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One of the biggest things keeping women from having great style is the belief that looking good requires a fat bank account and more disposable income than they have. And while it might be easier, and frankly more fun to shop, when you’re not checking price tags, you don’t have to be flush with cash to look amazing. Today, I’m sharing six ways to improve your style without spending a dime. Let’s get started.

Hello, gorgeous. Welcome back to the everyday style school, the podcast that gives real lifestyle advice to real life women. If you’re new here, welcome. I’m your host, Jennifer Mackay, Mary. I’m a wardrobe stylist who’s been dressing everyday women for over 20 years. And the founder of everyday style where we’re on a mission to inspire women to love the way they look and give you the tools to make getting dressed easy. If you’re a longtime listener, Hey girl, welcome back. I am so happy we get to spend this time together. Now, if you’re listening to this episode, when it first comes out, you know that it is April and April in the good ol US of A is a time when we reflect on our finances. Whether we want to or not. Every April I like to do an episode or two about wardrobes and money. And since I’ve been doing this show for a hot minute, if you want more advice on this topic, you can scroll back on whatever podcast platform you’re on and see our past April episodes, we will also link a couple of my favorites in the show notes. Today though, we are not talking about money, because I want to share a few things you can do to boost your style without spending any money at all. No matter who you are, where you are, what you do, what size you are, what shape you are, or how much money you have. I bet there are a few things on this list that you could benefit from now. Maybe you’re crushing all of them. And if that’s the case, give yourself a pat on the stylish back. But if you’re not, these are a great place to start. Let’s dig in, shall we? All right, the first thing you can do right now without spending any money, literally right now is to stand or sit up straight. I know, I know, I sound like your mother. I’m sorry for that. But it is true. You want to look more put together, stand up straight and put your shoulders back. Everything you’re wearing instantly looks more polished. And I get it. You’re like I’m in the car, I’m sitting at my desk, what does it matter? Honestly, being aware of your posture, and the way you carry yourself is simply a habit like any other. So I guess you can just stand up straight and photos or sit up straight when it quote unquote, matters. But the chances you’ll forget in those moments is a lot higher if it’s not something you do all the time. So wherever you are, whatever you’re doing right now, take a second to straighten your spine and pull your shoulders back. If you’re in the car, sit up straight and then adjust your rear view mirror, tilt it up just a little bit. It’s a great way to keep good posture in the car. If you’re on a walk, engage that core girls, if you’re at your desk, raise your monitor or your laptop so that you’re not hunched over it. Poor posture can be the result of just trying to be comfortable or just not thinking about it just kind of sinking down during the day. But it can also be a subconscious thing that we do when we’re trying to hide our bodies. My shoulders used to be really hunched forward before I had my breast reduction in an effort to make my chest look less noticeable. I would often see this in my clients who didn’t like their midsections. Their natural inclination was to bring the shoulders forward kind of stuck in the tummy. At the end of the day, it’s not a real successful strategy. And poor posture causes other issues that you know aren’t doing what you think they’re doing. So stand up straight. Learn to dress your body best, just as it is right now. And that’s how you look your best not not getting all hunched over. By the way when you improve your posture. Not only do your clothes hang better and look better, but you look more confident, which is always stylish. The second thing you can do to look better without spending any money is finish your outfit. I know I’ve talked before about going from just wearing clothes to having actual outfits. And that’s what this one is all about. There are two parts to an outfit, what you wear and what you do with it. Every day. All of us do the first part we wear clothes right? You’re probably not naked right now. But then we stop. We put on the top and the jeans we just call it today. But if you want to turn those clothes into an outfit, you have to do something you have to keep going like pop the collar on the shirt, scrunch the sleeves, tuck her half tuck cuff, the jeans, whatever finishing touches you You like that make it look like you intentionally styled those clothes. That’s what an outfit is. Maybe you add a third piece of jacket, I don’t know do something. Then there are accessories. A few ideas on this list are part of a broader use what you already have strategy and this is one of them. I know you have clothes you don’t wear. I know you have accessories you’re not wearing before you go spending any money on more things. Why not see if there’s anything in your closet or your jewelry box that you forgot about? Do you have a belt that works with the outfit? Can you layer your necklaces or stack a couple of bracelets? Many years ago, my sister gave all of her bridesmaids, me included a string of pearls to wear at her wedding. And they were lovely. But honestly, they’re not really me. I’m not a short string of small pearls kind of girl if you hadn’t noticed. On the other hand, they were really they were really nice. And I felt bad about getting rid of them. So I just didn’t. A couple of months ago, they’ve literally