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February 06, 2014

My 10 Tips for Building a Wardrobe You Love and Use

I love clothes.

And though I love to splurge once in a while with some really special high-end pieces, I love getting most of my pieces from either Goodwill or Salvation Army and juxtaposing them with those splurge pieces. Here are my tips for building a beautiful, affordable wardrobe that you love and use. Use the tips if you want to. :)

Photo-3110. When going to Goodwill or Salvation Army, go alone or with just one person who can be honest with you. For me, it's my daughter who has the strength to say to me "That's fugly." I need that honesty.

9. Go to Goodwill or Salvation Army when you have time to look through with patience. You will be AMAZED at what you can find for very little money when you have the time.

8. Even if it's only 5 bucks, ask yourself two questions: 1: "Do I love it?" and 2. "Will I wear it?" If you don't love it and if you think you won't wear it, don't get it. Even if it's only 5 bucks. Because closet space is limited. It can only hold so much. Your closet should be filled with things you can't wait to wear every single day.

7. As soon as you get a piece that you know you love and know you'll wear, wear it. Wear it immediately. And wear it often. Even if it's a fancy little black dress and there's really no fancy occasion to wear it, wear it in the house. Wear it to the grocery store. Wear it to the PTA meeting. If you wait to wear it for the right occasion and you classify it as being too precious, you will probably never wear it. And people at the grocery store, your neighborhood and PTA will think of you as the person who always dresses fabulously.

6. Juxtapose something high end and polished with something that's more rough and street. Like a silk blouse with a distressed denim jacket or a throwback concert tee with a tailored blazer. That's awesome.

5. Splurge on shoes.

4. If you haven't worn something in over a year, take it out of your life. Give it to someone, donate it. Even if you paid a lot for it, even if you know it's fabulous, if you haven't worn it, you won't wear it. Also, when you bring in a new piece into your wardrobe, take one thing out by giving it to someone or donating it. You gotta make room for new and fresh to come in by letting go of the old that never gets used or that just doesn't suit you anymore.

3. Take care of yourself by getting regular exercise and eating right. Even bad clothes look pretty darned good when you take care of yourself.

2. Be inventive and wear it the way you want to wear it. Just because something is a skirt doesn't mean it can't be worn as a dress. Or a poncho as a skirt. Or a necklace as a belt.

1. Clothes aren't you. You are you. But your clothes can help your inner you be expressed and noticed. Let what you wear help your inner you shine, rather than hidden or obscured.


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I've been a flea market junkie for years, and love what you've posted here. Some of the finds I've purchased at thrift stores have remained classics in my wardrobe. I was lucky enough to find a Christian Dior tuxedo jacket for $20, 10 years ago, which gets worn with jeans on special occasions. I've also found adorable clutch bags from the 1970s ... and jewelry! I could go on, but I'll stop here. Thanks for the validation :-)

Great article and helpful ideas.....love yourself and love your clothes!!

i have an amazing Goodwill here in my city...found NEW clothes, in my size, from some great brands...so exciting to only spend three bucks on something that is wonderful!! Great tips!

This is very timely. I have been out of work too long, and in the interim lost 200 pounds.
Needless to say I am broke and in desperate need of clothing.

It was suggested that I go to the Goodwill etc, and I shuddered to think that I would have to go that route. It was o.k. as a teenager etc., I used to buy old 40's blazers, purses,jewelry and a blouse here or there.

There was a great disabled Veterans thrift in Santa Ana that a friends Mom worked for.

Now this may be a temporary necessity. Maybe it will become a habit.

Reading your article has given me a little hope, a new perspective and if I do have to go this route I hope I have at least a little bit of luck. So thank you for the article and tips, I am inspired.

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