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Suiting Up for Autumn – Refresh your wardrobe

Whether you’re headed back to school, the office, or you simply want to prepare for fall – September is the perfect time to refresh your wardrobe. However, purchasing a closet full of clothes is an expensive endeavour. It can get even pricier, if you’re shopping for the whole family. Hence, there are some key ways to look smart as the weather cools, without tapping out your bank account.

Dump the Bumph:

  • Cull your closet. Be ruthless. If it’s worn-out, ill-fitting, unflattering or dated – get rid of it. Zero in on what works for you, and ditch the junk.
  • Give gently used items to family or friends, or donate them to charity. It’s good karma and great for the environment!
  • Store out-of-season clothes elsewhere (in extra closets, or bins). It’ll simplify your wardrobe search and precious items will be less likely to get lost in the crush.
  • Hang and fold clothes in an orderly fashion. Sort by colour, garment type, etc., and selecting and coordinating outfits, will be a breeze!

Tune-up Your Togs:

  • Wash, iron, and dry-clean items that need a bit of spiffing up.
  • Replace missing buttons, mend tears and take-in or let-out any pieces that require minor adjustments. Not handy with a needle and thread? Dry-cleaners provide these services for a nominal fee.
  • Dye or bleach old favourites, to revitalize colour. For best results, dye clothes to similar or deeper shades. Some jewel tones can be transformed to pastels, through bleaching (note: exercise caution and follow clothing tag instructions).
  • Give shoes and boots a little extra TLC. Polish, repair and waterproof seasonal footwear, before temperatures start to fluctuate.

Mind the Gaps:

  • Perform a wardrobe inventory. Ensure core items are stocked sufficiently (neutral pants, shirts, sweaters, suits, etc.). Prioritize any obvious gaps on this year’s shopping list.
  • Focus on one or two basic colours initially (navy, brown or grey). Expand with time. Mixing and matching maximizes your wardrobe potential, at minimal cost.
  • Splashes of design create interest. Prints, stripes, checks, polka dots, etc. are terrific in small doses; Just don’t overdo it. Pattern, on pattern, can be rather dizzying.
  • Source fashion magazines for current trends. A few carefully selected, cutting-edge pieces can bring your wardrobe up-to-speed, in no time.
  • Knit the look together with complimentary accessories – shoes, belts, purses, jewellery, scarves, ties, etc. Once again, simplicity reigns supreme.

Buy Brilliantly:

  • Explore discounted clothing stores, such as Winners and/or Marshalls. The quality is unsurpassed and prices are reasonable.
  • Regularly browse clothing aisles in grocery, or big box stores (Costco, Joe Fresh, Target, Wal-Mart, etc.). When you come across a good bargain – grab it!
  • Visit preferred outlet store/s seasonally. Jones New York and The Shoe Company are personal favourites.
  • Be flexible. If you only shop for specifics, you narrow the field. Keep an open mind and be an opportunist. You’ll build a more impressive wardrobe, for less.
  • Don’t by-pass an excellent bargain, when you see it (i.e. a party dress). If you delay purchasing until the perfect occasion arises, you’re more likely to pay top-dollar.
  • Purchase extreme bargains in bulk. I recently found leather pumps for $10 each and bought them in five different colours.
  • Buy off-season. Take advantage of deep-discounts at the end of the quarter. It’s not only thrifty, but it’ll be a delightful surprise in 12 months’ time!
  • Premium items can significantly elevate an outfit. Can’t resist those high-end stores? Wait for sales and buy sparingly.

Whipping your wardrobe into shape may take a bit of effort; But it’s time well spent. Follow these steps you’ll save a bundle – and still make the best-dressed list, this fall!

Catherine M Kimoff