It is possible to look good on a budget. For as low as five thousand shillings you can have a wardrobe revamping and add personality to your style.
Fitting into my pre-maternity clothes has been a task. While I have shed off most of the baby weight the past six months, some clothes are still ill-fitting and the corset is not enough to hold some of the bulge back. It will take a while to get that flat belly back or even a better looking one. In the meantime, loving my body now, and working for the body I want is my mantra. Part of loving your body is dressing it in right sizes. Well-fitting clothes are both attractive and stylish.
Here are some tips I have learnt about revamping my wardrobe on a budget after baby.
1. Thrift shopping
Open air markets like Toi Market, Nyayo Market and Gikomba, are the best places for a girl on a budget. If you go early, have good negotiating skills and good eye, you can get gems from these market places. I have found that body con dresses of midi length and basic and neutral colors work best. Get dresses in black, navy blue and beige. If you are a skirt kind of girl as opposed to a pants kind of girl, get them in blacks and blues. This will allow you to get as many blouses as possible to match the bottoms. The blouses are usually more affordable and I have found it easier to pair blouses with different prints and patterns with the same bottoms.
Buy a nice leather jacket, trench coat, a few boyfriend blazers and leggings. Ensure also, that most of your clothes are stretch material as they fit better on a full body.
Invest in a capsule wardrobe. This is a collection of the pieces you do not go a two days without wearing. Timeless pieces that you can wear throughout the week and for all events
2. Altering maternity clothes
I had to go to the market and get a few new clothes. However, my pocket did not allow a major shopping spree. Going back to my wardrobe, I had a eureka moment. I could alter my maternity clothes! Luckily, most of my maternity dresses were made of stretch material. The maxi stretch dresses are easily slimmed and made in to beautiful body con maxis for weekends and casual Fridays paired with a cute leather jacket, cardigan or a simple denim shirt. The blouses do not always need altering. Some of them can be paired with tights or leggings.
Wardrobe revamping is incomplete without some African being. From stylish neck pieces, cuffs, earrings, Ankara wrapped button earrings to African print scarves, there is plenty to choose from for your wardrobe revamping. African neck pieces are timeless mainly because the beads do not oxidize. This makes them long-lasting and always beautiful. They therefore serve the purpose of adding personality to a plain outfit very well. One neck piece goes for as little as one hundred shillings at the Maasai Market and bracelets for the same.
Bags are also an important accessory. Carrying a beautiful, bold colored leather bag will add class and elegance to your get up for the day. Wrapping an African print scarf around a plain bag also adds personality and charm to your outfit.
Hats and sunglasses make the altered maxi look like it is from a mannequin at a classy boutique. Weekend events and Sundays with the baby are made both stylish and comfortable. It is a win-win.
4. Confidence and self love
A smile, self-confidence and self-love go a long way to adding to your attractiveness. No one looks good without a smile and a feeling of contentment for the way their body is. This is expressed through posture and wearing well-fitting clothes. Ill-fitting and tight clothes express a dissatisfaction with one’s size and make an otherwise stylish dress look cheap and tacky. My get up, however well put together, is never complete without a smile and my head held high. So my favorite addition to wardrobe revamping is self-love.
Wardrobe revamping is not enough if you do not have confidence in the way you look. It also requires that you develop your own taste and accept your sense of style as opposed to looking to trends. Be a trend setter or at least make the current trends work for you. Personally, drawing inspiration from style from the 70s and 60s has helped me get looks that are more attractive and timeless.