How to dress 'extra' for less
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The latest and greatest trend is looking extra. No, there’s isn't an adjective missing. Extra basically means dramatic and over the top — no further explanation required. It can be used to describe looks (Carla is looking so extra today! Have you seen her faux fur jacket and bedazzled platform boots?”) and even actions (Did Ben need to arrive to his Bachelor Party riding an alpaca? That was so extra.) Or both. Like so:
When it comes to trends, looking extra is on the rise, especially with younger generations, though it's not always cost-effective. Consider mermaid hair, which can set you back about $200 to $300 a salon visit. Extra looks may be, by nature, expensive, but for those on a budget they’re not out of reach. Here are some ways to look extra on a budget.
##Start with basics
When thinking of dressing extra, extravagant pieces come to mind. A lot of extra pieces can err on the expensive side, so a budget-friendly way to achieve the look is to doll up the basics. Basic T-shirts, sweaters and jeans can all be purchased for affordable prices. You could also opt to invest in basics — they are basics, after all.
A major key to being extra is taking these basics to the next level, whether through crafting or accessorizing. Here are some ways to do that.
Luxuriously layer: What you put on top of your basics says a lot. The right fabric can take an outfit to the next level. Focus on fun, dramatic fabrics like leather, silk, pleather and faux fur. Transparent jackets, faux fur coats and other wild extra pieces can be bought at most trendy stores, thrifted or, even, DIYed (more on this in a sec). Amp up more common, fabrics like cotton and denim, with patches, trim and accessories. In other words, making an outfit extra is as simple as looking in your closet and stacking some clothes.
Pin & iron: Pins and patches are an easy, inexpensive way to control your level of extra. They can be purchased at most fabric stores and craft stores for a few dollars. Add as many pins and patches as you’d like to your favorite basics — ironing and pinning can really transform a look.
Glue is magical: One of the biggest keys to achieve that extra look involves adding a bit of the unexpected. One of the easiest, cheapest ways to do that? A tube of strong glue and whatever your heart desires. Embellish boring bags, sunglasses, jackets and shoes. Scour the craft store, thrift store or even your junk drawer for fun pieces to add to your clothes and accessories. I mean, what’s more extra than a pair of shoes with Scrabble tiles on the heel or a denim jacket with a barrel of monkeys cascading down the back? It’s all about being creative and just going for it.
Accessories are a key element of being extra. The best part? A lot of the most extra accessories are fairly affordable. Fishnet socks, heart-shaped sunglasses and even sparkling chokers can be found online for under $10.
Stock up on costume jewelry: You can be extra with real diamonds and gold, but you can also be extra with faux versions of them. Luxe-looking pieces can quickly take your outfit from zero to 100. Costume jewelry is typically extra … and affordable. Worried about it starting to look cheap? Tarnish can be prevented with a few coats of clear spray paint or, for smaller pieces, a nail polish top coat.
Put your best foot forward: Footwear is not to be overlooked — shoes are an easy way to make a bold statement. Platforms, fur, feathers, sequins and even metallics can add an element of surprise. For affordable, but comfy shoes, buy cheaper versions of extra designs and some shoe inserts. Affordable inserts can do wonders for a poorly made but stylish shoe.
The biggest takeaway? Dress up your basics! Being extra is all about adding that wow factor to any look. Plus, it’s also all about the attitude. Confidence is a free way to add that extra bit of extra to your look.
Like to DIY? We've got a few safe and cheap ways to clean your home here.
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