Why Don’t You?

February 1, 2014 Updated: February 1, 2014

The late, great Diana Vreeland, fashion editor and style icon, wrote a column “Why Don’t You?” with over-the-top suggestions such as: wash your blond child’s hair in dead champagne, or buy 12 diamond roses in assorted sizes.

My “Why Don’t You” column is much more practical. Here are a few suggestions that might surprise you in how effectively they work.

Use Vaseline to remove eye makeup and around eye area before bed. It’s cheap and still considered the best moisturizer you can find.

Save ripped pantyhose to wear under pants or as a dust rag.

Wash your cashmere or wool instead of dry cleaning. It’s cheaper and better for the loft.

With a won’t-budge stain on a sweater, wear a pin over it or sew a decorative button. Before throwing anything away, check for any buttons, trim, or bows that you can reuse.

Off-color lipsticks can be worn as eye shadow. Pink or red lipstick works as blush. A light brown eyeliner pencil can be used as a lip liner.

Forget what you heard about colors clashing. Except for pink and orange, most colors can be
worn together. And even if they do clash, it may still look good if worn far apart; say, a pink scarf and orange shoes with a navy dress.

Wear a pretty slip as a summer dress as long as it provides enough coverage.

Wear a cardigan back-to-front and you have a new sweater.

Wear two different earrings together when you’ve lost one from each pair.

When the leather strap breaks on an expensive purse, have the shoemaker attach a chain handle instead. It’s cheaper and often prettier and dressier.

Go to a trimmings store and buy a long string of “pearls.” Loop them around and wear as a necklace a la Mlle. Chanel.

Wear a dressy blouse or shirt open over a sweater or camisole as a jacket.

Wear socks under boots and they won’t rub.

Don’t be afraid. The worst that can happen is you’ll try something that won’t work so you won’t wear it that way again. The world won’t come to an end.

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