Friday, December 11, 2009

Fashion Tip Friday: Wallet-Friendly Style

Okay, I wore this to church over a week ago and bribed my hubby into taking some photos so I could show you. Because I LOVE THIS OUTFIT!!!!!!! But, that's not the whole point. The POINT is that I didn't have to pay a lot to pull together something I absolutely adore and feel great in! 

I hear all the time, "I just don't have the money to..." I'm going to say it. Don't get too offended. It's for your own good. Are you ready? Here it comes... SHUT IT! That kind of talk will not be tolerated here. I know money is scarce. But, you're spending it on other articles of clothing, aren't you? Otherwise you wouldn't be wearing anything right now. (Oh, maybe you're not. Please keep that to yourself.) And, the thing is, you don't have to spend a lot to own clothes you love!!!

The thing I hear much less often, but is more of the real issue, is, "I just don't have time to figure out what looks good, and I don't know how to pick through all those racks or look for good pieces." THIS is much more of an acceptable issue. Because, bargain hunting really can be a learned art. But, it doesn't even need to take all that long, once you learn the basics and train your eye.

Here is a good post I wrote a while back on tips to shopping thrift. But, even that may overwhelm you. Really, there are only a few main things to remember:

*Buy good quality and good fit. There are some fabrics that just look cheap. If it's already pilling, leave it. If it pulls, tugs, is too tight, leave it. If you're going to constantly be "adjusting it" to keep it in the "right place," leave it. (This is a huge pet peeve of mine.) If it's itchy, leave it. When you're going through the racks, run your fingers over the fabrics on the tops of the hangers. Your finger tips know quality and feel-good-fabric. Let them pull out the ones they love.

*Know what you need. I know that right now I am on the lookout for leggings, unique knee-high socks, black booties, and long sleeved tees. (That aren't see-through. Would someone PLEASE make some long sleeved tees that aren't see through? This is driving me NUTS, people!) And I'm always on the lookout for designer jeans and statement jewelry. If you know what you're lacking in your closet, you're more likely to look for those things when you have a minute to pop into a store. If you don't know, then you'll wander around and probably wind up buying something that you'll get home and discover is too similar to something else you already own... so you'll hardly ever wear it... and then you'll feel guilty for spending the money... and then you'll feel guilty getting rid of it because you never really wore it enough to constitute buying it in the first place... and then you'll be gun shy next time you go shopping and probably skip buying something you really do need because you'll remember how you thought you needed this but never really wore it. *deep breath* See how these things can get out of hand quickly? So, just repent now. Forgive yourself for the mistakes you've made and know you'll probably make more in the future. And then make a mental list of what you actually do need in your wardrobe. If it helps, make an actual list on paper and keep it in your purse.

*Be willing to pay a little more for something you know you will use often (and love and cherish and adore). Okay, confession time. I was at Buffalo Exchange in Denver for a few minutes this past Saturday. "Heaven... I'm in Heaven... and my heart beats so that I can hardly speak..." (Which, by the way Honey, you can strike my entire Christmas list and just get me a gift card to that store. But, not Max. I still want him more. And not Logic Studio. Okay, maybe not the entire list. You can just add that to it.) And, well, I ignored my own tip. There was the cutest pair of navy knee-high socks with cute little trim on them... for $7.50. "I'm not going to pay that for socks. That's ridiculous." So I left them there. And now they're haunting me. I would have worn them Sunday to church with my brown tights, brown boots and new plum skirt. But I didn't have them. And I have outfits floating through my brain that they would have pulled together. But I don't have them. THE POINT BEING, if you know you're going to wear it a lot, be willing to fork over a little more dough. It's worth a few more dollars to have something you love and feel good in than to save those few dollars and have something that's merely okay. Or worse, as with me right now, have the item invading your thoughts for the next however-long. (Ugh. Maybe I'll go back this Saturday when I'm up there... I'd have to leave early... it may be worth it... and see if they're still there.) But, only if you really know you will love and adore the item. Don't justify it in your thoughts. Because, really, we all immediately know deep down whether it's a "must-have" or not. All too often we try to justify things into "must-have's" that really aren't. That's when we make our mistakes. Just keepin' it real, girlies. Juts keepin' it real.

Okay, so you have these tips. Tuck them in your brain, and then run into that re-sale or thrift store if you have a few extra minutes! But, maybe the tip that will help you the most is to...

*Take a trusted fashion friend shopping with you. Someone who will push you to try things you might not otherwise. Someone who will tell you the truth if it's pulling in the wrong spot. Someone who will tell you to cut it out with the self-degrading "Oh, I could never wear something like this" kind of talk. Someone who will help you decide between the green cardigan and the bejeweled statement necklace when you just can't buy both. Because that's what good girlfriends are for. And that's why we should all have them.

Okay, so back to my Wallet-Friendly outfit:

Jeans: Just found on major sale at Gap on Black Friday. Distressed 1969 boyfriends for $12 (orig $70). And, already on my "mental list" was 1.) a new pair of white jeans, and 2.) boyfriend jeans I could roll exactly like this. Score!!!

Jacket: Thrift store. I think it was $3. Oversized blazers have been on my "mental list." This one is very light weight, so it's multi-seasonal. (That sounded very fashion-scholar-ly-ish.) (That did not.)

Tank: $5 at French Quarter in SLO. I bought one at a different store and wore it so incredibly much that when I found them at French Quarter I freaked out and bought, like, seven more in varying colors. I wear them constantly. (And the number may be more like ten.)

Shoes: Gabriella Rocha for $6.95 on Lace-up booties had been on my "mental list."

Scarf: Gift from my friend, Trevor, from his travels through Italy. (That sounds so fancy.) LOVE! Makes me feel very special.

Earrings: $1 at Thrift Store in Santa Maria. Chunky silver had been on my "list."

Silver Necklace: Ditto.

Chunky Pearls: Thanks, Mom!

Silver chunky bracelet: Belonged to Grams.

Pearl cluster bracelet w/ribbon: $2 at shop in Winter Park. Also had been on my "list."

Sunglasses: The only working pair I own. $10 from Gloss.

So, as it would seem, a "mental list" is very important. Man, I didn't even realize I used mine as much as I did until I detailed this outfit!  =^)  I usually don't price-out my outfits for you guys, but this is to prove my point that you don't have to spend a lot of money to have clothes you love! If we add up the total, everything you see here was only $40.95... including ten bucks for the shades... which is kind of splurge for me. Think of all the ways I can wear each piece! And, really, the basics of the outfit (shoes, pants, tank, jacket) only total $26.95. So, there.

Girls, you can DO this. You CAN have clothes you love that make you feel good. You don't have to settle when you go out shopping. And, you CAN go out shopping without breaking the bank! Just pay attention to these few tips and give it a try. Some of you have told yourself for so long that you can't do this. Some of you have chosen to believe the "I'll just be forever-frumpy" lie. Some of you have bought into the "Fashion is expensive" myth. Well, here it comes again. Are you ready? Remember, it's for your own good. SHUT IT!!! 
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