Ways to skimp on your winter wardrobe

13 Oct

Winter clothes, as we all know, are way more expensive than summer clothes. In a frozen-solid place like New York City, the sheer amount of material we must swath ourselves in to brave the city streets (not to mention the wind chill) is staggering and guarantees a pricier set of duds for the cold months.

Here are seven sly moves I’ve used to save my wallet some woe:

1. Resole a pair of old boots. Just last week, I dropped off my old Elie Tahari boots from two seasons ago at Marco Shoe Repair on Third Avenue. I had run them bald over two winters, and for $36, they look brand new again. Not bad considering what buying new ones could cost.
2. Instead of your annual trip to an overpriced seasonal shop, buy a used Halloween costume on Craigslist.
3. Stock up on tights. Because they are cheap and colorful and come in interesting patterns, they can instantly change any outfit.
4. Turtlenecks. These are the key to winterizing your summer dresses. Buy them a size smaller than your normally would so they fit snugly underneath and don’t bulge.
5. Embellish! I’m a huge fan of Etsy, and flower pins like these or these add instant autumn spice to a tired old white shirt, blazer, peacoat or denim jacket.
6. Get a new haircut. I’ve always found taming my (formerly) long, static-y hair around scarves, hats, ski gear and cowlneck sweaters in the winter to be a huge pain. Last year, I chopped it all off at Thanksgiving on a total whim. It was worth it!
7. Buy a coat from last season. I’ve spoken many times of my obsession with TJ Maxx, Filene’s and the like. Get thee to an off-price store to find that sleeping bag-esque winter coat and save a bundle!

Bonus: While you’re switching your closet to fall/winter, fill a shopping bag full of tanks, dresses and shorts you barely wore this summer — ’cause you probably won’t like ’em next year, either. Donate to your nearest Goodwill or thrift store or leave the bag in your apartment’s lobby. This is a great way to avoid clutter and only have outfits you love to wear each season.

Anybody have a trick they’re especially proud of? Do tell!

Previously: Your first winter in NYC: Are you pumped or what?


4 Responses to “Ways to skimp on your winter wardrobe”

  1. Adrianne 10/13 at 10:14 am #

    Does anyone have any recommendations about the essential items needed when starting a winter wardrobe? I’m moving from Florida and never lived in a winter climate.

  2. Lauren @ LifeStyler 10/14 at 10:23 am #

    Agreed on the boots. I’ve had the same pair of $100 winter boots for 3 years now, and once a year I have them re-soled and the zipper restored. I have no doubt that they’ll last another good two years or so.

    And the sock man on St. Marks has awesome wool tights. They’ll run you about $20 – $25 a pair, but they’re seriously as warm as sweatpants and totally worth the cost. I have 3 pairs — off white, tan and black and they go with absolutely everything.

  3. JGIWC 10/15 at 11:39 pm #

    HEY! Fabulous blog! Keep in touch…


  1. Sarah’s Ways to Skimp on Your Winter Wardrobe | Directory Of New York City - 11/23

    […] She’s 27 and moved here about 3 years ago. Now she’s sharing great advise on how to survive and settle in New York City. […]

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