Well, hello! Imagine meeting you here–on a Friday, no less! What’s this all about? It’s not a Wednesday. It’s not the weekend. What is this madness?
Tadaaaa! It’s Fashion Friday!
Today’s Topic: Looking Good on a Budget
Submitted by: Carrie-Anne
I’ve only been in college for a few weeks, but already I’m beginning to understand how being a college student is basically synonymous with being broke–and, luckily, I already know a bit about saving on clothing. So, here are my tips:
- Don’t dis the hand-me-down. My great grandmother died a few years ago at one hundred and three, and we were taking her clothes to a garage sale this summer when I saw a button-down poking out from the bundle that looked like it had come straight from Forever 21. I snagged it and took it back home, and it turned out being adorable. And it belonged to my great grandma. Note that it looks similar to this:
- Shop at Salvation Army/Good Will/Etc. I’ve stopped by the Salvation Army down the street from my high school several times looking for costume pieces for plays, and ended up walking out with clothes for myself. Some of them from brand-name stores with the tags still on them. For a dollar.
- Reuse your clothes. That favorite pair of jeans beginning to flood around the ankles? Turn ’em into middies/carpis/shorts!
- Shop on Ebay. So many good deals! I’m currently looking at getting a pair of shoes for $20. They normally cost $90.
- Check the clearance sales. I feel like this should be a no duh one, but I thought I’d mention it anyway. When brand names go on clearance, they’re finally down to reasonable prices. Take advantage of that. (And yes, most of the stuff that makes it to the clearance rack is there for a reason, but there are always going to be a few hidden gems in there as well.) (Like this dress from American Eagle.)
- Buy 80% of your clothes at the cheap stores, and 20% at the big brands. Despite how affordable we all claim Forever 21 is, it’ll still cost you more than shopping at Target. And let’s not forget the prices at places like American Eagle, Hollister, etc. (Note that I refuse to shop at anywhere that costs more than Hollister does. Ever. Unless I randomly get super rich.) Fortunately, when it comes down to it, you can get pretty much all the stuff the big brands sell for a whole lot less elsewhere, just without the label. Purchase the majority of your clothing at the cheaper stores, and then get a few big ticket items from the more expensive ones. You should divide it about 80/20 or 75/25, depending on how much you’re able and willing to spend on your wardrobe. For example: I splurge and get all of my jeans from American Eagle, because they’re the most comfortable and fit me the best, but I purchase the majority of my shorts and skirts from Kohl’s. Most of my dresses are from Sears, I have a thing for Payless Shoes, and I’ve gotten some great pieces from Walmart. Really: If you can get it for cheaper elsewhere, then get it elsewhere. But also be willing to pay a little more if you find something unique at a big brand that you absolutely love (just be careful not to fall in love with too many things 😉 ). For example, I got my winter coat from American Eagle and my two favorite cardigans from Hollister, but everything I wear them with is off-brand, mostly from Target.
This is one of my senior pictures from last year–the cardigan is from Holliser (probably about $40), the jeans from American Eagle ($30), the blouse ($15) and necklace ($5) from Kohl’s, and the sandals from this charity that donates money to children in Africa ($20). This is one of my favorite outfits, and I wear it all the time–I even wore the blouse and necklace while pitching to literary agents my junior year.
- Buy items that you can mix and match. Don’t get a blouse that’s only going to look good when paired with that certain pair of jeans. The more you can switch in and out items in an outfit, the more often you can wear those items and the less clothing you have to buy. Wear your v-neck with a skirt one week, jeans and a scarf the next, and then pair it with a jacket the week afterward.
- Get a couple trendy things, but make sure the majority of your wardrobe is made up of the staples. I like v-necks and skinny jeans and Converse, and they aren’t a part of a fad that could be in one week and then out the next, so I have lots of those. I also like lace, but nobody knows how long that’s going to be fashionable, so I’ve only got a smattering of lace things (a blouse and a few dresses). Be careful not to overindulge on the fad items–it’s better to look classic than like you’re wearing last year’s trend, and as long as you’ve got those staples on hand, you won’t need to purchase a whole lot of new clothing every year.
- Be able to dress it up or dress it down. I love wearing dresses everywhere. To the movies, to class, and then also to more formal events, like church and parties. And I’ve worn the same blue dress to all of those without it ever looking out of place. The key? My accessories. To graduation I wore it with a silver belt and matching, shimmery heels with my prom jewelry and my hair done nicely; to class I wear it with a brown braided belt and gladiator sandals, my hair down and natural around my shoulders and my jewelry far more casual.
So yeah, those are my tips for Looking Good on a Budget. Let me know what you think about me doing Fashion Blogging, if you have any topic ideas, and of course if you have any tips of your own. 🙂