There really is no point in giving up or compromising one's style when hard times are threatening but with limited funds at the ready some basics need to be in place to work that wardrobe harder.
This is were attitude comes into play. You need a lot of it to pull everything off. I was reminded by a great giveaway on the Shop Curious blog that neither glamour nor grooming is to be forsaken. Get these two basics right and everything else will be a breeze.
1. Good grooming - I should just direct you to Faux Fuchsia for a lesson in good grooming! FF takes attitude and uses it to good effects. Grooming doesn't mean big hair dos and a brazilian. The essence of good grooming is well cut and washed hair, and clean nails. You can varnish your nails - Coco Chanel never used nail varnish on her hands. She thought colour on nails vulgar! I adore nail varnish, although for years I abstained with my superior Chanel knowledge and kept varnish purely for my toe nails and only red or orange at that. However times have changed and you can't go wrong with a white tee shirt, jeans and painted nails.
2. DIY beauty - save pennies and pounds by setting aside a couple of hours a week to undertake your own personal beauty salon regime. I put on a hair mask (usually a John Frieda on or a freebie), soak my feet in a bowl with lemon in the warm water and a splash of olive oil. Then I undertake pedicure and paint toe nails. I tidy my eyebrows and like a lie down with tea bags or cucumber on my eyes. I finish with a manicure. The manicure never lasts when you do it yourself so be prepared to carry the varnish around with you to top up any chips. When I can afford it I use Barielle products when I can't Nivea creme is my default. As for hair removal well I managed with Veet bikini wax strips for tidiness and use men's shaving products for legs and armpits - I prefer them.
You can have one defining item that is your beauty staple like Sister Wolf who is a red lipstick devotee!
3. Accessories - Choose well. I think you can use costume jewellery to great effect but equally a well chosen piece can add drama to your look. This summer I'm making do with a my lovely Hermes leather bracelet from Mr MDS and a pair of old pearl earrings. I would if I had the money buy a pair of the lovely Wendy Brandes Cleopatra earrings, which you can win on her Polyvore challenge I think they are very glamorous and no wonder they ended up on the ears of Samantha for SATC2. It is an item like this that adds the Martini factor to a look. Another item is this necklace from By Marlene Birger at my-wardrobe
4. The Martini purchase - I can make do with all my clothes this summer. I have no problem with wearing things until they die on me. But I firmly believe you need one wow item that makes you feel fabulous or gives you that Martini moment. For me, this season, it is the jumpsuit. I bought one for work so I had one item that was current and now I would like a few more! I never knew jumpsuits were so much fun. This season the high street has some great ones from Topshop, French Connection, Reiss and Next to provide a selection to think about. You will have the one item that you love - add it to your wardrobe and work it.
5. Get Creative - Charity shops, car boot sales and swishing events all offer opportunities to inject something new or provide retail therapy for a few pounds. Sharon Rose Vintage is the queen of thrifting and is a wonderful example to all for bargain hunting yet staying on trend and stylish. Your personal style is your own and you can find things to bring you joy by searching. I often reorganise my wardrobe to make me look at what I have with fresh eyes and create looks.
One reader asked me about swishing and if they could do it themselves. I would say so! Just invite a group of friends to come around, make it fun by assigning them drink or nibbles to bring too. Each item gets a ticket and then you have a browse period before the grabbing or negotiating starts.
The basic premise of Project 100 is to choose glamour first and find the practical way to deliver without throwing money at it - that's where attitude comes in.