How To Make The Most On A Fashion Budget
Dressing well on a fashion budget
I know you do not need any reminding about the current financial situation in our country, or how it affects all of us in one way or another. Despite that, it is still extremely important to put your best ‘look’ forward, and it is even more important during these difficult times. Whether working hard to keep your current job, interviewing for a new position, or just wanting to keep your spirits high, looking and feeling your best is still possible without having to spend tons of money.
First, determine which items you need to complement and update your current wardrobe. Perhaps there are a few pieces that you do need to splurge on, but the majority of what you will purchase can be bought on a tight budget. Here are some suggestions on how to dress fashionably while saving money.
- T-shirtsT-shirts never last long, so purchase them at the Gap or at discount stores. A t-shirt can be worn under a jacket or V-neck sweater, to dress up your weekend jeans look.
- JeansLately it has become acceptable, and I think unnecessary, to spend $200 on a pair of jeans. An affordable and surprisingly good alternative is Levi’s Perfectly Slimming jeans for $44. Kohl’s had these jeans on sale for $36.99; you can’t beat that price. If possible, buy two pairs — hem one for flat shoes, the other for heels.
- LingerieThe right undergarments can make all the difference. Not only will you look thinner, but your clothes will fit you better as well. First, go to a better lingerie store and have a trained fitter determine what your bra size really is. Purchase one moderately priced bra at that store, and then you can shop at discount stores for a few more bras in your newly discovered size. Consumer Reports did a study on a padded demi bra sold at the discount store Target, comparing the bra to a La Perla and Victoria Secret’s version. Target’s Gilligan & O’Malley padded demi sells for $11 and won the Best Deal award. The other compared bras were as high as $127.
- HosieryStockings run, no matter what they cost. So save yourself some money by shopping at discount chain stores such as TJ Maxx or Marshalls for your hosiery needs. A new, fun-patterned pair of stockings can totally transform your basic suit or dress.
- HandbagsSome incredibly good-looking, stylish bags can be found at discount stores. Whether looking for a tote, everyday or special occasion evening bag, there are great finds to be found at these stores. You can purchase a new bag in a bright color and it will transform not only your mood but also your most basic outfits.
- ShoesWhen it comes to your feet, it is not advisable to skimp on quality, as the pain will let you know very quickly that you made a mistake. DSW is a wonderful store to get shoes in all sizes, colors and styles known to womenkind. When you walk into one of these stores, you get the sense that you have arrived in shoe heaven, and all the shoes are sold at a discount! Nine West is also a great place to get stylish, well-priced shoes.
- Trendy PiecesBesides the discounters already mentioned, Forever 21 is an excellent source for trendy clothes that will not break the bank. The clothes might not last for more than 2 years, quality-wise, but neither will the trend.
- Basic Pants, Skirts & JacketsThese pieces are the foundation of every woman’s wardrobe and should not be bought at discount stores, as the quality will not hold up to the constant wear and tear these staples will endure. Your best bet is my personal favorite spot in the department and specialty boutiques — the SALE rack. You can find excellent deals on sale at all of the stores, and in this economic climate, there are more deals than usual.
The bottom line is that you should keep shopping to keep you looking and feeling good, but do it wisely and somewhat frugally. Only buy what you truly need, and try some of the stores and products previously mentioned. After discovering some of these deals, pass the word on to your friends and family. They’ll thank you for it.