Throughout past holiday shopping years, I recall my experience being one that literally caused me to drop at the end of a trip. Couldn’t really figure out why shopping for gifts took so much out of me until this year when I finally stopped shopping for myself. It used to be that just about every gift I bought for someone else, I somehow justified buying for myself. Well, this year I’ve finally come to the realization that I don’t really need or want everything I’m gifting. Chalk it up to maturity or a limited budget—either way holiday shopping has become a lot more manageable since I took myself off my list. But just because I’m not investing in new wardrobe pieces for myself doesn’t mean I’ve lost my zest for reinventing some of my favorite pieces; adding holiday bling at a fraction of what it would cost me to buy a brand new item. A cab ride from my office to one of my favorite stores in Manhattan, M&J Trimming (http://www.mjtrim.com) inspired tons of possibilities that are sure to transform many of my ‘drab’ wardrobe items into ‘fab’ holiday wearables. Hope to motivate you to do the same for yourself. All you need is a little creativity, patience and a decent seamstress (if you don’t sew yourself) to help you along the way. Save your energy and your money for things that really count this holiday season without compromising your style.
10 DIY Ideas to Add Holiday Bling
1. Buttons (1.98 ea) – Buttons are like jewelry for me. In fact, I often skip jewelry altogether when I’m wearing a garment with interesting buttons. Nothing says holiday party wear than adding rhinestone or crystal buttons to your favorite everyday article of clothing.
2. Faux Fur Trim (11.98/yd) – Spruce up your favorite sweater or coat by adding a faux fur collar or cuff. It adds a luxurious look to a simple garment and since it’s faux, the price is a fraction of the cost of real fur. Also, it keeps you in good graces with PETA.
3. Feather Trim (28.98/yd) – Update headbands, hats, collars, sleeve cuffs and hems with variegated feather trims for a ‘boho’ holiday look or solid black ones for a refined roaring 20’s flapper look.
4. Belt Buckles (4.98 and up) – Use belt buckles to renew a pair of traditional pumps or emphasize your waist with a fabulous focal point on your belt. My cobbler at Grand Central Station knows me by name for the number of times I have him change my belt buckles around during the year.
5. Metal Chains (3.98/yd or ft) – Thicker, braided metal chains are wonderful accents on handbags (ala Marc Jacobs). Medium-sized chains make beautiful trims on round or “U” shaped collars as they emulate the look of a beautiful link chain necklace. Thinner metal chains can be glued to the center of a belt (ala CHANEL) or sew multiple strands to the front of a scoop neck top or dress for a tiered necklace look. Create interesting textured looks by layering chains or varying the widths and links.
6. Ribbons (2.28/yd) – Line the inside of a collared button-down shirt or the inside of a shirt’s cuff to give a classic tailored shirt some holiday oomph; especially if you choose a tartan print or any other holiday-inspired print or color. Sew a beautiful ribbon along the neckline of a cardigan sweater and use the ribbon to close the neckline instead of a button.
7. Patches (.98 ea) – Patches are no longer just to cover worn clothing at the elbows and knees. Utilize patches to give the breast pocket of a blazer a designer flair or use an extra large patch on the back of a hooded knit shirt/sweater or jacket. Choose a sequin embellished one for added holiday glitz.
8. Flower pins (24.98 ea) – Flower pins are so versatile you can really liven up just about any garment or accessory with one flower pin. Use a flower pin as a brooch to hold two or more strands of pearls or any other beaded necklace. Place a flower pin on the lapel of a suit jacket or coat to add a feminine flair to your look. For a less formal look choose one made out of denim with frayed edges or choose a seasonal flower that brings holiday cheer to you.
9. Fringe Trim (15.98/yd) – Fringe trim adds a modern hippie-chic element to your wardrobe, especially if it’s dip-dyed. Attach as a bold trim to a pashmina wrap or scarf. Fasten a fringe trim to the bottom of a woven cross-body bag for a boho evening look.
10. Nail head trim (4.98 pkg.) – Mix nail head trim with sparkly gems for an unconventional holiday detail on the lapel or shoulder of a blazer, on a handbag, belt, headband, or ultra-hip jeans. Create cool patterns or holiday messages (“Ho-Ho-Ho”) by arranging these tiny adornments in a variety of ways.