seasonChangeClothes

WITH A LITTLE CREATIVITY, YOU CAN TRANSITION YOUR WARDROBE FROM SUMMER TO FALL AND STAY STYLISH WITHOUT BREAKING THE BANK.

Nobody is perfect. Whether you are self-conscious about your hair loss, your weight or any other perceived flaw, the key to feeling good about yourself is accentuating the positives. On the job, at a party or on a first date, you should carry yourself with confidence. A big part of feeling good about yourself is being comfortable with how you look. No one can feel that impressive in a worn-out T-shirt and sweatpants or a suit that hasn’t been in style for years.

If you are in a fashion rut but don’t have a huge clothing budget, don’t worry. Not everyone has the cash to buy a whole new wardrobe every season, but that doesn’t mean you can’t look stylish. The key is to choose the right pieces and know when to save and when to splurge. When transitioning your wardrobe from summer to fall, put the emphasis on a couple of new classic pieces and then add trendy, more affordable options.

Classic style

The biggest shopping mistake you can make is spending a bundle on trendy clothing. The fad will be gone before you can pay off your credit card bill. Instead, splurge only on classic pieces that you will wear year in and year out. For example, a high-quality wool suit is worth spending on. Other fall pieces that are worth opening up your wallet for include:

  • Cashmere sweater
  • Leather boots and gloves
  • Trench coat
  • Wool scarf
  • Leather bomber jacket

Affordable bargains

Once you have picked up a few of the essential classics, you can start surrounding them with more affordable pieces. There’s no use in spending a fortune on jeans and khaki pants. Honestly, they are the same just about everywhere. You can find low-cost pants at Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy and your local department stores.

Hoodies, sweaters, polo shirts and T-shirts also are affordable pieces that you shouldn’t overspend on. Why drop $100 on a shirt that you can get for $25? Be sure to shop the sales. Head to the Web sites of your favorite retailers and sign up for their e-mail alerts or mailing lists.

Also, shop from the sample sale websites. This is a great way to get designer clothes at discount prices. Sample sales became popular in New York City when designers held season or annual sales offering their goods at discount prices as a way for consumers to sample their fashions. In the past few years, sample sales have gone online with numerous sample sale Web sites popping up all over the Internet. With sample sale sites, apparel and accessories are available for a limited time only in limited quantities. You will need to sign up to become a member (most sites are free) and then check daily to get the best deals. Gilt Groupe, HauteLook and ideeli are just some of the many sample sale Web sites that offer clothing for both men and women.

Don’t overlook thrift shops. Here you can find classic accessories that will add style to your wardrobe without putting a dent in your wallet. From vintage fedoras to classic watches, some real gems are to be had at thrift stores, estate sales and consignment shops.

Summer to fall

Fortunately, many pieces in your summer wardrobe can transition to fall. Of course, you won’t get any use out of your shorts and flip-flops in the autumn months; however, some items can become layering pieces when the weather cools down. For example, your favorite tees and tank tops can now be worn under sweaters and jackets.

Bright-colored polo shirts also can be worn in the fall months. Wear bold colors under a gray sports coat for a fresh fall look. A linen suit is perfect for the warm summer weather, but it can also make its way into your wardrobe in the early parts of fall. You can wear a light-colored linen suit with a black or charcoal gray button-down shirt.

When building your fall wardrobe, shop smart. No matter how appealing an item seems at the moment, stop and think realistically for a minute about how often you’ll wear it. If you are going to get some serious use out of an item, then it’s worth the extra bucks.