One of the best ways to expand your wardrobe without breaking the bank is to incorporate non-new pieces, such as those from a vintage, consignment or thrift store.
If you’re lucky enough to be the same size, look for fashion discoveries hidden in your mom’s wardrobe–or even your grandmom’s or aunt’s. (It helps if she doesn’t clean her closet out every year and give it all away to Goodwill!)
Here’s how to shop your mom’s closet
- Retro is modern. Many looks from the ‘80s, ‘70s and even the ‘60s are popping up on runways today. Think wide-legged pants or mod, color-blocked shift dresses. See if your mom has any of these tucked away.
- Dresses are a do. Of all the garment types, dresses are usually the easiest to pull off in vintage shapes and styles. A ‘70s maxi dress probably won’t look as clearly dated, for example, as super ‘70s bell-bottoms or platform shoes. And some dress silhouettes (like that maxi dress) don’t require the fit to be as exact as pants or a top would.
- Don’t forget accessories. Has your mom cleaned out her closet? Try her jewelry box. She may have kept heirloom or vintage necklaces, bracelets and earrings longer than a pair of pants that seemed too dated.
- One piece at a time. If you hit the treasure trove, congratulations! But don’t make entire ensembles out of your discoveries. One vintage piece, or even two (if one is an accessory), looks retro cool. Several vintage pieces together can make you look like you’re an extra from the set of a historical documentary.
As for me, I once had a super cool ’60s skirt suit of my mom’s. Alas, I outgrew it (darn you, Freshman 15!)–but even worse, I didn’t keep it. Even if I couldn’t put it on any more, I’d love to have it as a memento of the times; and who know, my daughter might have fit into it one day!
- Have you inherited any special pieces of clothing from your mother, grandmother or other older female relative?
- How do you incorporate previously worn or vintage clothing into your wardrobe?
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