been in my jewelry box for years, I was digging through my necklaces, and I saw them. And they were kind of sending it along with a gold link necklace that I have with a little pearl charm that I’ve been wearing a lot. And I thought Hmm, how would those two look together, so I layered them up. And now I have been wearing that combo on repeat, it stands out a little bit more and gives a little bit more finish and a little more style than either one on its own. Does that mean that you have to layer your necklaces No, not at all. What it means is that an easy and totally free way to boost your style and turn clothes into outfits is by adding styling details and using accessories, especially those that you have already paid for but aren’t currently using. The next totally free way to boost your style is to pick your outfits around your shoes. I know this is the opposite of how we get dressed. But shoes define your style. So instead of getting dressed, and then throwing on your tried and true, go twos that are probably sitting by their front door, switch it up, choose your shoes first and then build an outfit around them. Better yet, choose the cutest pair of shoes you own and get dressed around them. This is another area where I’d say 95% of us are not utilizing what we have. So head to your closet and find a pair that you just haven’t worn in a while. Even if you choose jeans and a top to go with those haven’t worn them in a bit shoes, it will feel fresh, it’ll feel elevated. And before you say, but I don’t want to wear the uncomfortable heels in my closet. Girl, I get it, I hear you. I don’t want to wear uncomfortable shoes either. But I’m willing to bet that you have shoes you could be wearing for the life you really live and whatever your day brings, that you’re just not you forgot about them. You used to wear them all the time, and then you got tired of them. You loved them but weren’t sure what to wear with them. Whatever the reason, I’m pretty sure you could change your shoes and uplevel them a little bit and bring in something new. Building your outfits around your shoes, changes your perspective and it boosts your style. And since they’re already in your closet, it’s totally free. The fourth free way to improve your style is along those same lines, but it’s simply to remix your outfits. There’s a stylist I love to follow and I normally I love her content. I love her. But she had a post I was kind of like man, I don’t know about that. I don’t know that I agree. And her post was don’t be an outfit repeater. Personally, I love repeating outfits. And I don’t know if it’s a part of my ADHD or what, but I will latch on to one outfit combo I love and I’ll repeat it like twice a week until I can’t stand to look at it anymore, and then I won’t wear it ever again. So I absolutely believe you should be an outfit repeater. It is perfectly okay to wear the same outfit to work a couple times each month. It’s perfectly okay to have a go to date, night top, whatever you have. But most of us get stuck in outfit ruts me included. We wear the same tops with the same pants over and over and over again and never mix it up. This leads to first not utilizing a lot of what you have, but also to feeling boring and basic for no reason because you do have good stuff. So here’s what I want you to do. I want you to hide your closet and bring your phone. Pick it up anytime and challenge yourself to make three to five new outfits from it. You can layer over you can layer under you can change the denim washes that you’re wearing with that top. You can mix up accessories, it all counts. As long as one of your outfit combos isn’t the same way you’ve been wearing it all the time. Now what’s your phone for? I bet you know it’s to take pictures of course. Then you have a whole photo album of outfit ideas that aren’t your same old same old look. The next freestyle booster is my personal favorite and something a lot of women overlook and that is to tidy up your clothes. By this I I mean doing things like steaming or ironing clothes before you wear them. And I know everybody hates to iron I do too. But I keep a clothing steamer in my bathroom which is right by my closet. And it literally takes less than a minute to get my clothes looking their best every day. I see my T shirts,
I steam pretty much every time I wear and usually the pants too. And before you DM me to ask what the best steamer is, I get that one a lot. The best steamer is the one you’ll use. That’s the best. I used a $20 travel steamer from amazon for years until someone I won’t mention who dropped it in the bathroom and broke it. And now I have I’m using my bigger, heavier, more expensive one that I use on like photo shoots and stuff and frankly, I miss my little cheapy so it’s not that deep. Don’t let the quest for the perfect steamer keep you from getting one. This one is obvious because it’s very easy to see when your clothes are a little wrinkled right. Other disrepair happens so slowly, that it goes unnoticed until your clothes look shabby. And by this I mean things like little fuzzies and those little pills, fabrics today pill so badly and they make your clothes look really sad and worn out. So grab your fabric comb your sweater shaver or my favorite tool, the Gleaner and when you get dressed each morning, give your clothes just a quick once over. Tools I swear by are obviously my Gleaner I will throw a link in the show notes. I know that we’re not supposed to be spending money this episode, but I will link to it. I think a must if you have Shetty pets is a to have a lint roller. I have them stashed everywhere. And then also shoe cleaning sponges. I have those in a couple places as well. When was the last time that you clean your shoes. I remember my dad polishing his shoes every Sunday night at the kitchen table, he would lay out newspaper and