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How to Get a New Holiday Party Outfit Without Buying Anything

Whether you're saving money for holiday gifts or climbing out of a very dark Black Friday hole, maybe you really don't need to buy a new party outfit this winter. But you still want to wear one, of course, so here's how to get from point A to point B without handing over any cash or entering your credit card info anywhere. Really.

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Layer Strategically

Slip a black turtleneck or white top under a sleeveless dress. (Extra points if it's a plaid, drop-waisted or jumper-like—the studious schoolgirl thing is very in right now.)

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Rework an Old Bridesmaid Dress

Just switch out the bride's mandate of 2-inch-heeled nude pumps for something way cooler, like cutout booties or lace-up platforms.


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Wear a Dress as a Skirt

Crazy pencil skirts look so good paired with nonchalant gray sweatshirts. If you've got the latter but not the former, fake it: just cover your old sequin dress (or another loud one) with that sweatshirt, and people will think you've got two new separates.


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Wear Bold Makeup

It's really simple, of course, but I have to include it because it works. Wear classic staples like black pants and a silk blouse, then pull your hair into a low bun and swipe on some orangey-red lipstick. You'll look sorta late '90s supermodel and your outfit will seem fresh, even though it's not.

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