This is an old composition from 2009 that, I think, forms my basis for how I think of style on a budget. My next few posts will be the updated versions of each point.
Everyone who knows me knows I have a very strong liking for clothing. I have some pretty major goals in life that trump my strong like of clothes soooooooo, I have a few ways that I save by not purchasing a lot of clothes.
First there are two key things that I do. A) Moratoriums on shopping for clothes for myself, 1-3 months, I have gone over 6 months in the past. B) Take care of my things. I have stuff that I wore in high school. Great quality and my Momma knew what she was doing. People stop me to ask where I get some of the things I wear, and I have to say “1997”.
1) Momma’s closet. I asked first of course, but I went through some of my Mother’s old clothes and picked some really great pieces. The last time I got: two blouses, three leather belts, a mudcloth inspired printed high waisted pencil skirt, black lined tapered-leg trousers (all the rage right now), a black dressy jumpsuit (also all the rage). All for free.
2) Went to wally world and spent a little over three dollars. I bought RIT dye/stain remover and a pack of dye (1.66 ea). I got together a lot of (washable) clothes that I have had for a really, really long time, but was not wearing as much. Some I refreshed with the dye/stain remover, others I left in the remover longer to prep for dying. Everything came out great and the color came out different on each piece that I dyed so my closet is not saturated with one color. I am a very busy person and I was able to do this while I was getting other work done.
3) Sometimes being responsible with money is working with what you already have. Shop your own closet. Mix and match and make things work. Use trends to work in your favor. Belting, mixing color palates, scarves, mixing metals. Some mornings I just walk in my closet and give myself two minutes to put together something new. I keep earrings and necklaces where I keep keys so that when I am running out the door I can grab whatever and keep it moving.
4) Goodwill. As long as I am being honest, I will say that I like Goodwill a lot. It is one of the best places to get vintage clothes without paying the vintage price. I have even gotten clothes with tags still on! This whole boyfriend look in shorts and pants? Go to Goodwill, pay $5 for some men’s jeans in a size that will fit you, wash them a couple times, cut them off to fit and roll up and iron the bottom. Granted I like Urban Outfitters, but let’s face it, some of that stuff looks like it came straight out of the Goodwill!
5) If you are going to shop, shop at the right time. Most sales are gimicks. End (and I mean holding out until the next season starts and going for the clearance racks) of season sales are the way to go. You will just have a wait a while to wear some things. If you are confident and have your own style you won’t have to worry about what is “trendy”. Go for good quality things that you can see yourself wearing year after year. Also look for year round fabrics. I am not a fan of Kohl’s, but I was looking for some wide leg jeans a while back. I went to their clearance rack and got a pair of Vera Wang for 90% off (6 dollars!).
6) TJ Maxx and Marshall’s. Need I say more. Oh, and Target!
When you choose to purchase things really think about whether you will wear it, whether you really like that piece, whether you can get better quality for your dollar somewhere else, and whether you need to hold on to that money.