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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Ways to Save Money and Look Great Doing It!

How can jewelry save you money?

I love clothes but in this economy I have made myself stop frivolously shopping.  If I need a basic item (black slacks) I try to find them at alternative outlets: thrift stores, outlet malls, discount designer shops. I just found a pair of black wool slacks from Banana Republic from the Goodwill for $6.99.  Had them dry cleaned for another $6.00 and for an under $13.00 investment have trousers I will probably wear for the next 10 years or more. They are classic in style, have a great lining and look brand new.  Not bad, eh?

But how will I take these trousers and make them a part of my “uniform” without adding to the cost of buying more pieces to wear with them?  By shopping my closet and by shopping my jewelry boxes for accessories to set off my outfits.  I can wear them with a red jacket and a white blouse, a green jacket with a green blouse or just wear with a number of blouses and tops I already have in my wardrobe or one of my vintage cashmere sweaters. I will always look smart if I also did into my jewelry chests and pull out my pearls, illusion necklaces, black jet beads, gold earrings, silver earrings, ruby earrings, garnet earrings.  Then if I really want to look sassy, I can layer the jewelry.  I love putting together gold and silver earrings with a gold bracelet, silver toned watch and a funky silver ring on my right hand.  I also love to wear black and white outfits and red jewelry. Or sometimes I will pair turquoise with old gold and black just to switch it up a little.

Being a jeweler means I always have an avenue to make a sassy pair of earrings, a bracelet or a necklace to update my look. I don’t even have to commit to the piece as I know I can take it apart and make something else when I want. I can also take the pieces I have had for years and refashion them or add a new pendant to an old necklace. 

Another good wardrobe extender is scarves. You can wear any number of scarves that match or add contrast to a variety of outfits.  My niece showed me a trick in scarf wearing – you can take the fringe ends of a scarf and tie them together….then put the scarf around your neck like a mobius strip. The fringe will not interfere with your day and you won’t have to spend time readjusting  your scarf every time you bend down.

Scarves come in all types of fabrics and textures so if you had three red scarves you can wear them differently as one may have a sheen, one may be a fluid silk and one may be hand woven and nubby.  Giving your outfits a different look even if you have the same trousers and blouse on.

Handbags can also pull an outfit together.  Think of the black and white ensemble with a gold bag.  How would it look with a green bag or a vintage bag from the 60’s?  What if you only had one bag, like say in black.  What could you do?  Go back to your scarves.  You can tie a different color scarf on the handle of your bag or tote and create a whole new look. 

Pins are another great update.  I have a little converter that I can put on a pin and turn it into a pendant to wear on a sterling silver collar.  I also am not afraid to wear a pin the standard way or to put it in an unexpected place – the hem of my cashmere sweater….  On my jacket pocket…even on my cloth tote or bag.

Shoes can also be thought of as a wardrobe updater.  You will need to check heel length. I have to wear flats so my pants work with most of my shoes.  I will wear pink loafers with my black slacks,  black ballet slippers, Mary Jane’s, a slide or a pair of boots. I  have loafers in  unexpected bright colors just for those moments when I need some pizzazz. 

Every basic you have in your closet should have 5 or 6 ways to accessorize and there should be four or five blouses, several sweaters and jackets currently in your wardrobe to wear with it or it is not a basic.

Recap:  shop your closet, try different accessories with your basics to update your look. Pull out your wardrobe of scarves as  a quick updater. Use the accessories you own, in unexpected ways, to jazz things up.  Make something.

Have fun….save money and shop local (your closet)!

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