Do you feel that? That crisp fall air in the evenings and mornings? It’s that time of year again when people start talking about pumpkin spice lattes, and when your body begins to send signals that it wants to curl up with a favorite book.
The trees are changing into their fall wardrobe, and it’s time to take a look at your own. Here are some tips to transition into the cooler seasons without freezing out your bank account!
Sort and store to get organized for the season
Pack away summer pieces you know you won’t need until the warm weather returns, and look over last winter’s coats, footwear, and sweaters for necessary repairs or cleaning. Try stuff on! If you’ve lost a few inches over the summer through healthy eating, clean living, and exercise, send your favorite wardrobe pieces to a tailor to improve the fit, and make a list of what you’ll need to replace. You’ve earned it!
Set aside other items for charity, or for resale online to pad your wardrobe budget. Throw away worn and ragged clothing, or repurpose them for craft projects like quilts and rag rugs. Not into crafting? Donate clean “rags” to senior centers for their own projects or sell them online as craft materials for a couple dollars a pound.
This is a great time to reorganize dresser drawers and closets, making the most of your storage space and finally letting go of old bridesmaid dresses and those impulse purchases you know you’ll never wear. Ask a friend who loves to knit to recycle the yarn in an old sweater,
If you don’t like to knit, ask a friend who does to recycle the yarn from an old sweater. If it was a sentimental favorite, it can live on in another form.
Extend summer with layering this fall
Do you have some favorite tee shirts, skirts or dresses you hate to put away until next year? Invest in thin but warm thermal leggings, tights, and long-sleeve undershirts, and layer your outfits.
Cozy up with knitted scarves, mixing and matching hats and gloves to add warmth and texture to your layered look. Seek out local fiber guilds for sustainably-sourced wool accessories, included felted handbags and even custom-dyed items colored with natural pigments.
Reboot your footwear
Dig out last year’s boots, shine them up and have soles repaired as needed. Make sure to apply waterproofing and leather conditioner, and add comfy insoles to keep your toes happy.
Revive faded jeans
Give your favorite denim a new look with home dye kits. Get creative! Darker fall colors dyed over faded blues will leave interesting shades, and cover up faded spots.
Try your hand at practical crafts
Sewing, embroidery, and other textile arts are making a comeback as relaxing, mindful, and meditative activities. Tired of adult coloring books? Learn to use a drop spindle. Even if you aren’t thrilled about knitting knit or crocheting, you can supply a friend with yarn in exchange for discounts on custom-made pieces.
Dress up your wardrobe with hand embroidery. It’s not just for medieval ladies-in-waiting and little old grannies; search “Mildly Offensive Fiber Artists” on Facebook for some hilarious project ideas and camaraderie. Ravelry.com’s online forum and community will guide you every step of the way through the world of fiber and textile arts.
Stalk the secondhand market
Don’t let your new hobbies or that steamy new book give you the excuse to sequester yourself at home on wet, rainy days. Visit some secondhand shops for vintage accessories and clothing items prime for upcycling.
Pony up for classic pieces
When it’s time to invest in your wardrobe, avoid trendy styles and go for high quality, versatile, timeless items that will stay in service for seasons to come. Build your personal style upon a solid foundation, and you’ll have more of your budget available for accessories that can adapt your wardrobe to suit any occasion, any season.
Take care of your clothing, and take care of yourself
Think of your wardrobe as an investment, and look after it accordingly. Don’t purchase or care for items as if they’ll be out of style in three months.
Likewise, look after yourself this fall. Seasonal changes require us to adapt to cooler weather, shorter daylight hours and the dreaded germ season, as we spend more time indoors in public areas. Those who are at risk for seasonal depressive disorder should continue to get exercise, eat healthily and seek help if they notice mood changes, and we all need to make sure we adjust to our new routines with healthy sleep habits.
Fall is a gorgeous time of year. Put your best foot forward and celebrate the season with your updated, personality-driven wardrobe. Get out and enjoy the crisp, fresh air, and sip those holiday beverages in style. Stay active, healthy and engaged, and you’ll greet spring with greater joy!