1) Don’t Buy Anything You Can Make Yourself. You’ll never catch me on “Project Runway,” or anywhere near a needle and thread for that matter, but even my non-crafty self can recreate some of the hot summer fashion trends that are surfacing right now. Cut-off denim shorts? All you need is an old pair of jeans and a pair of scissors. Tie-dyed tops? Just grab some rubber bands, a bucket, cheap dye from the grocery store, and a couple of bargain cotton tanks or tees. Statement tees? DIY a boring old tee with some iron-on letters or decals.
2) Vote for Tote. Every time my mind starts fixating on cute summer handbags, I remind myself that my regular haul—wallet, phone, makeup, book, etc.—is best served by a roomy tote bag. Instead of trendy purses, I’ll be carrying a cute organic cotton tote—like denim Beau Soleil Beau USA totes—that’s functional and more eco-conscious (not to mention cheaper). It’s also perfect for hitting the beach, and I love being able to turn down a wasteful shopping bag when I go to the store.
3) Use What You Have. I don’t know about you gals, but every year I’m dazzled by all the cute bikinis in the shops, and blow money on a sexy new swimsuit. Nevermind that I have a stash of perfectly good, barely worn swimsuits in a drawer at home, or that I don’t live anywhere near a beach. I’m putting an end to this silly cycle, and will be taking last year’s bikini (purchased in Germany, and worn, oh, maybe three times) with me on my beach vacation this summer. Who cares?
4) Beg, Borrow, or Steal. I’m headed home to visit the family this weekend, and my first plan of action—after I raid the fridge, of course—is to rifle through the closets. Those white button-down shirts my little brother always gets for Christmas but refuses to wear? So chic with a belt, or maybe tie-dyed and turned into a funky boho top. Dad’s baggy sweatshirts? Just snip the shoulders to nail this season’s sporty look. Mom’s vintage pieces? Perfect for a one-of-a-kind ensemble. Just use your imagination!
5) Buy Used. If I do get the urge to go shopping, and, let’s be honest, I probably will, I plan to hit up vintage and consignment shops before the high street. Not only is this more affordable (my friend just scored a jacket you’d swear was Chanel for 5 bucks from a street vendor last weekend), but it’s also a great way to add unique pieces to your wardrobe while extending the life of that particular garment. It’s all about recycling!
Do you have any eco resolutions this summer? What are your tips for saving money on style?
Go in style,
Erin Donnelly, The Good Fashionista