Get Mileage from Special Occasion Clothes

Warm weather tends to bring people together, and as the temperatures rise, so do most people’s social schedules. Easter, graduations, and weddings are just around the corner; whatcha gonna wear?

In years past, getting ready for these celebrations might have included a trip to the mall. But these days, with budgets tight and spending down, it pays to shop smart. Spending a lot on clothes you wear once is NOT smart. Instead, get creative and get some mileage from those little-worn pieces.

Here’s how:

1. Mix and Match

Start by looking in your closet to locate the pieces that might work for your upcoming events. Have a dress? A skirt? A sparkly top? A suit? Perfect! Now, instead of wearing them the same way you always do, try mixing things up a bit. Pair your suit jacket with a spring dress. Wear that festive top with the suit skirt or pants. Try the jacket with a different skirt. You’re only limited by your imagination. Remember: just because you bought outfits to go together doesn’t mean you can’t wear them with other things.

2. Wear Different Accessories

Now go back to your closet and those special occasion-appropriate pieces and mix up the accessories a bit. If you always wear your special occasion dress with pearls, for example, try a beautiful scarf instead. If you always wear certain earrings with your suit, ditch the earrings and wear your hair in a completely different way. Always accessorize with black pieces? Try white, red, or yellow instead. Again, you’re only limited by your imagination.

3. Try Consignment, Vintage, or eBay

Still can’t find anything appropriate for that wedding or graduation? Then THINK CHE.AP. Instead of going to the mall, try your local consignment shops instead to see what you can find. Or, try eBay. Or vintage stores. Or outlet malls. Or dis.count retailers. The goal is to find something nice yet spend as little as possible. Best bet: find something that you can wear many times, employing tricks 1 and 2 above.

4. Rent

Many women shy away from renting special occasion apparel, but guys do it all the time with formal wear. Proms, pageants, weddings, quinceaneras – you’d be surprised at just what’s available. While there aren’t as many places to rent gowns as there are tuxes, you could score if you live in or near a big city. Do a Google search for “gown rental” in your area. Here’s a popular Los Angeles store, serving the movie industry:

5. Borrow

Don’t have anything to wear OR spend? Hit up your friends, sisters, or co-workers of similar size to see what they can do for you. I’ve loaned costumes and pageant gowns to friends and sisters over the years and have borrowed formal maternity wear. Return items clean and pressed.

Looking good during budget-conscious times isn’t hard IF you use your imagination. Don’t spend a lot on clothes you don’t wear a lot, because you just can’t get your money’s worth. Instead, look at your current clothing inventory with a fresh eye and see how you can stretch it to new lengths. Or, to quote German designer Jil Sander, “Think more, buy less.”

Need some more help determining what you should wear when? Download a copy of OCCASION MAGIC to see how easy being dressed appropriately for every occasion can be,

Occasion Magic


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