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Accessorize for Added Value

Accessories add variety to your wardrobe, transforming clothes from ultra casual to dressed up, or taking a simple outfit from day to evening. A few well-chosen items can make a simple, inexpensive outfit look like a designer creation. 

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Second-Hand Hats

One of the hottest fall accessories is the hat, but you don’t have to blow the budget to make a style statement. Whether you’re hankering for a structured fedora, a feminine cloche or a soft, wool poor boy, try eBay. There are many available at great prices and they’re likely to be almost brand new, as many women will purchase one just for a special occasion.

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Bags of Style

Look out for old leather handbags from second-hand stores or the family attic. Vintage handbags saved by your mother or aunt have a timeless appeal, and a second-hand Chanel bag would be a real style find. Old leather camera cases and satchels also make unique accessories. Clean up old bags with saddle soap, then use shoe polish and buff well. For a quick shine, rub with hand cream and wipe off with a tissue.

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Winning Ways with Scarves

A scarf is one of the most versatile accessories in your wardrobe.

  • Use a large woollen one as a fall shawl or poncho instead of a coat.
  • Twist a wide cotton scarf into a bikini top for the beach, or use a big scarf as a sarong.
  • Wear a narrow scarf or a necktie as a belt with jeans or casual pants.
  • Use a small scarf to tie up long hair into a ponytail.

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Quick Fixes for Second-Hand Jewellery

Repair gold or silver-plated jewellery with a fine paint brush and gold or silver spray paint. Spray a little paint onto a piece of cardboard, dip in the brush and touch up the chips.

To unknot a chain, lay it on a piece of wax paper. Put a drop or two of baby oil directly onto the knot. Use two needles to gently untangle the knot then blot the oil with tissues.

If the post on a pierced earring has broken, use a nail file to smooth off any residual glue from the back, then mount a new post (available from your local craft store) with permanent glue.If the pin on the back of a brooch is broken don’t throw it away-put it on a chain to make a necklace, sew it to a jacket or repair it with permanent glue.

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Buttons and Bows

The buttons and other trims used on designer or vintage clothes are sometimes worth more than the garment itself. Look for damaged second-hand designer outfits going for a song in second-hand stores, snip off the buttons and use them to give a touch of class to a plain jacket or sweater.