As the snow thaws and the winds turn warmer, you might feel the itch to update your work wardrobe for spring. Because most of us cannot afford to restock our closet each time the season changes, here are some tips to help you maximize your purchasing power.
Assess what you already have
Dig out your current arsenal of spring work clothes and try everything on to determine what fits well. Set aside articles of clothing that are no longer flattering on you and consider donating them to a local charity. Once you decide what is worth keeping, put together possible outfits to determine what is missing from your collection, such as a simple white button-down shirt, a black cardigan or a knee-length navy skirt. Getting a good idea of your wardrobe’s problem areas will help you figure out where to direct your shopping energy.
Take time to pre-shop
Take an afternoon to browse through store collections (either in person or online) to see what is “in” this season. Before you buy, keep track of what items you were drawn to as a potential purchase. Compare your favorites to the list of items you previously determined were needed. Did you find a few styles of shirts that would look good under your favorite suit? Would that skirt you saw online be the perfect addition to some of the blouses that you already have?
Because many of us lean towards purchasing items that are similar to what we already have, consider buying a couple pieces that will slightly push you out of your comfort zone. Buy a brightly colored shirt, or go with a fun print that you would typically pass over, but that you secretly would love to pull off. However, be careful not to venture too far out of your norm or the clothes may never leave the closet. If you’re unsure, you can (usually) buy it, leave the tags on, and then return it if it goes unworn after a few weeks.
Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize
New accessories can go a long way in punching up your wardrobe. A trendy necklace can easily re-energize an outfit from last season. A skinny belt can change the look of an otherwise plain dress in seconds. Learning new ways to tie a silk scarf can add some zest to an outfit you already have. An important rule when accessorizing is to let one piece of the outfit be the main aesthetic element, and then be sure that all other pieces are playing a supporting role. As you make choices regarding which accessories to buy, be sure to keep in mind the clothes that you already own. You’ll be disappointed if you bring home a super-cool necklace only to find that none of your existing clothes will work with it.
Rejuvenating your wardrobe should not be a spontaneous endeavor. With a little forethought using the tips above, you can march into the spring season wearing fresh looks that didn’t empty your pockets, regardless of the style of your pants.