The art of getting more from your wardrobe

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We enjoy feeling stylish but that doesn’t mean we can afford blind consumerism either. So, it’s always worth reminding ourselves how easy it is to mix up looks while maintaining a tight budget all while shopping ethically.

And nobody knows more about being savvy with style than over 50s!

Necessity definitely is the mother of invention and most of us have lived through times of struggle. Whether it’s necessary for you now or you’re wanting to dress more consciously, these are the ways to fashionably do more with less.

For the sewers: even if you have the skills, you don’t have to make a garment from scratch. And we all know that the cost of quality fabric can negate the savings. Therefore, it’s best to reimagine clothing.

Is there a dress hanging in your closet that you don’t wear any more? Could it work as a top and skirt? Wrap-style skirts are currently quite popular and you don’t have the hassle of getting the fit perfect as the wrap adjusts to suit your body.

Are there pants that have been hanging in your cupboard unworn? Perhaps they would look better if you cuffed the hem or turned them into 7/8 styles for summer? Everything can be tweaked or reinvented.

Doctor T Designs – Simplicity Wrap Skirt Pattern

A clever sales assistant once let us in on her secret after we complimented her on her scarf. She said she finds most scarves too wide for her neck so she often cuts her scarf in half and sews up the edge. She had made two scarves from one and would often give the second one to her elderly mother or a friend. Love that idea! Or you could also turn your winter scarf into an infinity style/snood scarf. If the scarf has tassels or is thin enough to tie corners, there is no sewing required for this little hack.

Easy step-by-step from Gimme Some Oven

When you do shop, buy second-hand or at least consider it first. This doesn’t only mean heading to Salvos or Vinnies – although both are obviously great options. But check out your local buy/swap/sell pages as well as Facebook marketplace, which grows by the day.

Be sure to narrow your search function to only show products for sale in your area to save you driving across town. A big tip for when buying online is to check the fabric of an item – if it isn’t listed always ask the seller. Computer screens can be deceiving!

If you go to your own profile on Facebook you will find the marketplace icon (magnified)

Get organised. Put your off-season clothing away so that your closet isn’t clogged. It’s a pain at the time but creating more space will improve the visual snapshot of your wardrobe and assist in mixing and matching certain items. You will truly get more from your wardrobe if it’s less cluttered. Works every time for us.

Rethink the way you wear certain items. The best example of this is the humble collared shirt. Why not try it open over a tank top, belted to accentuate the waist or maybe try out the trend where you loosely tuck one half into your jeans? It instantly elevates your shirt from basic to on-trend.

The one and only, Oprah giving her white shirt a sophisticated belted edge.

Image via Pinterest: Wear your shirt open and layered.

Image via Pinterest: Have a shot at the relaxed half-tuck trend.

Feeling ho-hum about your jewellery collection? Why not consider layering multiple pieces at once to create new and interesting mixes.

If you’re confident about how to blend necklaces, then have fun with it and make it the statement against your paired-back basics. If you’re unsure, the biggest tip is to avoid layering too many fine pieces as they’re guaranteed to tangle.

All of those fine layered pieces you see on other women are usually the one necklace, spaced so they don’t knot. And lastly, try to keep them grouped in the same styles, i.e. wooden beads piled on more wood. Ultimately, trust your gut. If you enjoy it, then your confidence will shine and people will be bound to love it too.

Image via Pinterest: Give a sharp blazer a relaxed, cool touch by adding excess jewellery.

* All images via Pinterest

Do you have any wardrobe tips? Are you handy with a sewing machine to make adjustments? Do you have a bag of scarves that could be given fresh legs?

Rebecca O’Hearn has had a long career as a fashion and beauty editor at Yours, Woman’s Day and FHM magazines and has styled some of Australia’s most famous faces. Her mission now is to help women of all ages feel confident that their wardrobe and beauty choices are the best they can be. Her website,, is packed with fashion, beauty and styling tips. This article first appeared on her website.

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Dame Judi proves the power of the scarf

Layering can lift many outfits from dull to dreamy.

Over-50s style tips

Mind Your Own Retirement host John Deeks chats with fashion and beauty editor Rebecca O'Hearn, founder

Over-50s style tips

Mind Your Own Retirement host John Deeks chats with fashion and beauty editor Rebecca O'Hearn, founder

Written by Rebecca O’Hearn


Total Comments: 1
  1. 0

    I use scarfs and different jewelry to change the look of the same outfit. It is a good trick when you are travelling, to turn a day outfit into a night time outfit, by just taking off the scarf and replacing it with a fancy silver looking jewerly.



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