How to refresh your wardrobe without splashing the cash

By Katie Lewis

I don’t know about you, but every few weeks I get this urge to completely overhaul my wardrobe. Although I have quite a lot of clothes, realistically I wear probably 30% of what I own- which feels very wasteful and makes me think I shouldn’t keep adding to the problem. Seeing beautiful people wearing beautiful clothes all over Instagram fuels my desire for new clothes even further. But unfortunately, I don’t receive free clothes like Instagram models, and I don’t see that happening anytime soon. I also know that it’s also not particularly environmentally friendly to keep buying pieces of fast fashion whenever I feel like it, so here’s a few suggestions of how to alternatively refresh your wardrobe.

I like the idea of having a minimalistic wardrobe, with just key pieces that you can interchange that won’t go out of fashion before next season. In order to achieve a minimal wardrobe, I organised my clothes into four separate piles; Depop, car-boot sale, charity shop and a keep pile. By putting some of your nicer pieces of clothing which are still good quality on Depop, you can earn some decent cash for your old clothes. Apps like Depop are great if you’re the type of person who buys something and only wears it a few times before you get bored. It gives you the chance to make a bit of money back on items you’ve fallen out of love with. After you sell a few items, you’ll have saved some pocket money that you can spend back on the site if you see any bits you fancy. This way you’re sourcing more sustainable fashion and are likely bagging yourself a bargain in the process.

Clothes that are more loved, and possibly aren’t worth selling online, are better off at a car boot-sale, or something similar, as people don’t expect things in perfect condition, but you can still earn a little cash back. You may find gems of your own at a car-boot or vintage sale, which are perfect places to both buy and sell without the guilt of supporting fast fashion. If you think that your items aren’t worth selling, or you’re feeling charitable and want to get rid of bits quick- donate a bag of clothes to a local charity shop. It is estimated that £140 million worth of clothing goes into landfill each year- so why add to the issue?

Another fun thing to do if you want to freshen up your wardrobe is if you and your mates all sort through things you don’t want and swap bits with each other. I bet you’ve gone out with your friends and thought, ‘Wow I need that top’ that your friends wearing. They might be sick of wearing it now, and you might have something they’ve been eyeing-up for a while. Sharing clothes with your friends is an easy way to double the contents of your wardrobe without costing you a penny. If you’re a similar clothes size, you could club together to buy pieces you both like and share them between you- this way you’re saving your money and the item gets double the use.

If you’ve been eyeing up an item in a shop window for a while, go for it and buy it, but make sure it’s not just a temporary fashion piece that you’ll get sick of- because it’s just not sustainable. By buying versatile pieces, you won’t be looking at your wardrobe and feeling stressed when trying to put together an outfit, because the items will be interchangeable. So, the message is, don’t be thoughtless when it comes to clothes- think about what they are worth to you long term.

Will future me appreciate neon animal print leather trousers? Probably not, so I’ll give them a miss.

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