Fashion Friday - stretching your fashion dollar

I thought I would try to have some fun and sometimes serious posts about fashion and looking good and feeling great no matter your age, weight or income.

We're all trying to save money these days and many of our wardrobes are suffering from it, here are my tips to having a great wardrobe without breaking the bank.

  1. Buy quality where it counts and save everywhere else.  My husband HATES that I always run to the clearance racks first in any store or that I'm just as happy shopping in a thrift store as a high end store and yet those thrift store finds are why I can afford to buy that $150 dollar purse that I have always wanted.  (And it was $350 retail)
  2. Buy only what you'll really wear.  There have been studies to find out what we really wear and what tends to sit in our closets and they have found that we only really wear two weeks worth of clothes regularly and the rest are rarely worn if at all, so why not clear out all that clutter and fill your closet with clothes that you really love and wear?  My rule is that I have about ten outfits for each season, then about ten "all season" pieces that are simple, classic and go with just about everything and ten trendy items.  I spend most of my money on the ten "all season" pieces and the least amount of money on the ten "Trendy" pieces.  My seasonal pieces are really only going to be worn about twice a month which means 6 times that season so nothing gets worn out, my "all season" pieces get worn a bit more but are still cycled through with the rest of my stuff and my trendy pieces may be worn a lot more but I know that I won't be wearing them next year so I don't care if they've bit the dust by the end of the season or year.
  3. ALWAYS shop with a list.  Don't just go thinking you'll just see what you find, know what you have, what you need and what you are looking for.  Have two lists, what you need and what you would like if it's the perfect item.  For example, I was on the lookout for the PERFECT classic trench coat, no matter where I went I kept an eye out for it, I saw a lot of coats I liked but none of them were "perfect" so I would just pass them by knowing that the coat I had would get me by just fine until I found it.  Lo and behold I found what I was looking for at H&M for only $50,  it's perfect, I LOVE it and I'm so glad that I had passed up all the other ones because now I feel great every time I put it on knowing that there aren't any other's I'll wish I'd gotten instead.
  4. Buy only what you LOVE!  This really fits with the 2nd point but how many times have you gone into a store, not found what you wanted but you felt like you NEEDED something so you just bought whatever was there and left, still feeling down about yourself because deep down you think it's your fault that everything doesn't look fabulous on your body.  Now think about how often you actually wear that item and how you feel every time you do put it on.
  5. Don't be afraid to snip, sew and spruce up.  "Ready to wear" clothes are made to fit the "average" body and since no one fits into the average perfectly no clothes are truly "ready to wear".  If you can find a great little dress that fit's your hips or chest but is too big in the waist, bring it in, always fit the largest part of you and tailor the rest.  If you find this "really cute" but plain top in a thrift store for only a couple dollars spending a couple more and a little time in adding that little something that takes it from drab to fab is well worth it.  If you have an old skirt that still fits and is in great shape but is outdated, maybe you could shorten the hem or add a great new belt.  
  6. Utilize your friends.  Maybe they can give you some great clothes they can't wear any more, tell you about some great places to shop or just give you an honest opinion, any way you look at it having good friends around makes everything nicer.
  7. Take your time.  Don't be in a hurry, having the perfect wardrobe is an ever changing thing so if your clothes aren't what you love and feel great in just take your time buying one piece at a time and getting rid of anything you don't love or wear.  You'll be surprised how quickly your attitude and wardrobe will take shape and be everything you always wished it could be.

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