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Making clothes fit and look new

How to look better for free

How to look better for free

A new something is a guaranteed way to make your wardrobe feel fresh. When you peer in in the morning and feel uninspired, it’s often because there’s a patterned shirt-shaped hole that needs filling. But investment isn’t the only way to breathe life into tired style. In fact, many of the best ways to reinvigorate your look cost nothing.

“These style tweaks are great because they make you think about clothes in a new way,” says Thread stylist Alice Watt. “You might suddenly discover that an item you were bored of becomes a favourite, because you discover a new way to wear it.” The more you experiment with your clothes, the more valuable they actually become, because they start to work in varied – and more interesting – combinations. Consider these investments in time that pay dividends overnight.

Organise your colours

If your idea of colour doesn’t go beyond bright + neutrals, you're selling your style short. “Learning what works on your skin colour is just as important as knowing what colours work together,” says Alice. “A quick and super-effective way to refresh your wardrobe is to try new combinations. Ever thought about burnt orange and purple? Or khaki and pale pink? If not, you should.”

Remove the chaff

In the world of wardrobe mathematics, subtraction can provide more value than addition. “Chuck out the stuff you haven't worn for ages so you can only wear things you love,” says Alice. Freed from the temptation to default to ratty gym tees, your style will never founder on the rocks of laziness. “You might also unearth some gems you forgot you had, which can be reworked and in turn refresh your reliable staples.”

Experiment with accessories

A belt does more than hold your trousers up. “It can instantly make an outfit feel fresh,” says Alice. “Same for a hat or a bag. They can add colour, texture, even print, all of which make safe outfits feel and look different. Even if it’s only subtle.”

Play with layers

There’s more than one order in which to wear any item. “Try a shirt over a jumper,” says Alice, “or a denim jacket under a coat. You can do this with light layers too; a t-shirt under a shirt looks good, but it’s even better in unexpected colours like pink and green, or navy and lilac.”

Illustration: David Doran