Eight Ways To Get A Shopping High Without Shopping (Much)

Our poll earlier today is showing that along with cutting back on restaurant dinners, the state of the economy is forcing you to cease your late-night visits to JCrew.com. But if you love, love, love clothes and are feeling the itch for a new fall wardrobe, try one of these seven shopping alternatives, instead. Your bank account will thank you.

1. Clean Out Your Closet
If you take a Saturday and “merchandise” your closet, i.e., arrange shirts by sleeve length, you’ll feel like you’re shopping at a boutique every morning when you pick out your outfit for the day. Plus, you might find a dress that got pushed to the back of your closet or fell onto the floor and has been in a crumpled ball for the past six months.
2. Trade With Friends
Convince your pals to clean out their closets on the same Saturday as you. Then meet up on Sunday, your closet rejects in tow (minus the white shirts with sweat stains) and swap your stuff. On Monday you’ll have at least one new thing to wear.

3. Share
My friend Darrell and I both love this giant gold watch. It’s $250, and neither of us thinks we’d wear it everyday, so Darrell thinks we should buy it together and take turns wearing it. I’m not sure who would get to keep it in the end, but it doesn’t sound like a bad idea, as long as we can agree on some kind of schedule.

4. Look, Don’t Buy
Take a trip to some stores that are totally out of your price range, even when you’re flush with cash. Check out what they’re selling, but, more importantly, how they’re styling the outfits on display. It will give you a whole new lease on your own clothes, our friend Andrea promises.

5. Get New Inspiration
Get inspired by what stylish girls are wearing on websites such as Chictopia.com, where you can browse by body type. Then, wear your clothes like you’ve never worn them before!

6. Learn How To Sew
Recently, our Emily started making some of her own clothes. She took one class, and now she’s talking about whipping up a plaid skirt for fall. If you get frustrated by the idea of trying to make hemlines that aren’t crooked, switch up some items you already have. Sew funky buttons on your favorite cardigan, or dye a shirt a pretty shade of purple.

7. Find A New Hobby
If you used to spend your weekends trolling clothing stores, perhaps you need a new activity to occupy your time, like volunteering for Dress for Success.

8. Participate In Activities That Don’t Require Clothes
Or move to a nudist colony.