Friday, August 22

Budget Savvy Fashion Solutions...

Times may be tough financially but this does not mean that you are going to have to give up looking good. It just means a different approach as to how you do it. Here are some suggestions that will help you still look stylish without breaking the bank.

The Anchor Solution
Many people have a very outfit-driven wardrobe. They will limit a top to be worn with only one pair of pants, or a skirt that they only wear with one particular blouse. Not only is this limiting, dressing this way is also expensive because these pieces aren’t getting enough mileage.

Instead, try expanding what you already own with a simple strategy that I call the Anchor Solution. To start, take a basic piece from your wardrobe and, instead of using this piece to make only one outfit, try to style this one piece at least four different ways with pieces you already own.

In addition, when shopping and considering the purchase of something new, think about how many new outfits you can create by adding this one new item to your wardrobe. If you can’t come up with several outfits by infusing this new purchase into your wardrobe, then don’t buy it.

The Change Up
Take a look at your own life and see just how multi-faceted it is. Your life may consist of being a mother, a professional and more. Often, we need to dress in different ways for each area of our lives and it can get expensive to have a separate wardrobe for each part.

Are there pieces that you have relegated to being only fun weekend tops or dresses that you only wear to work? Sometimes, it is just with the quick change of a shoe or accessory that these pieces can become used in other parts of your life as well. A basic v-neck sweater, for example, can be worn with jeans and a pair of ballerina flats on the weekend but may also be able to be worn to work with a skirt and pretty shoes.

Use this strategy when shopping as well. If your budget is tight, before buying anything make sure that the piece can be used in different parts of your life.

Clothing S.O.S.
Before you rid yourself of any clothing in your wardrobe, make sure to call a tailor or seamstress to try and resuscitate the piece. Not only are most of us becoming more aware of our spending, but we are also are more eco-conscious. It is cheaper and more eco-friendly to get better use from what you have.

Any clothing fit issues can easily be fixed by a tailor. Plus, if a shirt is too boxy, bring it to the tailor and see if adding shape to it can save it. Can that skirt that seems too A-lined be tapered a bit or (if you are feeling really ambitious) can that dress that you love, but doesn’t fit well on top anymore, be turned into a skirt now for less money than it would cost to buy new?

To be more eco-conscious, instead of one big bag of random cast-offs, prepare separate donations and send to the proper organizations or charities. Donation to the right places ensures that what you are giving away doesn’t ultimately wind up in a landfill.

Less Clothing, More Accessories
When times are tough financially, a great way to save money is to lower your clothing expenses and increase your accessory budget. While your budget is tight, commit to not purchasing any new clothing and use whatever extra money you have to spend solely on accessories. You can get some great things for a fraction of what you would spend on a new outfit and you may be surprised by how the fun bracelet you bought for five bucks at the flea market or the cool sandals you found on the sales rack can breathe new life into what you already own.

Don’t Deny
Think about the last diet you failed at. The reason diets fail is because people deprive themselves as opposed to having the occasional small treat. This is true for your wardrobe as well. If you feel like you are on a fashion diet, don’t cut yourself off completely. Allow yourself the occasional affordable purchase that fits within the context of your new fashion budget, even if your budget is ten dollars per week.

When you take the “Don’t Deny” approach, you don’t sacrifice. Just as you won’t find yourself crashing and pulling up a chair at the buffet, the chances are greater that you also won’t be handing over your credit card on clothing you can’t afford.

Style expert and author, Bridgette Raes is the owner of Bridgette Raes Style Group and the author of Style Rx: Dressing the Body You Have to Create the Body You Want.

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