Recently, the subject of affordable fashion has come up in comments. I feel like everyone should try to look their best within the budget constrictions they have. Everyone’s budget is different, but that is not an excuse for not looking your best. Know how to use your existing wardrobe is one of the keys to looking your best. Knowing how to present your clothing is another key. Finally, knowing what brands to shop for when you are on a budget is a key that will save you time and money.
The first thing that you want to do is to decide what your budget is for clothing. This can be a monthly budget, or it can be a seasonal budget. Some people even break down how much they spend depending on the item or the item’s quality. You might spend more of your budget on a quality handbag that you will carry for years and less of your budget on the latest trend. The truth is, everyone’s budget will vary. Knowing your budget will keep your finances in check and make you happier with the items you choose.
Shop Your Closet
You probably already have a lot of clothing in your closet that you can use to look your best. Spend some time evaluating your wardrobe. Just because you haven’t worn something in a few years doesn’t mean that it needs to be chucked. You need to look at each item closely, try it on to see if it still fits you well, look for holes and stains, and then decide if you will EVER wear it again. If the answer is no, then donate it to a charity that provides clothing to those in need. If the answer is yes, then continue reading the next section.
Make Sure Your Items Are in Wearable Condition
When you are in a hurry, you want the items in your closet to be on stand-by. As I mentioned earlier, look your wardrobe over and pull out anything with rips, stains, or holes, and fix the issue or remove it from your closet. A shirt has a stain that can’t be removed, but you love the shirt since you wear it UNDER a sweater so the collar shows, then leave it. But, remember not to wear it in a way that the stain shows. If your item needs to be dry-cleaned, then put it aside until you can take it to the cleaners or handwash it if possible.
Also, a well-ironed garment will always look more polished than one that is wrinkled. Take the time to iron or steam your outfit before you put it on. I use a steamer for most of my items, but I do still own an iron. I use a Rowenta for both of these, and I will link to them if you are interested. Any brand will work, but Rowenta is the brand that seems to do the best job and hold up the longest for me.
Fit and Confidence
When you try on your clothing, you need to pay attention to how it makes you feel. How many of you have heard the Marie Kondo quote, “does it spark joy?” We can apply this to our clothing as well as cleaning out our closets and drawers. When you put on a bright pink sweater, does it make you feel confident, or does it make you want to hide because someone might look at you? Even if an item fits you well, you shouldn’t wear it if YOU don’t like the item. This comes under the “wear what makes you happy” category. Happiness shows on your face. It shows in the way you walk and the way that others see you.
I try to pick a variety of brands that range from affordable to high-end, and I also try to show clothing for plus-size ladies. Since I am not plus-size in my clothing, I have to rely on my “similar” widget to show the clothing on a plus-size model. We all want to see what the item looks like on a body shape similar to our own. This same principle applies to your budget. If my outfit is one that you LOVE, but the items that I am wearing are out of your price range, use my look as an inspiration.
Look in your closet first for items that look similar in color or style. If you decide that you want to purchase something, look on the sales racks first. Many retailers have HUGE sales where you can get the same item that I wore in a previous post at a discounted price. If you click the heart in the Shop My Post for an item that you like, you will get an email when that item goes on sale. Use this tool; it is convenient.
If you still are looking for a similar item, do what I do…Google it. A lot of retailers have an option where you can search by price. Please take advantage of that option; I use it all of the time when I shop at Nordstrom. I type in “jeans,” and then I go to the price option and move the bar to the amount I am willing to spend. Why would I waste my time searching through lots of items that are over my budget?
Tomorrow I will continue this series on looking your best on a budget by giving you a list of brands to shop. So, be sure to look for that post. But, for now, let’s look at a couple of posts that I’ve posted, and I’ll show you how to use my post as an inspiration.
The above links were the actual clothing that I was wearing. The sneakers and the v-neck t-shirt were from Target, so I will assume that those items were already in the affordable category, and I’ll focus on the cardigan and the jeans instead. Here is something that I have noticed…most of you only want to purchase what you’ve seen me style and wear. You know how it looks; I tell you how the sizing works, describe the feel of the material, etc. When I link to “similar” items, for the most part, no one ever buys those. So, am I wasting my time? I will do these outfits, and then I would like an honest answer when it comes to “similar” items.
Since the sweater and the heels are both under 50.00, or they were last night, I will concentrate on finding a similar pair of black pants. The Spanx pair of pants are gorgeous, and we all know that Spanx items are flattering and form-fitting. But, Spanx items can also be costly, so I will look for some “similar” Ponte knit black pants at a more affordable price point.
This outfit was one of my favorite looks from last year. It had so many of the elements that I love, like leopard print, anything red, distressed jeans, and pumps, that it made it a winner in my book. The items were also affordable; at least, I thought they were. The sweater was from J Crew Factory, the blazer was on a huge sale, the Wit & Wisdom jeans were on sale, but they are not terribly expensive anyway, and the shoes were a pair that I found locally. All of these items have sold out and are no longer available. That is why I chose this look; I wanted to show you how to re-create it from other retailers.
Let’s all remember; you can look fashionable and stylish with a little effort. There are plenty of consignment shops, eBay, and websites like Poshmark and Mercari that offer fashions at a considerable discount. Also, I do try hard to shop from lots of retailers and lots of different price points. My daughter told me that I can’t please everyone and that I need to let it go. But, I am a people pleaser and an includer, so I don’t like it when I feel like I have let someone down.
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