How To Turn A Plain Outfit Into Glam One (At No Extra Cost)

How To Turn A Plain Outfit Into Glam One (At No Extra Cost)

How To Turn A Plain Outfit Into Glam One (At No Extra Cost)

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see disclosure policy for details.


As another year of school begins, so comes along ‘picture day.’ It’s always an exciting day because you get to wear a brand new outfit that Mom hasn’t let you touch since she bought it. Of course, this is simply for the fear that it will somehow get ruined, and the hard-earned money spent, will trickle down the drain.


Sound familiar?


Today’s post is going to show you how to spend less, but still have the diva in your house looking classy as ever. First I’ll share this year’s shopping experience I had with my daughter, Olivia. Then you’ll see tips on how to take your own outfit and turn it from ‘meh’ to ‘marvelous.’


Saving Money: Sometimes I’m My Own Worst Enemy.


Each year I try to save money when it comes to back-to-school shopping. For anyone who’s ever gone into back-to-school mode, you know how expensive it can be. Between school supplies, new clothes and footwear, you can basically kiss a pay check goodbye.


This year I made a list. I promised myself not to get anything I really didn’t need. I’m a teacher, so I find it very difficult to walk past stationary, Sharpies, highlighters or anything of the sort, really. But this year, I did. Trust me, it wasn’t easy.


I decided to take the same approach when it came to buying picture-day clothes for my girls. I can still remember the excitement as a little girl going to buy new school clothes, so I didn’t want to take that away from my daughter, especially considering this was her first year of school. But I also knew her closet was already filled with clothes — some of which she’s not had a chance to wear twice.


Here’s the deal.


I took Liv shopping with one outfit in mind. Only one. The one that would represent that special outfit for picture day. But the difference this year is, I went in with a plan.


Get this.


My daughter said she wanted to shop at Walmart. Although I worried the clothes might be quite picked-over, as is often the case with last-minute shopping, there was one thing I really liked: Walmart’s guarantee when it comes to chidlren’s clothing and footwear. So with both of us happy, off we went.


Like any little girl who loves to shop, my daughter filled the shopping cart with a lot of unnecessary clothing. But remember, I went in with a plan.


The Plan Seemed To Work


My plan was simple. I told my daughter ahead of time we were going for an outfit. Just one. And I explained to her what that looked like. I said we could fill our cart as full as we wanted. I said we could try on as many combinations as she wanted. I said we were going to have fun mixing and matching. But, I also said, at the end of the trip we would be leaving with only one outfit.


Explaining Ground Rules Worked Magical Wonders


I explained to Olivia what ‘one outfit’ looked like. I think this was an important step for my five-year old to understand what exactly that entailed. I explained to Liv that an outfit would consist of a top and pants, a top and skirt, or a dress. I didn’t like the idea of shorts, because cooler weather is approaching, so those were not an option this time around. I also said that her new outfit would include new footwear.


My expectations were clear: There would be no accessories. We have tons of those. There would be no socks/undies/leotards. We have tons of those. There would be no ‘extras.’ We have tons of everything, it seems. And finally, I told my daughter there would be no puppy-dog eyes or batting of the eyelashes. She has tons of experience in this area, but my plan was to stand firm.


And you know what?


It worked. We had an awesome time shopping. Olivia tried on item, after item, after item. We built a ‘keeper’ pile and a ‘put-back’ pile. The tough part was deicding which outfit was the ultimate favourite. Despite that, I didn’t see those puppy-dog eyes once.


Although there were a few cute shirts, Liv finally deicded on a dress. We moved on to the footwear. There were no real decision to be made here. As soon as she set her eyes on a pair of black boots, her heart wasn’t budging.


I’ll let you in on a secret:


I was pretty excited myself. Liv was in need of a nice pair of boots anyway, and these cuties are going to go with almost any outfit.


Here’s a look at the outfit she chose:


New outfit, school outfit, glam outfit


Now, although I totally believe this outfit would have been absoluetly fine as is, my little girl loved the idea of adding a few things to spruce it up.


Remember what I said before?


We have a ton of all the ‘extras.’ So, when we got home, we deicded to go on an accessory hunt. We chatted about everything we needed to make the outfit complete, and how fun it would be deisgning our own outfit from the things we already had around the house.


Here’s what she decided on:


Liv first chose to add a pair of leggings to her dress and felt grey was the best match.


The black boots gave the outfit a little contrast but we thought it needed more.


So Olivia decided a favourite headband might be a good idea. And as soon as she grabbed it, she went straight for the closet. Out she came with matching nail polish, and it was the perfect pop of colour.

glam up a simple plain outfit


Unfortunately you don’t see the polish in action, as she insisted the pictures needed to show her dress had pockets. And what better way to show them off than to stick your hands in them?


Olivia really wanted to add a piece of jewelry, but decided that ‘too much’ wasn’t a good thing, so she settled on a simple necklace.


This was the final result:


Glam outfit without going over budget, add spice to simple outfit, picture day outfit


So, what’s the bottom line?


If I had simply purchased every item ‘new’ as seen in the image above, I would have spent close to $100 when all was said and done.


Here’s an approximate of the amount of money I saved (before tax) just by using items we already had at home.

Leggings: $10
Nail Polish: $7
Headband: $6
Necklace: $15


I’m happy we decided to make a game of creating our own outfit at home. I am also grateful that our ‘pre-talk’ worked. 


You’re probably realizing something.


Just because my focus was on my daughter’s school outfit, doesn’t mean this can’t work for anyone who’s looking for a little addition to their own outfit.


Speaking of which, are you looking for ideas to glam up an outfit?


You probably have all kinds of items kicking around your home that could give a plain outfit just a bit of flare. The best part is, you don’t have to spend money on the items you already have.


Need help figuring out what to add?


I’ve put together a list of items you might consider adding to any outfit that needs sprucing up. I’d love to hear from you if I’ve missed something so I can add it to my list. Leave a comment if there is an item or accessory that you just can’t live without adding to your outfit.


Accessories That Help Liven Any Outfit

Hair bows or clips
Headbands or bandanas,
Clutch purse or over-the-shoulder purse
Nail Polish
Pin or brooch


I look forward to hearing all about your favourite way to accessorize an outfit.



Stay in the loop

Subscribe to get new blog posts straight to your inbox.

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

Written by

Rachel is an optimist at heart, always trying to find a way to inspire happiness in those around her. She is a mom to two wonderful girls. A teacher as well, in her spare time Rachel blogs about life, happiness, family, and more. Join along and subscribe over there in the right sidebar. You don't want to miss out on anything.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Keep in the know

Subscribe and never miss a thing.

I won't send you spam and you can unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit
Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On YoutubeVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On InstagramVisit Us On PinterestVisit Us On GooglePlus

Contact me anytime