RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The cooler air is closing in and it’s time to start thinking about dressing for the changing weather.
Richmond personal stylist Sydney Lester of Chic Stripes says autumn brings a renewed interest in wardrobe.
“Fall is a great time to start thinking about your fall wardrobe obviously because the seasons are changing, but kids are going back to school, it’s kind of a time of new beginnings, so you get that opportunity with your wardrobe,” she said.
We asked Lester to outline her top “3 Ways to $ave” while revamping your closet.
First, she says shop discount retailers — either online or in-store. She suggests 6pm, The Outnet and Amazon for web purchases. She says Marshalls and T.J.Maxx are good brick and mortar options.
“If you are looking at items like handbags or shoes or designer denim, they’re going to get snapped up pretty quickly, so you either want to right when they open or the day after a delivery or the day of a delivery to really snag those deals,” she said.
She says clothes end up at a discount retailer for a variety of reasons.
“A lot of times what they’re going to have is simply overstock from your department stores. So they’re in-season trends, they’re going to be current. You’re not going to look like you’re dressing from ten years ago, but you’re still going to get a really good price point.”
Lester says savings can be anywhere from 20 to 60 percent off.
She says sometimes items will end up there if they’re a little too fashion-forward for the general public or have a small flaw like a tag sewn on upside down. Always inspect before purchasing.
Lester says a no-cost way to bring life to your wardrobe is to host or participate in a clothing swap. It’s a way to clean out your closet while trying fresh styles for free.
“It lets you really kind of experiment around and see what you like. If you like it, great, you’ve got a new style or type of clothing or a new brand that you like,” she said. “If you don’t, you got it for free so you can pass on the love with that.”
To get started, have everyone bring five pieces to swap. Include clothing and accessories like purses in case friends are not the same size. She says to do it over brunch or cocktails to make a party out of it.
Lester says you can also search for clothing swap groups on Facebook.
Lester says going to a consignment or resale store is one of her all-time favorite ways to build a fall wardrobe.
“Today’s consignment stores are a far cry from what they were 10 or even 5 years ago. The stores themselves are often set up like small boutiques, pieces are in sync with current fashion trends and correspond to the season, and more often than not, the pieces you will find are like new thanks to high standards as to what pieces stores will accept,” she said.
She says right now, most consignment shops will have hats, coats and boots and other items for cooler weather.
A bonus? She notes shopping at consignment stores supports local businesses and helps you shop in a sustainable and ethical way.
But not all consignment shops are equal.
“There are a lot here in Richmond and they all have a different vibe and a different feel,” she said.
Lester says to do your research before you try to buy or sell clothes. That way, you know what kinds of brands or designers you’ll see on the racks.
Some will take clothes only made in the last year or two. Lester says to check the tag on your clothes to see if it says when it was produced.
Lester recommends checking out Clementine and Ashby in Carytown.
“Clementine is one of my go-to stores for when I want to add current, high-quality, designer items to my wardrobe — or to the closets of my clients,” she said. “I have bought everything from Paige Denim to J.Crew sweaters to cult-fashion brand Marni sandals from Clementine.”
Ashby is Clementine’s sister store.
“Ashby features young adult pieces for both women and men. You’ll also find me in here scouring the racks for GAP or J.Crew denim and fun tops to add to my wardrobe. I shop at Ashby for many of my clients who are looking for good quality second hand pieces at affordable price points,” she said.
Here is Lester’s list of what to look out for this autumn:
• Layering is huge. Schoolgirl jumpers, spaghetti strap dresses with a T-shirt underneath. All of these can take your spring/summer wardrobe into fall while looking current.
• Victorian-inspired pieces. Think high-necked silky blouses, velvet and exaggerated bell sleeves.
• 90s style has really made a comeback, but most recently we’re seeing this with chokers.
• Sweater dresses are also coming back and they are great to combine comfort while still being office appropriate. Try them over skinny jeans for a casual look on the weekend and with tights for the 9 to 5.
• Whimsical shoes. Patterns and prints are more and more being considered neutrals and boots or flats with fun designs are a great way to show personality without being considered over the top.
Is there something you’d like to pay a little less for? Email us at iReport8@wric.com and we’ll try to find you 3 Ways to $ave.