Today I have a guest post for you from my younger and much trendier sister, Allison. My fashion sense is very limited. If I’m wearing something besides a T-shirt and I remembered to put on a necklace, that’s about as good as it gets. I despise clothing shopping and I’m the worst person to take to the mall. I won’t buy something if it squeezes my armpits, has flappy sleeves, is made from itchy material, is too clingy around the waist, or costs more than $8. The dressing room is the worst. You have to undress in front of a mirror entirely too close to your body to be flattering while wondering if some creeper might have installed a camera somewhere. Then you have to carefully pull all the shirts over your hair while trying not to stretch out the neck. If you don’t have curly hair, this probably isn’t a big deal, but for those of us with curls, repeatedly pulling clothing on over our heads is disastrous to our frizz factor. If no one else is there to get me another size and I have to put clothes on to get it myself, forget it. Once my clothes are back on, I’m done. After about 30 minutes, you’ll usually find me on a bench outside the store people-watching with a diet lemonade from Chick-fil-A. Most of the time I’m sitting out there waiting for Allison who is patiently and meticulously putting together a trendy outfit from the deep recesses of the clearance racks that I abandoned in frustration an hour ago. She has kindly offered her tips and tricks for frugal fashion.
Hi! I’m Allison, Lindsay’s darling younger sister. I just graduated from college with a degree in Interior Design. While I immensely enjoy studying interior décor and clothing styles, I also firmly believe in using the resources God has given us wisely. I’m quite an old soul with a passion for missions, books, adventuring, the outdoors, and art. So with all these interests, I don’t want to spend all my money on looking trendy. Thankfully, I have discovered some simple ways to save money on clothes and still be cutting edge.
One of the simplest (and hardest) ways to save money on just about anything is to have self-control. This is something that I have struggled with for years. I think I can save money just fine until I come upon that gorgeous pair of shoes that I will probably only wear a couple times a year because they don’t look very comfortable, and yet I still want them. Those situations are when I slip up, then the beautiful shoes sit in my closet and remind me of the money that I could have spent on something more noble. So ladies, here’s to no more regrets or shoes that speak to us from the closet, haha.
I have learned that I help myself when I prioritize my clothing needs and wants. Right now for example, I’m trying to make myself buy neutral, multi-use pieces of clothing. Because I am easily drawn to more unique pieces of clothing, this helps me control myself and only buy things that go with what I already own. The worst is buying a great patterned skirt to find out that you don’t own anything to go with it and must now buy a shirt as well. My advice is to make a mental or physical list of things that would be helpful in your current wardrobe. Then if a friend invites you to go shopping, you have some things to look for and not feel guilty about buying. Every now and then you can splurge and buy a more unique piece.
Buy Used Clothing
There is absolutely nothing wrong with buying used clothing. I am a huge fan of thrift stores, not only because I find great deals there, but also because it’s a great recycling program. To those of you that are new to shopping at thrift stores, here are my suggestions. Stores like Goodwill and Plato’s closet have some great deals and you will find gems there; however, they take time and sometimes multiple trips to find good quality items. I don’t shop at these two places often, mostly because I personally don’t enjoy long shopping trips. These stores are great when shopping for Halloween costumes, because they have the cheapest options and the largest selections!
Upscale thrift stores are becoming more common in most cities. These are where I love to shop. For one, they are smaller and less overwhelming for this introvert, and they often have a lot of great name brands. One of my favorites is Style Encore in Winston-Salem, NC. I have yet to go to this store without leaving with something I love. They have some casual clothes, but most of the store is business and dress clothes. They have several of my favorite brands like Banana Republic, the Loft, Lauren Conrad, Gap, etc. Most of these stores are picky about the clothes that they buy, which makes our shopping easier. As customers, we are ensured that the clothes are still in good quality and worth our time and money. They have already done most of the hard work for us.
Shop Sale Items
For me, there are some things that I want to buy new (let me add that “new” and “full price” are two totally different things). I personally have a hard time finding pants that fit my body shape. Over the years I have found that Levi has a shape of jeans that I love! But as you know, Levis aren’t cheap. The good news is that they have outlets and factory stores where they sell their overstock or out of season clothes for a lower price. I have also discovered that on Black Friday the Levi Outlet store has a 2-for-$50 deal. Each year, I plan ahead and decide if I need anymore jeans and, if so, what color wash I want so that when black Friday arrives I’m ready. This also means that I don’t allow myself to even go in the Levi store at any other time unless they are having an equivalent sale and I’m in need of jeans.
Other things I like to buy new are underwear, athletic clothes, running shoes and hiking boots. All of these items can still be found on sale. I shop for my athletic clothes on Old Navy’s clearance rack, my favorite brand of running shoes on Ebay or Amazon, and my underwear from Arie’s Online Clearance. Ebates is another website that alerts you when there are sales at your favorite stores and then will give you cash back for your purchases (read more about Ebates here). I recently saw some beautiful fleece jackets for around $20 on L.L. Bean’s clearance through the Ebates website. My motto is that any new name brand name item can be found on sale, so never buy it full price. Again, be patient, you will find the things you love for lower prices, sometimes you may just have to wait until the end of the season. Believe me, once you get into the habit of never buying items at full price, you won’t be able to go back!
Well, there are some of the secrets to my success. Happy shopping or, better yet, happy saving!
We’d love to hear about some of your fashion tips, tricks, and great finds, comment below!
Lindsay and Allison
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