Accessories can add smart styling to your wardrobe and spruce up pieces you’ve had for years. But instead of breaking the bank on jewelry or a pricey designer purse, get in touch with your inner crafter or seamstress or the you from high school home-ec class and head to the fabric or craft store.
“DIY trimmings are a great way to update a look or just make it more cutting edge and contemporary,” says career fashionista Lizandra Vega, the author of “The Image of Success” (Amacom 2010). They’re versatile and inexpensive too. Here are three easy ways to embellish your clothes—and go from drab to fab in $20 or less.
Swap out buttons. Vega considers buttons the earrings of clothes. Substitute basic buttons for rhinestone ones, for example, and a boring blouse gets zingy, going from day to night. She especially loves to alter the buttons on favorite sweaters and coats she’s had for years for an instant update. Buttons range in price, but Vega sticks to those that cost $2.98 each or less.
Adorn with patches. Got a stain on your favorite blazer that even your favorite dry cleaner can’t get out? That was Vega’s problem until she covered it with a cool patch she picked out at MJ Trimming in New York City. “It made the blazer look very designer,” Vega says. The cost? Just 50 cents. While she was there, she bought a large denim patch, with a big happy face and heart, which turned an otherwise unremarkable denim jacket she had into one that’s “boho chic.” Cost? Just $12. That’s the gist.
Stick a pin in it. Pins can add nice detail to hats and shoes. Vega recently bought an $8 flower pin and stuck it in a black knit beret she bought at Target. “I wear the beret with everything,” she says. She also recommends adding pins or belt buckles (also sold at fabric stores) to shoes like pumps—just superglue them on or have a shoemaker do it for you, and get ready for the compliments.
“I can get away with spending less on my wardrobe if I use DIY accessories to make classic pieces pop,” Vega says.