Clever tricks to expand wardrobe on budget


While we would all like the luxury of having an endless closet of clothes, the reality is most college students have to invent their personal style on a budget. Use these tips to expand your wardrobe without expanding your credit card bill.

1. Rent the Runway
Whether you are looking for a gown to wear for a black tie affair or just feel like wearing something fresh and new to go out, the website Rent the Runway is the perfect way to make it seem like you have a closet full of designer dresses. Rent the Runway features attire and accessories from more than 95 well-known designers, from Alberta Ferretti to Zac Posen. It also offers a wide variety of merchandise that range from $30 for simple dresses to more than $200 for formal wear. Rent the Runway provides customers with several services intended to make the rental process smooth and problem-free, such as a free back-up size with every order, same-day delivery in New York City, hassle-free product returns and a full refund if both sizes do not fit. For your next formal event or party, rather than purchasing a dress you will probably never wear again, visit to snag the designer dress of your dreams at a reasonable price.


2. Borrow From Friends
If you often find yourself bored and dissatisfied with the contents of your own closet, it may help to take a dip into someone else’s. Find a friend who is okay with sharing clothes and has a similar size and fashion sense so you can double your options. Swapping dresses with a friend for a night out will give you the feeling of wearing a brand new outfit without the guilt of spending money. But whenever you borrow something from a friend, be sure to offer your own closet as well — and don’t forget to return the items you borrowed.

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3. Buy, Trade or Sell
Thrift and second-hand stores are a great way to get rid of clothes you no longer wear and find exciting pieces at bargain prices. While sifting through tons of racks of random clothing may seem tiring, the results are often completely worth the patience. Second-hand stores like Beacon’s Closet and Buffalo Exchange are filled with unique pieces from brands like Free People and Marc Jacobs. The best part is most places will take your unwanted clothes on the spot and pay a certain percentage of the selling price in either cash or store credit.


4. Accessorize
Buying clothes isn’t the only way to expand your wardrobe. Accessories like scarves, jewelry and bags can allow you to revamp your style at a cheaper price than buying garments. Keep an eye open for unique accessories at cheap prices, which can be found anywhere from street vendors to vintage stores. One key accessory in an outfit — a vintage silk scarf or a statement necklace — can speak louder than the clothes themselves. It will transform a previously worn outfit into something completely new.


5. Do it Yourself

Another sneaky way to expand your clothing collection is reinventing your clothes yourself. Dying an old, faded sweater, cutting the sleeves off a blouse or hand painting a plain T-shirt are just a few ways to breathe fresh life into old, washed-out clothes. Because DIY has become so popular, there are hundreds of blogs and websites that offer simple ideas for renewing your old clothing. Websites like and feature some great tips for DIY projects that will make your old clothes wearable again. Plus, you will have the satisfaction of creating something with your

own hands.

A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, Oct. 10 print edition. Deeksha Mehta is a contributing writer. Email her at [email protected] 





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