Styling On A Shoestring

January 12, 2024

As written for On The Coast Over 55.

Many of us these days are watching our budgets, being sustainable, thinking twice before we splurge on new clothes and often looking to see if there is something already in our wardrobe that we can make do with when it comes to dressing.

Where these shopping and styling attitudes are wonderful they can leave us feeling bored and outdated and let’s face it…new things do have a way of making us feel good.

So how do we have our style and love it too when the purse strings may need tightening and we are doing our best to reuse, recycle and help our planet with conscious shopping?

Hopefully this article will help answer some of those questions and styling dilemmas as we show you how to make your existing pieces feel and look new, have fun “shopping” your existing wardrobe and how to update your wardrobe for any occasion with our “styling on a shoe string” tips, ideas and inspiration!

How To Style On A Shoe String For Key Occasions :

Cafe Dressing – as this is an outing many of us partake in from a social aspect to catch up with friends why not, #DressUpItFeelsGood and make these get togethers an even more enjoyable experience!

A key way to update your next Cafe Dressing outfit is with a scarf. Try some of these styling suggestions:

1 – Use your scarf as a belt and add some interest to your separates 

2 – Neckties are a great way to add colour, warmth and/or sun protection to the décolletage

3 – A scarf in the hair is a simple way to update the everyday ponytail or use your scarf as a head wrap

4 – Wrapping a large scarf over one shoulder will create a cape look and break up the colour in an outfit 

5 – Tie your scarf around a bag handle or tie through a strap and let it flow as you walk! 

Dinner At The Club – Remove the mind set that “it is a good piece, so it can’t be worn to everyday outings”. Raid your after 5 accessories and team them back with a tee, maxi skirt and sandal to give them a “luxe for less” look.

BBQ With Friends & Family – Be prepared and plan ahead and select your outfits prior to your outing then “flat lay” your BBQ outfits! 

HOW TO FLAT LAY: Create looks with your clothes, shoes and accessories by laying them on your floor and taking photos that can be saved into files on your phone for reference. Do this when you have spare time and it will ensure you have come up with something new and creative to wear for any last minute BBQ’s or any event for that matter.

Weddings and Celebratory Events Dressing for special occasions is often the time when we feel we need to have something new in order to feel fabulous. Next time an occasion like this arises try:

1. Thrifting – Op shopping is a fabulous way to find something that no one else will have and also save money.

2. Borrow from a friend; doing this will give you that “something new feeling” and also give an item another unexpected outing!

3. Hire it! If you want something designer or an item you know you will never wear again (or can’t afford) you can try hiring your next outfit. There are many businesses now who offer this service and also some leading department stores. So worth the searching online for. 

Funerals – As these are generally not happy occasions, when we buy something new to wear specifically for a funeral it can leave us with emotions or memories associated with the occasion when we go to wear the item(s) at a later date. Therefore, unless you need or want to buy something new this is the time to be resourceful and “shop” in your own wardrobe turning your classic or corporate pieces into an elegant, understated outfit or if a more fun and cheerful dress code is required adding some coloured shoes or a statement accessory can give these items the appropriate styling to make them more than wearable for these occasions. Also borrowing something from a friend, relative or if your budget allows, engage in some professional help and hire a stylist to help you shop. Having a professional shop with and for you will ensure your purchases or items you already have are styled from a place of logic and not emotion. As stylists we have helped many clients shop and select outfits at this difficult time helping them make the experience less daunting and traumatic on top of the emotions they are already experiencing and dealing with.

If you loved the tips in this article and want more, be sure to check out our books and guides to keep you updated, feeling modern, stylish and educated – 

Vibrantly yours,

Sam & Jordi Woods x