As good as new: Clever ways to rework last season’s fashions

By Melina Byrne, the Money Maven (formerly the Recessionista)

Thanks to RESCU’s Autumn/Winter runway reports, Money Maven Melina Byrne has her finger on the fashion pulse. In this special report, she reveals which trends are back, and other resourceful ways to revamp your wardrobe.

It’s time to open your wardrobe and examine it with fresh eyes. Be practical. What’s still in fashion?

Here are some of last year’s trends that have returned:

(click on the links to view RESCU’s A/W Fashion Week blogs)

Accessories are huge this season. Check your wardrobe (or your mum’s) for:

When I compared this list to my wardrobe, I realised I already own everything except the animal print and over-the-knee boots (I’m just not brave enough!). So I’m covered for this season.

But there are other ways you can rework your wardrobe:

1. Layering and being creative

There’s 101 ways to combine your separates. You just need to consider the possibilities before declaring “I have nothing to wear” and heading out for retail therapy.

For inspiration: follow Sheena Matheiken’s addictive fashion blog, The Uniform Project ( Sheena has pledged to wear one little black dress for one year to raise funds for The Akanksha Foundation.

Every day, Sheena reinvents this dress with layers and other second-hand accessories. Some days, she wears the dress as a coat. And she even paired it with mismatched gloves, courtesy of Glove Love, an eco-friendly initiative that ‘rescues’ homeless single gloves from the streets of London.

2. Alterations

If you’re handy on the sewing machine or live near an alterations shop, you can redesign your old clothing. A pair of jeans could become shorts, a long dress could be shortened, and a shirt could be cropped or become a sleeveless top. The possibilities are endless if you have the budget.

Top Tip: If money is tight, buy new buttons for your old top – instant makeover!

For inspiration: Flick through Junky Styling by Annika Sanders and Kerry Seager, a book dedicated to deconstructing and redesigning second-hand clothing. Click here for purchase info.

3. Dyeing

If you are ‘dyeing’ for a new look, consider professional clothes dyeing or D.I.Y. This is a clever way to revamp your wedding dress or other once-only outfits. 

CullaChange is a good choice for professional dyeing. Their website is extremely detailed and also includes prices so you know upfront how much money is involved.

Here are some examples:

  • To dye a coat, it will cost between $125 if you choose a ‘culla chart colour’ and $175 for the colour of your choice.
  • A jumper will cost between $65 and $155.
  • Wedding dresses vary from $155 to $225.

Click here for more prices.

The Money Maven will be back next Tuesday with more money-saving tips @

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