How to update your look without buying new clothes

As some of you will know, I’m on a 3 month shopping ban. That means I can’t buy any new clothes, shoes or accessories until December 1st! A new season for me is usually an excuse to reinvent my style a little, but without the opportunity to add NEWness into my wardrobe, I’ll be resorting to some more creative ways of adding a fresh touch to my style. These are handy tips if you’re also on a spending ban or just have little budget for new clothes.

  1. Try new combinations.

I’m sure there are some clothes in my wardrobe that I haven’t yet worn in certain combinations. I love using an app called SmartCloset to play around with different combinations. It’s much easier than actually trying all of the clothes on, and I can make so many combinations from the comfort of my sofa. 

  1. Try different silhouettes.

This one is very similar to trying new combinations. Do you have a certain combination you always go for like fitted top and looser bottom, or skinny button and oversized top. Why not try wearing your oversized tops with the looser bottoms and see how it looks? Or a fitted top and fitted bottom? Try adding an oversized coat on top of an all-fitted ensemble.

  1. Recreate outfits from social media

I love pinning outfits from Pinterest and Instagram to use as inspiration for my wardrobe, but I don’t often try to recreate exact outfits. This could be a really fun way to try out steps 1 and 2 above, using what you already own in your wardrobe.

  1. Try a new hairstyle

Hair can definitely bring a whole new look to an outfit, so if you’re the kinda gal to go for a sleek up-do, try a tousled wave. If you usually wear a topknot, try going for sleek straightened hair. Look up some hair trends from the current season for even more inspo. Feeling daring? Try a full or side swept fringe, or layer your hair if you’ve always had it the same length.

  1. Experiment with make-up

Bold or minimal? What’s your usual go-to look? Try switching it up a notch. If you normally go quite minimal, try a bold red lip. If you usually go for a bold lip, why not try a soft lip and a smokey colourful eye. Last year I started experimenting with orange eyeshadows after spotting Mragot Robbie with a bold orange eye look. 

  1. Borrow from your boyfriend’s / brother’s Dad’s closet

Add a touch of androgyny to your look by swapping out your regular blouse for an oversized men’s shirt, or layer on a men’s blazer over your usual jeans and a jumper look. 

  1. Find new ways to wear the same item.

Similar to the first two points, this is all about creating new combinations from your wardrobe. Pick one item and try it on with EVERYTHING in your closet and see which works. Take some photos on your phone so you can remember them at a later date.

  1. Alter / Upcycle / Customise

A perfect fit makes all the indifference to an item of clothing. If you own anything that doesn’t quite fit right, take out your sewing machine (if you have one) and measuring tape or visit your local tailor. Waist sit a bit too low? Tailor it to your own waist measurement so it sits in the right place. Too long? Hem it up a few inches (you can also do this with iron on hemming tape and no sewing at all). Don’t like the sleeves? Remove them and finish the armhole with some bias binding. 

If you have some items in your wardrobe that you no longer wear or have much love for, try turning them into something new. YouTube is amazing for finding DIY and Upcycling tutorials. Try searching ‘upcycled men’s shirt’ or ‘upcycled jeans’ to see what you can make from your own pieces.

  1. Find YOUR perfume.

This might seem like an odd ‘style’ tip, but once you find your signature scent, I feel like this changes you a little. You feel more confident, more yourself and you carry yourself differently. It may be a subtle change but it won’t go unnoticed.

I hope you can have some fun experimenting with your closet with these tips. If you want to join me in my 3 month shopping ban from September 1st to November 30th you can come follow me on Instagram @gemmaamclean and follow my monthly updates on YouTube. You can also check out the 33 items included in my wardrobe for these 3 months HERE.

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