Fashion Reboot: Haute Couture, Low Cost

April 27, 2016

Flowers have begun to bloom and the days are getting warmer, signaling it’s time to break out brighter colors and warm weather clothing. I can’t wait!  But I don’t want to go broke buying clothes for spring, and I’m sure you don’t either, so here are a few ways to rock a fabulous spring wardrobe without letting your budget suffer for fashion.

Shop Your Closet

Pull out your spring and summer clothes from last year and look at which pieces still look great, make you feel great when you wear them, and are still fashionable. Take some time to try on your pants, shorts, and tops to make sure everything fits well and give away the items that aren’t flattering, or ones you don’t enjoy wearing.

Create fashionable looks based on what you’re seeing in magazines with what you already have at home. Be creative!

If you want (or need) to freshen up your wardrobe, don’t go to the store. Instead, check out ThredUp, an online consignment store with an amazing selection of clothes. They’re always on trend, affordable, and the return process is pretty easy to manage as well.

My favorite thing about ThredUp is the “Closet Clean-Out” kit. It helps you turn your like-new clothes into credits or cash. The actual kit is a cute bag with a pre-paid shipping label on it. Fill it up and send your clothes in to get your credits! You can also use the referral link associated with your account, and for every person who signs up with your link you’ll usually “earn” $10-$20 in credits towards your next purchase. So make sure to share this information with your friends and family.

Throw a Party

Invite your friends and family over and tell them to bring ten pieces of clothing or accessories in good condition. Then let everyone go “shopping” for new clothes. Find a clothing rack so the clothes are easier to see. Make sure they’re divided by size and that you have a room set aside for trying things on.

Go to a Great Thrift Store

Thrift stores have finally upped their game, plus retro fashion is always in. If you get a chance, check out the Buffalo Exchange which has locations in Denver and Boulder, Goodwill (especially the store on 1st and Broadway) and Plato’s Closet which is geared towards teenage girls. What I love about these stores is they’re neatly organized and have great selections. Also, most thrift stores have 50% off days a couple of times a month. Goodwill even has a rewards program where you can earn additional discounts.

Some tips to make thrifting less intimidating and overwhelming: limit the amount of time you’re in the store and be very clear about what you’re trying to find! Don’t go to browse or you’ll end up in the store for the entire day. For more on thrifting fashion, check out our recent post about a DPS teacher who’s devoting an entire year to it.


Sometimes you just need some fun jewelry or a pop of color for a fashionable spring look.  Wear a statement necklace, carry a bright handbag, or pick up a fun new nail polish in a bright spring color. Etsy is a great place to find unique, often handmade accessories.

Use an App

Shopping apps can help you leverage savings on clothing purchases. Ibotta (developed and headquartered in Denver) uses a very straightforward process to unlock rebates by answering a couple questions or watching very short videos. You can also share your invitation code and earn money when your friends and family sign up and make an initial purchase using your referral code.

The RetailMeNot app that has a much more comprehensive list of stores and coupon codes you can use when adding to your spring and summer wardrobe.

If your closet is looking pretty good right now, wait until the end of the warm weather shopping season and check out what’s on clearance. Pick up that trendy item you were eyeing for a lot less or freshen up your 2017 wardrobe with end-of-season additions.

Looking great this spring and summer doesn’t have to be expensive. Take some time to figure out what you already have, use some simple fashion strategies, and download a couple apps. You’ll look great any time of year and save a ton of money—and let’s be honest, we have a short warm weather season anyway, so enjoy it while you can!