By Kimberly Gambale

Many of you know me from our hit reality show Jersey Couture which airs on Oxygen. Together with my mother Diane and sister Christina we run Diane & Co, an upscale women’s boutique in Freehold, NJ.

The New Year is always a time when resolutions go into effect. Maybe it’s a diet, a time to change your ways or the most difficult resolution – putting yourself on a budget. Budgeting does not always mean sacrificing fine clothing or your favorite designer pieces. Sometimes it’s a matter of using simple and creative ideas to highlight the classic pieces already in your wardrobe.

Fur Coats

You may have a fur coat that was handed down to you, or maybe one you feel is no longer in style, and you just don’t know what to do with it.  The answer is simple – think outside the coat.

The simplest thing you could do would be to turn your full-length fur into a vest. Fur vests are all the rage and are popping up on runways everywhere.  It’s a simple task that your tailor can assist with, and costs less than $300. It could also be fun to take the sleeves and turn them into bolster pillows. These pillows can be used on your couch or bedroom for under $100 per pillow.  You can even keep the collar and transform it into a scarf or shawl, also for less than $100.

If you’re feeling really adventurous, use the fur and turn it into a teddy bear. This is a great gift for a mother or grandmother to give a child. This option would guarantee your heirloom item would live on for years to come.

Comfy & Cozy

Now that the holidays (and those Ugly Sweater parties) are over, it’s time to pull out all those loose and lazy sweaters and turn them into something useful. By cutting off the sleeves of a sweater and sewing them together, for instance, you can turn an outdated item into a trendy scarf. You can even cut your sweater down the center, add some buttons and loops and transform it into a cardigan.

Walk on the Wild Side

Every woman has a pair of shoes that sits in her closet and hasn’t been pulled out in years. You love them too much to toss, but can never seem to find a time or place to wear them. Now’s your chance to transform them. Pull out those boring old black heels, pick up some crystals at your local craft store, plug in the glue gun, and get busy. Not everyone can afford the $6,000+ Louboutin Daffodile crystal heels. By simply studding out the heel or scattering stones on the toe, you can have an fun and sassy shoe to dress up or dress down in an instant!

Remember, being on a budget doesn’t have to put an end to your fashionability. Turn your tired closet items into useful and stylish wardrobe staples, and it’ll be like you just got home from a shopping spree.

Stay Fabulous!

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