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Five ways to dress stylishly for less

Spring is here, and with it come weddings, outdoor events and the need for a few new outfits. However, buying the season's trendiest looks takes a toll on the planet with the manufacturing, shipping and storing. And it takes a toll on our pocketbooks. Want to be eco-friendly and fashionable at the same time? Here are five ways to get a designer outfit that will help you save some green.

Swap parties

Clothing swap parties are taking place everywhere these days. A simple e-mailed invite gets guests on board. Then, people bring a minimum number of gently used clothes they no longer wear to a meeting spot. The clothes are sorted by type — accessories, dresses, jeans, etc. No money is exchanged so people can easily "shop" and socialize at the same time. Leftover clothes can be taken to an organization to help people in need, such as a battered women's shelter.

Rent them!

Why buy when you can rent? Instead of shelling out big bucks for an expensive dress, jacket or purse you'll use only occasionally, consider renting them. There are many online sites that feature everything a fashionista could want — at a fraction of the cost. Check out DoYourPart.com/columns for a list of some favorite rental spots.

Consider consignment shops, eBay

Consignment shops are a win-win for everyone involved. People can take their good clothes to consignment shops and make a little money. It's also a perfect destination for people looking to get a designer piece of clothing for a much more manageable price. EBay works in a similar way. You can browse through thousands of articles of clothing and only bid what you feel comfortable spending. It's also an easy way to get your hands on prized vintage finds.

Go to Goodwill

You've done it and so have others! Just think how many times you've taken an article of brand new clothing to a Goodwill donation site. Many Goodwill stores are now set up to look and operate like a department store but without the steep prices. You can find name-brand clothing and accessories for just a few bucks each. And some still have the original price tag on it.

Repair and repurpose

Could the designer outfit you desire actually be in your closet right now? Whether it's a pair of pumps with a wobbly heel or a piece of clothing with an unfortunate rip, you might be better off repairing than buying something new. Fixing something you already love will help you give your wardrobe a second life, and it's always the more economical way to go.

Five ways to dress stylishly for less 05/28/11 [Last modified: Saturday, May 28, 2011 5:31am]

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