones or metals, visit a wholesaler. Most larger cities have jewelry wholesalers.

Repair your jewelry

  • Repair gold or silver-plated jewelry with a fine paint brush and gold or silver spray paint. Spray a little paint onto a piece of cardboard, dip in the brush and touch up the chips.
  • To unknot a chain, lay it on a piece of wax paper. Put a drop or two of baby oil directly onto the knot. Use two needles to gently untangle the knot, then blot the oil with tissues.
  • If the post on a pierced earring has broken, use a nail file to smooth off any residual glue from the back, then mount a new post with permanent glue.
  • If the pin on the back of a brooch is broken, don't throw it away. You can put it on a chain to make a necklace, sew it to a jacket or repair it with permanent glue.

Versatile scarves

A scarf is one of the most useful accessories in your wardrobe. Here's some fun ways to wear a scarf:

  • Use a large woollen one as a fall shawl or poncho instead of a coat.
  • Twist a wide cotton scarf into a bikini top for the beach, or use a big scarf as a sarong.
  • Use a small scarf to tie up long hair into a ponytail.

Buttons and bows

The buttons and other trims used on designer or vintage clothes are sometimes worth more than the garment itself. Look for damaged second-hand designer outfits in second-hand stores, snip off the buttons and use them to give a touch of class to a plain jacket or sweater.

Accessories add variety to your wardrobe, transforming clothes from casual to dressed up, or taking a simple outfit from day to evening. A few well-chosen items can make a simple, inexpensive outfit look like a designer creation.

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