Have you seen that meme, ‘I have nothing to wear: me, every morning’? I know I have days where I feel like that; a wardrobe full of clothes but, for whatever reason, bereft of enthusiasm to creatively clothe myself even though everything I need is all there, before my eyes.
Edwina Monsoon in Absolutely Fabulous famously resorted to a forked water-divining instrument to try to shake this commonly encountered fashion fug.
But be calm, there are ways to exponentially expand your wardrobe with some simple fashion hacks to make what you already own go that bit further. They won’t break the bank – some of them are even fun – and you’ll be able to offload your unwanted clothes while rebuilding your wardrobe.
Clothing Swaps and markets
In most states across Australia these days, you’ll find markets dedicated to fashionable, second-hand clothes. The ‘Round She Goes’ organisers now travel the country setting up and publiscising their markets, giving people the opportunity to source fabulous pre-loved women’s fashion. You can find a great run down on where all the fashion markets are in your home town here. And whether your selling or buying, you will definitely discover or happily trade pre-loved bargains.
Also gaining traction are clothing swaps, where you bring along clothing you want to sell or swap with other like-minded gals in the same fashionable predicament. Similarly to markets, there are formally organised meets in major cities around Australia, but why not organise your own? Doing a swap meet with your girlfriends is a great way to offload your unwanted clothes and rebuild your wardrobe without spending a cent. Plus, you know everyone will bring a bottle of bubbles so, at the very least, you’ll have fun.
The world is literally your oyster when it comes to shopping for clothes online. You can browse designer clothes for a fraction of the price on places like Gumtree and select exactly what you need, in the comfort of your pajama-clad self with side-kick of pinot. In fact there’s almost 300,000 listings on Gumtree’s clothing and jewellery category, so it pays to check what others are selling in your local area.
“How do I know if it’s going to fit?” I hear your ask.
Well, a simple tape-measure should become your friend, because most reputable sellers will put the garment’s measurements in the ad. If they haven’t done so and simply listed it as a ‘small’, for example, you can always email and ask for specifics. If that’s just too hard (have another glass of pinot) then it’s really up to you whether to take the gamble.
If the pictures are clear enough and the garment is well displayed, then it might just pay off. Obviously you’re taking your fashionable future into your own hands if you buy something based on blurry pictures and little information. But these days, as I said, most reputable sellers want you to make the purchase and be happy with it, so will provide measurements, shipping info and clear photos.
Think outside the box
Perhaps these ideas are for the truly dedicated, but I see what you wear as an expression of your true personality and so most, like me, won’t let something like a hemline or broken zip get in the way of the perfect frock.
If you think you’ve found a great garment, new or pre-loved, but are hesitant because it’s not quite right, why not think about getting it tailored? Alterations like a new zip or shorter hem can be done on-the-spot, meaning those new jeans that look like they were made for a giraffe will fit you perfectly for minimal extra cost.
Another way to expand your wardrobe is by using and shopping at consignment stores. These stores work on the basis that you leave your clothes with them and, once they’re sold, you get paid. Some stores will pay you in store credit, meaning you can select clothes of the same value to keep, or you might just prefer cold hard cash in your hand. Either way, it’s a clever way to keep your wardrobe ticking over without breaking the bank.
What I’m wearing:
Jacket: Vintage YSL, sourced online
Jeans: Oasis Denim
Flats: Florsheim Shoes
Bag: Zac Zac Posen
Manicure: Miss Fox Melbourne
Location: Brunswick Foodstore, Melbourne