he polishes shoes. And I remember polishing my shoes when I was you know in the early corporate world. I haven’t polished shoes in a long time, but I do have like the little cleaning sponges to buff them up a little bit and the white ones for sneakers. If it’s been a minute since you have given your shoes any attention, this is a really good one to start with. And before you think I’m breaking my no money required rule, you can also use a disposable razor to shave your sweaters. You can use packing tape as a lint roller and you can use a magic eraser to clean your shoes. Use what you’ve got, use what you got. While you’re at it. If your white clothes are looking dingy, throw them in the washing machine with some hydrogen peroxide. Take a minute and trim your raw hem jeans. If they’re looking stringy, there are lots of little things you can do for free to make the clothes you have and wear look more polished. But it starts with just looking at them with new fresh critical eyes to see if they need a little bit of love. This one will improve your style instantly. Okay, last one. The final way to improve your style without spending a dime is to plan your outfits a week at a time. I think that picking out your outfits in advance has kind of gotten a bad rap. It feels like it belonged to a women’s magazine article about how to have it all. Pick out your outfit the night before and you’ll be ready to take on the day and climb the corporate ladder. It just it feels very like hustle, hustle and grind kind of way. But the fact is whether you are climbing a corporate ladder, or you just want better style, this is good advice. It’s really good advice. But picking out your outfit the night before is nowhere near as powerful and effective as picking out your outfits for a whole week. When you pick your outfits for a week at a time, a few things happen. First, you are ready for anything and everything. You don’t find yourself in an outfit that you feel from Bing for book club or a meeting at work. Because you’ve already planned for that and you’re not scrambling at the last minute, you’ve had a little bit of extra time to plan ahead. And that’s even better than doing it the night before. Second, you use more of what you already have. I know that’s a running theme in this episode. But planning your outfits a week at a time is the best way I have ever found to utilize more of what you’ve already paid for. Most women statistics show are only wearing about 10 to 20% of their wardrobes. That is a lot of investment just sitting there while you were the same 10 things over and over and over. When you plan a week at a time. You just naturally mix it up more. And you can even make a game out of it. Challenge yourself to wear seven different tops next week. And seven different ones after that. Be honest. How long has it been since you were 14 different tops in two weeks? It’s probably been a while and if you’re like I don’t have 14 tops. I bet you do. I bet you do. All right. Last thing that planning your outfits a week in advance does is that you naturally become more stylish and create it i I’ve said it before, I will say it again. Very few women have the time, energy or bandwidth to come up with interesting stylish outfits on the fly before 8am. So we default to those same 10 things or those same five outfits and we don’t turn our clothes into outfits. And then we feel bad because we feel boring and blonde, stead of polished and put together and often we feel like we’re just not good at style, when really what’s happening is that our routine just isn’t set up for it. When you plan a week in advance, you are planning when you have a little bit more time I plan everything on Sundays, I plan my meals, I plan my outfits. I get to think about it. And I make better choices both for dinners for my family and outfits for myself than I would if I was just doing it on the fly, or even the day before. One thing that I created for our style circle members is a wardrobe planner, a seasonal wardrobe planner. And in my humble opinion, I think it is the most underrated and most valuable resource in there. I’m always telling our members that this will change your style. So get in the habit of planning your outfits a week at a time and watch your style level up week after week. And best of all this one totally free. Alright, there you have it my friends, six easy ways to improve your style without spending a dime. I hope this episode reminds you to look in your own closet first. There’s probably some really good stuff in there you forgot about or you just haven’t worn in a while. And I also hope that you feel encouraged to boost your style in the days and weeks ahead. I would love to hear which of these save money strategies you’ll be trying out let me know on Instagram or on Facebook. You can find me on both at everyday style with Jen. link in the show notes. Obviously. I will see you next time. And until then remember that your everyday matters. So get dressed for it. And that’s a wrap. Thank you for listening today. If you’re loving the everyday style school podcast, I’d like to invite you to become a member of the style circle. It’s our monthly all access membership that gives you everything we create to make style easy so you can save time and money have easier mornings and more confidence all day long. You get our seasonal capsule wardrobe guides all of the master classes we offer and our exclusive members only podcast, the everyday styles will extra credit. Plus, you’re invited to the Facebook community where you can get even more style support and inspiration. I would love to get to know you and support your style journey. It’s just $19 a month less than the cost of a clearance shirt you’re never going to wear. Come join me and make your everyday style easier.

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