Brand New Looks on an Old School Budget

Brand New Looks on an Old School Budget

All the above looks are styled with at least one thredup piece

Back to school time has me craving all sorts of new things: new notebooks, new hairstyle, new pencils. What I also love about back to school time is that it is the beginning of fall and thus time to update your closet. Unfortunately, after all that summer fun, my budget has little room for a new pack of pencils, much less a whole new wardrobe. Fortunately for me, I've figured out five ways to get around wanting to update the wardrobe with not much in my bank account.

1. Use a consignment or re-sale website/app. I remember when back to school shopping meant you had to go to the mall. Now you can shop from just about anywhere with the internet and your cell phone. The best thing about back to school shopping on the internet? Finding gorgeous clothes at less than half the price. Re-sale websites like my favorite Thredup make it so easy to have a brand new wardrobe without spending a ton of money. They have tons of actual name brands like Lucky and Lilly Pulitzer with tags or like new and you don't have to sort through bins at a thrift shop or consignment store. Other apps like Threadflip and Poshmark feature clothes for sale from users. I sold a few good items on Threadflip but found that they tend to cater more towards designer labels. I don't have any actual experience with Poshmark but know that many bloggers use it to re-sell their clothes. Really broke? Order a clean out bag from Thredup and have your clean but no longer loved clothes converted into credit on their website or cash.

2. Shop your OWN closet. I always thought that shopping your own closet was kind of a pointless exercise. When I'm craving new clothes why would I look through my old ones? But rather than just moving the hangers around, take out some clothes, lay them out, and strategize. "Shop" your closet when you really have time to go through your drawers and not when you're rushing around in the morning. Instead of thinking, "What am I going to wear?!" you'll be thinking "How can I wear this again?" I try to set aside an hour or two a month to sift through my closet (which also helps to clean out old and unloved items for re-sale!). You might realize that several-years-old blouse spices up a new-ish maxi skirt or the trendy denim vest makes your spring dress look edgy. It's like playing dress up in the fitting room but without the crowds.

3. Rent or borrow your clothes. Renting and borrowing can be great for a lady who wants to try something new all the time. The big one you've probably heard of is Rent the Runway and, while I am still trying to make up reasons to use it, I've heard great things about the service. They also now have brick and mortar stores in several major cities. Bag, Borrow, or Steal was made famous in the first Sex and the City movie and will help make an outfit pop with a great bag. Sounds like this will work for your back-to-school wardrobe? Here's a list of websites that offer a rental plan for your wardrobe.

Brand New Looks on an Old School Budget

4. Share with a friend. I wish my life were like The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants and my best friends and I could miraculously share a single pair of jeans. Unfortunately I am friends with an eclectic group of girls of varying sizes so it's nearly impossible for us to share the outfits in our closet. But that doesn't stop us from sharing what we can. Necklaces and scarves are great items to swap but this seasons drapey cardigans and loose tunics are great for a variety of sizes. Ready to branch out from your immediate group of friends? Find a local swap meet using Swap Madness.

5. Update your accessories. You've probably heard it before but accessories really can transform an outfit. Scarves are my favorite for the fall and I have a collection with colors that compliment my closet. While big statement necklaces are an easy way to change it up, I'm loving the new trend of layering delicate pendant necklaces.