How to save a fortune on your fashion buys

There are ways to make your clothing be more versatile.

Mabina Alaka likes clothing stylish and simple in colour.

To make her outfits look different and unique the Brisbane based designer incorporates her own range of accessories to make them stand out from the crowd.

It is something everyone can do to ensure they don’t see anyone else wearing the same outfit.

Take a simple black dress, and a one-off styled piece such as a brooch, and you can transform your outfit into something that would appear in the pages of a fashion magazine.

This brooch made by Mabina Alaka can turn any plain dress into a stunning outfit for any formal occasion.

“You can make any dress look expensive,” Mabina said.

The idea works with any type of outfit.

Turn a pair of jeans and simple top into a casual stylish number by adding a scarf or necklace. Put a brooch onto a jacket or blazer for a fab street style.

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Its an idea that works for both men and women too. After all, isn’t half the look of a men’s evening jacket the pop of colour they have in their kerchief?

Both males and females can use an item like this brooch to modernise their outfit.

The bonus is you can turn one simple dress into a dozen different looks, a huge saving when it comes to your fashion spending.

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A qualified interior designer, Mabina said fashion has always been her passion.

“On my days off I used to go home and make my own pieces.”

She now works as an accessory artist, making her own range of Japanese inspired pieces, influenced by her heritage.

Mabina has had some of her pieces shown in exhibitions and also hosts workshops to demonstrate to others how to make their own fabulous pieces too.

Mabina Alaka with a design that featured in an exhibition titled Wabi Sabi: The beauty of impermanance; featuring Japanese-Australian artists.

Mabina said there was a fine line in how many pieces you could wear at once, but not to be afraid to try a few different looks, and different pieces together.

The best part about mixing together accessories, especially ones you make yourself, is that you can’t buy that ‘look’ in retail store, so you are assured of having an individual style.

“I use different accents for a different look.

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Find an accessory that shows off your personality.

She also encourages fashion lovers to have a bit of fun and show off their own personality.

“Your accessories speak for you.”

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Mabina’s own range uses a lot of traditional Japanese materials, even recycling vintage Kimonos to create her stunning designs.

Mabina uses imported Japanese fabrics for her designs.

She has also incorporated an Australian touch in her range, using kangaroo leather as part of a new collection that includes rings and bracelets, with no metal attachments.

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She said the best part was the feeling you get when someone comments on what you are wearing and you know you have made it yourself.

“I have created something from my heart.”

Make your outfit as unique as you are.

Mabina’s tips

  • Buy good quality clothing.
  • If you love it, buy it.
  • Mix together accessories that show your personality.
  • Wear your outfit with pride.
  • Don’t forget your posture.

What is your favourite fashion accessory?