Look Fashionable on Any Budget

To avoid breaking a budget in a flailing economy, lots of girls are keeping their wardrobes replenished by relying on thrift shop finds or hand-me-downs. So you loved your sister's blouse, but that was two years ago. Now it's yours, and the blouse -- and your love for it -- has faded. How do you wear it without becoming a fashion “don't”? Read on for our tips on how to make old clothes snazzy and looking like new again!

Try New Colors
You can totally change the look of a piece of clothing by changing its color. Make sure it's dyeable -- dying works best on things made of cotton, while polyester and nylon are much harder to dye. Ask a parent to help, since dye is messy and can permanently stain anything it spills on. Also, wash the dyed item separately from other clothes for the first few washings (as much as you may love it, your family might not want everything they own turning violet).

Change the Buttons
Flashy new buttons give an instant lift to a tired sweater or outdated jacket. Pick buttons that are really different from the original buttons -- but be sure they’re the same size so they’ll properly fit the buttonholes. Use shiny metal or rhinestone buttons to add some bling. Or, go with a geometric design or contrasting color -- anything that pops!

Shorten the Length
You can really change the look of an outfit by changing its hem. Take a too-long skirt and custom fit it by hemming it to just above your knees. Wear it with flat-heeled leather boots and thigh-high knit socks. You love the tee, but it’s too long? Take it up a notch. The jacket fits, but the sleeves are too short? Make it short-sleeved or even sleeveless.

Lavish Embellishments
Add adornments, dah-ling! Sew a cool strip of ribbon or lace around the cuff of a hand-me-down sweater. Iron a patch onto the back pocket of those worn-in jeans. Use crystals, rhinestones or sequins to jazz up a plain denim jacket. Use your creativity and imagination to turn basics into one-of-a-kind pieces that turn heads. Your sister is sure to come asking for her blouse back now!