If you’re already poor, you’ve accomplished half of what this post is about. Congrats.
Between the economy, student loans,and the skyrocketing prices of mixed drinks, we’re all broke these days. Lucky for you I have a lifetime of experience of being a cheapskate and can help you maximize your pennies to make you look like you’ve got it all even if you’re sharing a futon.
Let’s say you gather all the change you can find in your couch cushions and come up with $150 that you’re gonna spend on yourself. You’re golden. Assuming you’re not a nudist (and if you are, mad props) you have some pieces in your wardrobe that you already like and wear. Great. The most important things to focus on when buying your new stuff on the cheap is to make sure they look and feel like quality pieces. Always remember this: Just because something is expensive doesn’t make it well-made or cute, and just because something’s on clearance doesn’t mean it isn’t awesome, chic, and your materialistic soulmate. When bargain shopping (is there any other shopping?) here are some things to keep in mind:
1) Fit: Above all else, the way your clothes, shoes, and accessories fit will be the key in determining whether you look like a hot piece of ass or a hot ass mess. Cheaper clothes can lack shape, but if you look carefully for darting on shirts and dresses (seams under the boobs/around the waist that tailor it to your body), length on pants (learn to sew your own hem!), and overall proportion, you’ll be in good shape. Pun intended.
2) Details: Many nicer, “designer” pieces get their extra oomph of awesomeness from details. A cardigan with cool ass buttons looks way more expensive than one with normal buttons. Things that are actually embroidered look way nicer than things that are screenprinted, and, for God’s sake, jeans with actual pockets look better than jeggings with pockets painted on them. That being said, there is a fine line between a shirt with a jewel neck collar and a bedazzled nightmare. Stay away from anything with a necklace or belt included (don’t EVEN get me started), and if you can tell what season or store it’s from, put it down and walk away.
3) Color: Neutrals are always okay, but jewel tones and even some pretty pastels are a sign of quality. Rich colors look good on people from pasty to Snooki, and make you look like you’re wearing a quality piece even if it isn’t.
4) If you don’t love it, don’t buy it: It’s that simple. I have recently forced myself to stop just buying things because they’re a good deal and I’ll probably wear them, and here’s why: if you don’t love something, you’re probably not gonna wear it, so even if it’s a great deal, it’s a waste of money. Think of your clothes as investments. Like…a good pair of running shoes. If you get a pair of shit ones for cheap and never use them, you’ve still wasted money. But if you get some decent ones and wear them multiple times a week and go running every day until they’re destroyed and lose a ton of weight and become a professional bodybuilder/supermodel, you’ve gotten your money’s worth. Initial cost/usage = actual cost.
5) Stay away from trends, mostly: I love incorporating trends into my outfits, but if you’re strapped for cash, stick to clothes that are more classic. You can spend your cash on inexpensive accessories to update your wardrobe but the classic stuff will never go out of style. If you can tell what season or “look” an item comes from (i.e., when everyone was wearing rhinestone Bebe tee shirts in 2000), then don’t get it.
Now. Back to our shopping trip. You’ve got $150 to work with. So what do you buy? Here’s what I would suggest.
-$5: Fake pearl or diamond studs – Why would you waste your money on something so small? Because these things make you look polished. Even if you’re wearing your high school show choir tee-shirt and sweats, you’ll look like you got out of bed more than five minutes ago if you have some classy, unfussy earrings in. Trust me, I fool people on a regular basis.
Good places to look are: Forever 21, Charlotte Russe, Wet Seal, and other clubwear-sellin’ places
-$30: A great fitting pair of jeans- Don’t believe the designer jean hype. Sure, I covet them as much as the next girl, but the quality isn’t much different at all. As far as shape goes, skinnies don’t look good on everyone but most trouser and boot cut jeans with a medium rise are flattering to every body. You should also ALWAYS go for a darker wash. They are slimming, and make the jeans look more expensive and less like farmwear. The best time to shop for these are at the end of any season. Gap usually has GREAT final sale jeans, and Old Navy and Target always have good options, and usually have short/tall/petite and sometimes curvy styles as well. Stay away from pockets on the hips and bejeweled butts so people won’t know when you wear the same jeans 5 days a week. Yep, secret’s out.
What do you think of these tips? Do you have any advice?
Guest post submitted by What Would Jesus Wear?