Let me cut right to the chase: I’m a tight-wad. You heard me correct. I am as cheap as they come. In addition to my frugality, my style sets me apart from the masses. I have never been convinced that in order to look like a million bucks that you have to spend a million bucks. In fact, I have lived with the idea of quite the opposite. Why spend a mint on a blouse when you could spend far less and end up with much more! I’m all in favor of building a wardrobe on key pieces that can be mixed and matched — and here are 5 tried an true ways I, day in and day out, dress smart and spend even smarter!
Target, Kohl’s, Ross and Walmart are NOT the enemy
These discount big-box stores have the potential to be a fashion “DON’T”, but if I shop intelligently, they can be a “DO”. Be aware that many of the items sold here are not of the highest quality. I take the time to feel the clothing, I can tell if something is made well, or if the fabric is bound to lose its shape after one wear. Look at the zippers and buttons: do they seem sturdy? Cheap clothes will out themselves in the dressing room. I try things on, move around, and I will know immediately if something is ill-fitting or shoddily made.
Its not that I have a problem against these brands, especially Walmart is where I used to shop right from childhood, but its just that what is being sold as fashion statement does not quite match up to my taste and the quality is abysmal most of the times these days, be it clothes, handbags or anything. In fact, if this goes on, I would much rather prefer luxurytastic replicas which I can get for a good bargain while street shopping.
Clearance racks can be a bountiful treasure trove
At stores, the clearance rack is usually a disorganized mess. However, I am not deterred by chaos. I look at it as a challenge to find the best deal! Once at a department store, I picked up a lonely pair of jeans. There wasn’t another pair on the rack like it, but they were just my size. I walked up to the cashier expecting them to be expensive, having been placed on the markdown rack by accident. She scanned the tag and $1.25 popped up on the register screen! The price amazed even her! Just goes to show that a good deal can be hiding and even better deal!
Make friends with your local tailor
If I try something on and it feels good on my body, but is loose in places, I always consider having it altered. Why would I pass up a great pair of pants because they are a bit roomy on the thigh? Or a pretty skirt because the length isn’t quite flattering? I have a tailor that is a whiz at taking in and letting out those items whose price I just couldn’t pass up. When properly done, an alteration can take a bargain-basement item and make it look like I spent a lot more!
Don’t be afraid to co-op with your friends
Got friends with great style? I know I do. Alone, my closet is awesome, but when combined with the closets of my friends, it transforms into an incredible force to be reckoned with! I usually make a night of it: invite friends over and have them bring items that they might be willing to trade permanently, or temporarily. Make it fun: provide snacks and drinks (or ask others to bring something to share). Make it worthwhile: Got a big date or a wedding coming up? Put the word out that you need something for such an occasion, and see what friends bring over! The best part is that you won’t spend a dime on your new threads!
Recycle your outfits without fear
Most of us are not in the paparazzi spotlight. We usually don’t set foot onto the red carpet. I doubt many rag-mags will post photos of us wearing something — gasp — TWICE! It’s ok to have a “uniform”. My style is what identifies who I am on the outside. When I get dressed in the morning, I don’t worry about wearing something again. If I wear a shirt on Monday, I won’t hesitate to put it back into the line up on Wednesday. It’s ok because I wear things differently: Once maybe with a pencil skirt, and then again with some jeans. Accessories and shoes can change the look of an outfit drastically too. Keep your look fresh and original by varying the little things!