How to Make Your Outfits Go Further

Emma Does Fashion
by Emma Does Fashion

When we're in a wardrobe rut, it's tempting to dip into savings or grab your credit card and go on a huge shopping spree. But this isn't necessary - you loved the items in your wardrobe when you first bought them and there are ways to rekindle this love. Before heading straight to the shops, revisit the pieces you already own and see if there are some new ways you can style them.

Take inspiration from others without copying them.

I came up with this outfit when this photo of Rachel Green was doing the rounds on TikTok. Many influencers enjoy the challenge of recreating famous outfits perfectly, hunting down vintage items until they have perfectly channeled their style icons. I see how this could be fun but personally I like my outfits to be wearable and I wouldn't want to wear something that someone else has already worn and almost certainly looked better in than I do!

Therefore, when I saw the Rachel Green look, I decided not to spend money on anything new and instead went to my own wardrobe to see what I already had in that I could use. It's all about getting inspo from these style icons rather than outright copying them. This will elevate your wardrobe rather than making you look like everybody else.

Try secondhand shops instead of always buying new.

I'm yet to experience the joy of saying, 'Thanks, it's vintage!' but I have found a few bargains on Vinted lately and, after years of traipsing around charity shops, am finally falling in love with preloved fashion. It's such a good way to save money on clothes without resorting to the fast fashion shops that everybody else frequents and running the risk of walking down the street and seeing somebody wearing the exact same thing as you.

I found this yellow tea dress on Vinted and it's become one of my favourite things in my wardrobe. I love to pair with tan accessories though I also like to pick up the green in the pattern with a dark green bag. Adding coordinating colourful accessories without being too matchy-matchy is an effective and surprising way to add interest to your look.

Turn dresses into skirts and skirts into dresses.

A simple sundress can be worn multiple ways: wear as is when the sun is shining, add a shirt either worn loose over the shoulders or tied in a knot when there's a bit of a breeze and add an oversized jumper when it's really chilly.

A pleated midi skirt like this one from Chicwish can also be switched up by pulled it up over your bust and adding a belt, or wearing loose. You may just need to tuck the band underneath so it's not obvious to everyone that you've repurposed your skirt!

Make a Pinterest board.

We've already spoken about taking inspiration from others and recreating their outfits. Well, Pinterest is the perfect app to help you with this! Whenever I have an event or a holiday to plan my outfits for, I love to make a dedicated Pinterest board.

For my trip to the Maldives (before it got suddenly cancelled - long story...), I pinned lots of inspiration images to my board before refining and reorganising it into an aesthetic array of orange, black and white images.

The next thing that comes to mind is to make a shopping list and start spending! But I have to rein those instincts in. Instead, I look at the overarching theme of the images (there is always one, even if I didn't mean for there to be). For the Maldives, my aesthetic is bolder and more logo-based than I would usually go for, which is a reflection of the current trends, but there are also lots of images which reflect what I already own, such as breathable midi dresses, tan accessories and solid colours rather than busy patterns.

Instead of staring at the expensive items you've pinned to your board and wondering if the bank will give you a loan for your summer holiday wardrobe, write down these key ideas for the aesthetic you want to embody on your vacation and head to your wardrobe to pull out any items that fit that aesthetic. You can then start playing with those pieces, putting outfits together that you may not have thought about before, and cut down on the amount of new items you need to buy before your holiday starts.

Buy less but buy better.

I'm referring to several things when I say 'buy better'. It doesn't necessarily mean more expensive though I do recommend looking for higher quality items, which often will cost more. Not necessarily, though - high street store H&M sells good basics made of natural materials like cotton and wool for a low price, and you can find cashmere bargains at

'Buy better' also means only buying items that add value to your life. I fall into the trap of buying the cheapest thing when it's something I need rather than really want to pay for. However, if you are able to hold out long enough, it always feels better when you've spent money on something you love! It makes your outfit look better but it also makes your home look better, because don't forget, you're going to store these items somewhere you can easily reach them which means they're on display every time somebody comes to visit.

Lastly, buying better means buying items you've wanted and been thinking about for a while and never making impulse purchases. I've definitely gone the other way and spent so long thinking about purchases that they end up going out of stock and my wardrobe looks quite sparse, but I also in the past have bought things on impulse and ended up with a chaotic wardrobe that doesn't coordinate well - it's all about finding the right balance! If you find yourself wistfully thinking about that pair of shoes you saw in Zara last Friday, allow yourself to buy them, as long as you can think of a few ways to style them and a few occasions to wear them.

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