Festive fashion: get glammed up for next to nothing

With the party season well and truly under way and the big New Year’s Eve night almost upon us, the pressure’s on to look your best.

But the price tag of a new outfit might leave you less than impressed. Fear not. We’ve all got one (or more) little black dresses (or LBDs for fashionistas) at the back of the wardrobe, and here are a few tips on jazzing them up to create a whole new outfit for next to nothing.

And the best thing is, you don’t have to be a genius seamstress. If you can sew a button on, you’ll be fine.

Pimp my dress

There are lots of ways you can jazz up an old dress on the (very) cheap. Simply sew on some sequins, a corsage, tassels, lace or whatever takes your fancy around the neckline or hem and you’ll end up with a dress that not only looks fab, but that no-one else will have.

Our Health, Beauty & Fashion MoneySaving forum board is great to swap tips on recycling outfits.

Great places to find add-ons for your outfit are charity shops, which are full of old brooches and jewellery which won’t cost you the earth (and will be money well spent on a good cause).

Primark is also fab for cheap accessories and right now you can pick up a few bargains in the Accessorize sale (see our High Street Sales page). If handcraft isn’t your thing, a statement necklace or some print tights will liven up a look in no time.

Not got an LBD?

Not a problem. If you have an old dress lying about, just buy some black fabric dye (Dylon dye costs about £5 in supermarkets).

Stick the frock, the dye and some salt in your washing machine, run a normal washing cycle, et voila. You’ll have yourself a ‘brand new’ black dress.

Beware though, certain materials can’t be dyed, so check the instructions on the pack before.

Can’t afford the hairdresser’s? Hair me out.

Who says you need to get a blow dry to look fabulous? There are dozens of things you can do with your hair that’ll make you stand out.

Here are a few examples: plait your wet hair before going to bed and the next day you’ll be left with lovely waves, add a lovely bow to a hairdo a la Gaga (minus the meat dress) or wear a sequined hairband.

Kiss and make-up

If you feel like getting pampered, stores such Boots or Debenhams do free makeovers. There’s no obligation to buy anything, though it’s worth booking in advance as this time of year means the stores are busier.

This may be cutting it fine for the party season, but local beauty training schools are often looking for guinea pigs and will do your hair and make-up for you at little or no cost.

Check Beautyfinder for a directory of training schools and colleges in your area.

Please feel free to share any makeover tips or pics in the festive fashion discussion thread.