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Be ready to expand your wardrobe with these tricks

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Do you have a decent sewing machine? If you do, it could be relatively easy to beef up your wardrobe with a snip here and a cut there this spring. Maybe you no longer want a maxi dress that looks new. With a new hem, a maxi dress becomes a stylish sheath. If you like Alfred Dunner and your budget allows you to buy a new separate here and there, take a look at Neiman Marcus fashions. That might make it easy to make a decision as to whether you are ready to add something to your wardrobe that you can buy there, in the Chicago area.

Perhaps you have a budget that allows you to spend $400 over $1,000 for a new cocktail dress. If that's the case, then Neiman Marcus might help you to spice up your wardrobe if you like shopping at Northbrook Court. They have unique styles there with fabrics that you might like even if you do have a decent sewing machine and know how to use it, depending on how difficult it is to follow their pattern or use an expensive material. By taking a look at a place like JoAnn Fabrics or Vogue Fabrics, you can decide whether or not the right patterns and fabric will make it doable to create your own special outfit if you compare prices.

Even if you don't have a sewing machine, you may know someone who has one who can sew something for you with theirs that might beat the price of a Neiman Marcus special creation. Our model is great at sewing but might not want to sew anything for anyone else even if she is paid a competitive price. That might be quite a hefty price since she has looked, recently, at what they are featuring and for what price at Neiman Marcus. They make Lord & Taylor fashions look absolutely inexpensive for the average customer. So as you can see, all of these prices are quite relative. With the fashion show she attended this week at a local ladies' luncheon, with the choice being Alfred Dunner or going out and finding something that Chico's or another place is featuring as an alternative. If that's the case, our Chicagoan model might decide to have someone sew something special for her instead of buying an outfit at her favorite boutique unless the right pattern by the perfect designer is available at a fabric shop.

So keep in mind that there are other options available. If you can't sew through several thicknesses of denim with your sewing machine, you might try Sears or Kohl's if you want something basic that fits well and is priced for a tight budget. If you can afford a boutique such as Anthropologie, shop around just in case they don't suit your fancy there. Our model, who might be considered to be The Chic Chicagoan might need a new coutourier if she can find one with a doable turnaround time. If you can afford that, you might want to go for it, too!

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