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How I Revamped My Summer Wardrobe for $35

Living in the South, it gets mighty hot during the summer. Eventually, you have to give in to wearing shorts and tank tops. Now I love me some tank tops, but finding shorts has always been a struggle.

I’ve never really had a summer wardrobe.

I have been sorely lacking in a “summer wardrobe” pretty much my entire life. Growing up in California, weather was the same all year long. I didn’t really need different clothes for different times of the year. Then I moved to Massachusetts and culture shock wasn’t the only change I had to deal with.

However, even after spending the better part of a decade in Massachusetts, I never really had a “summer wardrobe.” I had my clothes from California weather, which for the most part were fine for summer and then the winter clothes I clearly needed to acquire to survive on the east coast. I occasionally added a pair of shorts here or there, but I always found it difficult to find comfortable shorts.

Why are shorts today so short?!

Now, I’m about to overshare with a little TMI so if you’re not into that go ahead and skip this paragraph, I’ve given you fair warning. No complaints now. OK, so shorts, why the f*ck are shorts soooo short? It seems like the only options are barely there shorts or Bermuda shorts, which since I’m 5’2″ Bermuda shorts just aren’t flattering. Barely there, shorts are just not comfortable. I’ve got large thighs and no thigh gap, rubbing is real and does not feel good.

Finding it difficult to find comfortable and flattering shorts and the fact that my old shorts have simply worn out, left me quite uncomfortable this summer. Apparently, there is a whole heat dome thing going on, who knew? Anyway, I couldn’t find comfortable shorts and frankly I didn’t want to spend money on new shorts. I’m living the frugal life people and I’ve got debt to pay off.

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I bought more pants….

So I did what any frugal personal finance blogger would do, I bought more pants. No, really I did, but I promise it’s not as weird as it sounds. I went to a few different thrift stores and pick up some pants that fit well and comfortably in the bottom/thigh areas as well as a few other things.

From two different stores, I bought 2 pairs of jeans/jean shorts, 1 pair of pattern slacks, 1 pair of capris, 1 pair of Bermuda shorts, 1 pair of pajama bottoms, a necklace, a belt, and 3 tops. Total spent: $35. Average cost of each item: less than $4. Here is the loot:

$35 worth of thrift store goods

$35 worth of thrift store goods

Now to turn those pants/capris/shorts into comfy summer clothes. I turned the pants and shorts inside out and put them on, I marked a line of the length I wanted my shorts to be on what was the inside of the fabric. Then I started to cut, I  cut one leg of the pants, then folded the pants/shorts in half and cut the other leg to line up with the previous cut. Uneven shorts are no bueno.

From here there are tons of different things you could do, from cuffed shorts, to frayed shorts, to a lace trim. I did the laziest thing (it was soo hot) and just ironed and hemmed. Now instead of 3 pairs of uncomfortable shorts, I have 4 pairs of shorts and a pair of capris.

Bonus, I cleaned out my closet of uncomfortable summer clothes managed to sell 3 items (including an uncomfortable pair of shorts I got in a thrift store bin for $0.75) to Clothes Mentor, for just over $10. So really my whole summer wardrobe revamp only cost me $25 and a little time.

Here are my new shorts: Finished result: NEW SHORTS!!! I’m so pumped about my new shorts, and I must say I am much much more comfortable.

How about you, ever done a frugal overhaul of your closet?

 

Life tools & resources I recommend

The Skimm (for staying informed) I've been a loyal Skimmer for over three years. The Skimm is a news source that shows up in your email first thing in the morning M-F. It gives you a 5-minute rundown of what's happening in the world and links to legitimate news sources if you want to learn more about a topic. I start every day with my coffee and The Skimm. I <3 it so much.

Winc (for Wine Delivery) I like ordering a box of different wines to try from Winc every few months. The bottles average $13 a piece and delivery is free when you get at least 4 bottles (more wine please). If you want to check out Winc, you can get a free bottle of wine using my link. I'm very pro free wine.

Checkout 51 (to save on groceries) To save money on groceries, download the Checkout51 app and sign up for free. Each week on Thursday, "new deals" come out. Go through and star the items that are on your grocery shopping list. Do your shopping and at the end use your phone to snap a picture of receipt through the app and hit submit. Once you earn $20 in rewards you can cash out and Checkout51 will send you a check.

Liz

Liz is a blogger helping people with personal finance and working for themselves. She shares her own journey to debt freedom and helps graduates dealing with above average student loan debt on her site, Less Debt More Wine. She currently resides in NC after calling Massachusetts home for nearly a decade.

  • Super cute! I can’t believe I hadn’t thought to do this – I’ve had similar troubles finding shorts that fit well. My problem is the opposite though – I’m tall, and so a lot of the shorts I try on are WAY too short. Bermuda shorts and capris usually end up hitting at a weird spot. I’ll have to try this trick!

  • You’re just like the Refashionista (which is an amazing blog by this girl who goes to thrift stores and then sews the outfits into these amazing new clothes). I really need to relearn how to use my sewing machine.

    • Liz says:

      So I just checked out the Refashionista and wow! I’m way lazier than she is, haha, shorts only for me.

  • I hear ya, friend! Capris are full-length on me too 🙂
    Have you figured out a way to age the hem of jean shorts so they look more like a standard hem? I’m afraid to try diluted bleach because I will end up making a mess.

    • Liz says:

      I honestly did not even consider that, I just wanted comfy shorts and this was the simplest way for me to get them.

  • Thanks for the reminder that I don’t have to spend a ton to get a new wardrobe for teaching this fall! It’s time for back-to-school shopping (for myself and kids), and it is easy to get caught up in the marketing this time of year. Everybody does not need new everything! A few things outfits at the thrift store, and I should be set. Great post!

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