Wardrobe Tips and Tricks

I thought you might enjoy some of my tricks to save money and still look chic.

As I’ve written, I walk a good deal and not always in my Chinese shoes. Sometimes I wear expensive shoes and after just one or two wearings, the lifts would wear down and I’d have to spend for new lifts.

Finally, my shoemaker suggested that for just a couple of dollars more, I should have him put rubber tabs on top of the rubber lifts. These are nailed to the outer edge of the heel. My shoemaker did it, and now I can wear a pair of shoes many times before needing new lifts.

I hate the look of a purse with a handle worn with a shoulder strap. If a purse has both, I never use the shoulder strap. So, what to do with it? I wear it as a belt. It usually has a gold clip at either end, and it makes a lovely belt.

I also make my own belt. I buy a couple yards of rope (gold or another color) and double it, tying a knot at either end. In the middle, where it forms a loop, tie a large knot with a loop. When wearing it, tie the ends through the large knot. Also, you can use a scarf as a belt. If it was good enough for Fred Astaire, it’s good enough for me.

Anyone who wears earrings knows that there comes a time when you lose one. If you like your pair-less earring enough, why not wear two different earrings together? Where is it written that earrings must match?

A number of years ago a friend gave me a silk scarf. It was really lovely but large enough to be a blanket for me. I couldn’t wear it under a coat because no coat would fit over it. So I took it to a dressmaker and had it made into a dress.

Whenever I wear a pin, I always pin it through my bra strap. This keeps it anchored so it won’t shift, and you won’t lose it. Also, it keeps your bra strap from peeking out of a sleeveless dress.

Who among us hasn’t had a skirt or pantyhose with an elastic waist and found the elastic all stretched out? You could bring it to a tailor, but that’s expensive. Pin it at the waist with a safety pin, and wear a shirt over it or a belt—no one will know.

Ever looked in your closet for an evening purse that would go perfectly with your outfit but couldn’t find the right one? Take a large scarf, double it, put your essentials in the middle and knot it as a handle, and you’ve got an evening purse.

Just try to look at things with a fresh eye, and I’ll bet you’ll come up with many new ways to wear things.

Miriam Silverberg is a freelance journalist and owner of Miriam Silverberg Associates, a boutique publicity firm in Manhattan. She may be reached at silverbergm@mindspring.com.