Last Edited: 13 Jan, 2024
Author: Cristina Holm

How to get the designer look from your existing wardrobe for the new slimmer you

 Whilst it can be a challenge to lose weight in the winter months when all we want to do is snuggle up on a sofa in front of the telly, a New Year is a great catalyst for changing your behaviour.  No surprise then that the number one resolution in the UK is to lose weight.

Now, although dropping a dress size or two may cost very little financially, depending on whether you decide to join a gym as well, it can mean what were once your ‘go-to’ favourite garments, becoming obsolete.  So, you may have to consider buying new clothes.

However, before you raid your piggy-bank consider these money saving tips and have fun creating outfits that are as unique as you are, and for very little expense. 

Nips and Tucks

When I visit my clients’ homes and look at the clothes in their wardrobes, often I see outfits that my client loves but can no longer wear as their size or shape has changed.  Firstly, don’t rush to remove your favourite clothes from your wardrobe if they no longer fit.

Most of the time I am able to suggest alterations to them that mean they can actually be worn and loved once again.

Paying for alterations to your clothes is an inexpensive way to utilise what you already own.  The skill is knowing what to alter which is to complement your shape, so please remember, I’m always here to help.  Here’s my blog on body shapes if you’ve not already seen it:

How to dress for your body shape – blog

A quick search online will provide you with a list of local alteration experts and seamstresses who with a few measurements and the odd nip and tuck at the strap, waist, hips or back, can make subtle changes that will mean you will soon be wearing your treasured garment once again.

“By adding detail like patches or fringes to certain areas of your body you can create the illusion that something is wider or narrower, rounder or leaner.

Designer look for high street prices

Designer clothes on a budget

Often the only difference between designer and High Street clothes, other than the brand name, are the small details like buttons and embellishments.

Now here’s the thing, a friend of mine who looks like she owns several Chanel outfits but that’s because she actually buys fringing and dupe brand buttons to adjust her high street bought jackets, t-shirts, cardigans, and dresses.

Personally, I love charity shops for a similar reason.  Often, you can find an item that will have great buttons or trims which I then reuse on my existing clothes.  You’ll be amazed just how many designer-looking outfits I have made this way.

I also recommend you look in charity shops for accessories like necklaces, buckles, belts, brooches, bags, and scarves.  These can transform an outfit into something unique.

The great thing is that you’ll be supporting the charity too.

“I offer a 1-hour virtual consultation online where I can help you with your wardrobe dilemmas for just £90.  It also makes a great gift.  Contact me for more details or to book your session.

Adding embellishments can visually change your body shape

By adding detail like patches or fringes to certain areas of your body you can create the illusion that something is wider or narrower, rounder or leaner.

For example, if you have a big bottom don’t add patches to the back of your jeans as this will only draw more attention to it.

Here’s another, if you don’t have much of a waist, by adding detailing like a belt you can create the illusion of looking slimmer.

Just remember, before you sew anything properly, pin or loosely stitch first of all as buttons, patches and embellishments are tricky to unpick.  Then try back on your garment to check you are happy with the location and how it looks.

Avoid unwanted items going to waste

Finally, if you decide that you really no longer want a garment, please remember it could be loved by another so either give it to charity or sell it online.

I’m an advocate for giving to The Salvation Army as few people know they are not only one of the largest charities in the UK, but they have also invested in some of the latest technology to minimise the amount of clothing waste that goes to landfill or incineration.  At time of writing, you’ll find their collection banks in car parks of Tesco, Asda and Morrisons plus they have hundreds of charity shops across the UK too.

Now, what are you waiting for?  Fashion is fun, so go on… see what transformations you can make with what you already have.  There’s a designer in all of us.

Cristina Holm

Cristina Holm is one of the UK’s leading personal stylists. Cristina is based and operates from her studio in Warfield, Berkshire (United Kingdom).  She serves clients locally and internationally.

Cristina is also the founder of My Secret Stylist, the UK’s best kept clothes shopping secret.  For only £35.99 per year, you can find and ‘see in seconds’ clothes which complement your body shape across all the popular brands.  For more information, go to