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Guest Blogger: How to Give Yourself a Makeover Without Spending a Dime

Think you need to spend a ton of money to improve your style? Think again! Here are four simple tips on how you can makeover your look without spending a dime!

1) Think about your style needs. What is your lifestyle like? Do you work long hours in a high rise office building? Do you need to be able to transition        easily from day to evening for happy hours or community service activities? Do you have to worry about little crumb snatchers spilling grape juice on your clothes? Before you can begin to craft a new look for yourself, you need to think carefully about your lifestyle and your needs. It doesn’t do you any good to line up a wardrobe made exclusively of stilettos and cashmere sweaters if you work, say, at an in-home daycare center. So, think carefully about what your ideal wardrobe would look like given your lifestyle and activities.

2) Educate youself. With makeover shows on just about every cable channel, you have no excuse for not learning the basic “rules” of fashion and style. Your best bets are going to be TLC’s What Not to Wear and the Style Network’s How Do I Look? Both shows do an excellent job of working with a variety of fashion victims of different ages, body types, body sizes and style needs. By watching these shows, you can pick up a lot of good tips to help you take your look to the next level.

No cable? No problem! Most networks air excerpts and even full episodes of their shows online for FREE! Also, many bloggers and stylists have taken to Youtube to post style videos. My favorites include Wendy’s Lookbook, The Painted Ladies and Itsabellavita. (No internet access at home? Get thee to the library! You might even find some good books on fashion and style there, too.)

3) Edit your closet. Now that you’ve boned up the do’s and don’ts of style to suit your lifestyle, taste, body size, etc., it’s time to edit your closet! Now, before you argue that  you’ve “got nothing to wear” I am certain that you’ve got things smooshed in the back of your closet that you haven’t worn. Either because (like me!) your closet is overstuffed and you don’t even know what you have in there or you simply haven’t figured out how to incorporate certain pieces into your look. You never know what treasures you might find hiding in there. So, go through your closet, uncover the hidden gems and get rid of things that don’t fit, have outlived their usefulness (i.e., are damaged beyond repair with stains, rips, holes, etc.) or simply no longer fit in with your new style.

Think carefully about clothes that you haven’t worn before – decide whether there’s a way to rework certain pieces so that you can wear them now. (Amber over at StylePlusCurves did a great post on how to make a bad fashion buy better.) Hopefully, this process will also give you the opportunity to rediscover some old favorites or come up with different ways of wearing them. For example, you know that long button down shirt you always wear with pants? Why not pair it with that pencil skirt you’ve never worn and add a belt!

Also, don’t be afraid to try new combinations of things you might not have considered before. Colorblocking continues to be a big trend this coming Spring! Unsure of what colors go with each other? Check out this great post by Danielle Gray, the Style and Beauty Doc, about how to combine colors in your wardrobe.

If you still decide that you have no place in your wardrobe for certain items, prep those clothes for donation. (Shameless Plug Alert: For ladies size 14 and up, be sure to bring your wearable items to the FREE Curvy Clothing Swap happening in Downtown Bethesda, MD on Saturday, February 18. Non-swapped clothing will be donated to Goodwill of Greater Washington.)

Once you have cleaned out your closet, you will only be left with pieces you love and that make you look good.

4) Get professional help. Still unsure of what colors and styles work best for you? Get some professional help – for free! Schedule a consultation for yourself at Ulta, MAC, Sephora, or the beauty counter at your local department store. While they will likely try to push products on you, don’t feel pressured. You can always ask the makeup artists – especially at a place like Ulta – to point out similar items from the “drugstore” (brands like Cover Girl, L’Oreal, etc.). Christine over at Temptalia maintains an amazing list of less expensive “duplicates” of high-end cosmetic products.

Once you’ve got your makeup situation under control, call around to see which clothing stores in your area offer free personal shopper/personal styling services. Nordstrom offers this service – all you have to do is sign up and make an appointment! While there might be pressure from some of these consultants to make purchases, you don’t have to buy anything at all. But you just might get some great clues on what colors, styles and trends work for you.

Well, there you have it. Four simple ways to makeover your look without spending a dime! I hope that you found this helpful.

Who is Curvy CEO? Curvy CEO is a lawyer and government relations professional in Washington, D.C. When she’s not pounding the pavement on Capitol Hill, you will usually find her pouring over fashion magazines or glued to the Style Network (which is pretty much her only reason for continuing to pay for “the good cable” during these tough economic times).

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3 Comments for Guest Blogger: How to Give Yourself a Makeover Without Spending a Dime

Outfit 31
February 3, 2012

Very cute and simple outfit!!! Simple is always the most elegant! Thank you for the tips!!

[…] Your Look Without Spending a Dime! February 3, 2012By curvyceoCheck out my guest post – “Makeover Your Look Without Spending a Dime!” – that appears today on the DC Goodwill Fashionista […]

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