1. Accessories. Now, there is nothing that livens up an outfit or takes an outfit to diff places (casual, dressy, etc) like accessories. For church I love to add flowers, brooches, belts, and headbands. For work, a pair of cute earrings and a headband, or sandals.
2. Mix n match. When I buy items of clothing I usually think of them in a particular outfit and for a special type of occasion but I'm realizing some of my dressier outfits can be made casual with a few tweaks...adding flip flops, doing my hair in a messy ponytail, switching out a skirt for shorts...and some can be dressed up with heels, make up, accessories, or even adding a cardigan and belt.
3. Know how to buy cheap. I was born with a very high chest i.e., my eyes are waaay bigger than my wallet on most occasions. But you can add cheaper pieces to your ensemble without bringing the whole thing down if you shop wisely in discount stores. How do you shop wisely? First, don't get your entire outfit from there (exception: a cute dress/jumper)...if you happen to get a dress there, please use accessories that can take it up a notch. Second, don't get anything to store specific. I love Mandee for example but when I go there I get plain tees, and cute shorts (in the winter they have cute sweaters too). I even have a black dress from there (but u know I took the cheapo belt out and replaced it with a belt I got for like 3 times the price of the dress and a cute pin/brooch).
4. Borrow from your spouse/sibs/parent/bff. Oh I wish my mom, or Ren-L were closer. You can totally borrow from people whose style you like. I recommend borrowing small items (or non descript)...don't deprive the person of their own closet lol. For example things I borrow from mom - cardigans, scarves, belts, clutches. I also all out steal but that's a different thing. Anyhoo, my husband is a fashionable dude and he likes graphic tees. Surprise! So do I. So if I want to look casually cute, I dip into his stash which is bigger than mine (& we're practically the same size *sigh*). I also have my eye on my brother's Jamaica track team shirt. He better watch it!
5. Learn to sew. Ok, this is the one thing on my list I haven't even tried much less mastered but I've made plans. I don't want to sew boring every day stuff. Puhleeese, that's why there's the mall. But all the great stuff I admire that I will possibly never afford (look here as well, and here lol). I can totally make once I buy the patterns which, sigh, will be an investment. Now, I am assuming the talent is hereditary (cause my mom can really sew...shoot, she can make her own patterns too). She has promised to teach me the summer of 2011 and I am holding her to it.