Celebrity Stylist Tara Swennen: Tips on Looking Great This Spring While on a Tight Budget

guy dessapt spring in central park  ‘NY Central Park in Spring’ by Guy Dessapt, located at the Herbert Arnot Gallery 212-245-8287

It’s that time of year when your boots go to the back of the closet and strappy sandals come to the front.  Times are tough and a new spring wardrobe may be out of the question but no need for your style to suffer…

Celebrity stylist and Airplus spokesperson, Tara Swennen, has given us some tips on how to style your fabulous self while not breaking the bank this spring.

Quick fix for favorites that feel dull…
Re-dye pieces to bring them back to life.  Shoe repair stores can re-dye most accessories such as shoes and handbags or do it yourself and save even more.  Most convenient stores sell clothing dyes that you can easily use at home.

Recycle footwear for added comfort…
Brands such as Airplus offer affordable products for making old shoes fit like new.  Use Airplus ‘Sure Steps’ for worn out and slippery soles, Airplus ‘Steppies’ for stretched out shoes, and Airplus ‘Ultra Arch’ or Airplus ‘Hug My Heels’ for shoes that have lost their support.  Give shoes a good polish and they will be as good as new.

airplus ultra arch airplus heels airplus hug my heels airplus steppies

Tailor old pieces for a fresh fit…
Try things on before recycling them to make sure they fit properly.  Most women simply skip over Seamstressill fitting pieces but once tailored to fit, you will be much more inclined to throw it on again.

Readjust lengths for a new look…                                                                                                      Turn a knee length A-line skirt into a short and sassy mini, make a long sleeved blouse into a cap sleeve top or even add a ruffle to dresses for a new twist.

Look to current trends to rethink your outfits…
Be bold when mixing and matching prints and patterns.  Pair a small print with a larger one or a bright color with a fun graphic or texture for an updated look.  If you think outside the box you can create a multitude of new looks. 

Host a girls "Swap" night…
This is a new trend among friends.  Order pizza, drink cocktails, and bring your least used items to swap with friends.  Remember, one person's junk is another person's treasure.  A friend of mine Michele Joel--owner of the Goldbug Group, a full service marketing and product development firm, recently hosted a swap night.  She appropriately called it a “Recessionista” Party.  Made electronic invites and invited all the girls (this would be perfect for guys as well!), asking them to bring clothing and accessories they no longer want or need.

swap night At their recent swap night, seven girls arrived with items in good condition. Michele provided Fuse drinks, Hot tea and gourmet cookies. Everyone mingled and talked. Then she asked them to display their goods in different categories - misc (books, bags, shoes etc) then sweaters, dresses, coats, pants. She then held up each item (in a funny fashion show) and who ever wanted to try on would raise their hand.  It lasted 1.5 hours and there was a good mix of new people to make new friends (friends brought a friend). Everyone ended up going home with an item! They had stylist in attendance—Monica Diaz from Style Matters.

Here were some tips she provided during the swap night.

  • Just because it's free doesn't mean you need or that it works for you.
  • Think of this as a real shopping trip and only pick items that
    • are in good condition
    • fit you
    • flatter you
    • you can work into your current wardrobe with at least two other items
  • Keep in mind that if you are getting rid of twenty items, you don’t need to bring home another twenty or thirty items. The idea is make room for only the things that work and will make getting ready and looking fabulous easy.
  • You do not need to have a perfect overall fit on an item if the garment is worth the tailoring expense. You want your items to fit perfectly once you wear them.
  • Color is important. Choose colors that make you look healthy not sallow.
  • Try not to pick up pieces that wear a fad or trend and are now out of fashion. You may think it will come back soon but the reality is that once it comes around again it has morphed into an updated version and yours will still look dated.
  • Have fun! The idea of getting together is to have fun and enjoy your friends and fashion. 

What happened to the left overs? Michele called a shelter to pick them up for donation.

Hope these tidbits helped you with revamping your Spring wardrobe.  These style tips can be used immediately, for any season.  Many environmental friendly, promoting the re-use of garments and accessories.

Stay fabulous!


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