Tips for putting together a summer wardrobe on a budget

With warm weather here and hotter temperatures on the way, you may be thinking your summer wardrobe is a little out-of-date and needs refreshing. But building a new wardrobe on a budget can be difficult. Fortunately, a summer wardrobe can be the least expensive of all the seasons (those heavy coats can be so pricey). Here are a few tips to help you keep costs under control.

Shop at home first

First of all, look in your own closet first before you rush out and spend any money. You may be surprised to find exactly what you are looking for hiding among long-forgotten pieces in the back. It’s also a good time to evaluate what would give you the most bang for your buck. Maybe you have an abundance of pieces of a certain color and adding another complementary color will give you multiple new looks.

Don’t forget that you can actually summerize some of your cold weather clothing. You can easily shorten sleeve length. Just use a contrasting thread when hemming the sleeve, or add lace or a cuff. And cutoffs aren’t just for jeans. If you have some trousers that are fraying, turn them into shorts or capris. Or take a blouse and make a sleeveless shirt.

Try alternate shopping options

crew-59380Consignment shops are an excellent option for budget shopping because you can bring in clothes you want to get rid of and get store credit to exchange for newer clothes, accessories and shoes. Don’t forget thrift stores either. You can often find designer clothing in great condition there.

Another great idea is to host a clothing swap with family, friends and neighbors. Everyone brings a bag of clothing they want to offload and takes turns selecting items they want for their wardrobe. You get the benefits of “thrift store” shopping in your own home, while enjoying hanging out with friends and family.

Okay, now hit the shops

i-m-priscilla-228220Remember that when you do hit the retail stores, start at the back. The displays at the front and center are tempting, but they’re also expensive. Head toward the back first where the sales and clearance items are and make your way forward. Fall clothes start appearing in retail shops in July. Between Memorial Day and Independence Day you will see summer styles become discounted. That still leaves quite a bit of time to enjoy your new shorts before the temperatures drop.

And, as always, don’t forget to set a budget and stick to it. But the most important advice is to enjoy your summer, new wardrobe or not.

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