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Sunday, February 26, 2012

How to Build a Killer Wardrobe on a Budget

I have spent a lot of blog posts showing you where to find discount or low price fashionable clothing for all occasions.  However, planning an awesome wardrobe that helps you look great and save money takes some careful planning on what to buy, and where you buy it.  For some things, it makes sense to buy something low-quality and low price, and for others, you should look for higher quality so that you can wear it longer.

Don't Spend a Lot of Money: 
 Low quality clothes are not a great buy for the clothes that you wear every day because they wear out fast, they get pilly, and they begin to fall apart.  However, there are some things that a girl has to buy that it just does not make sense to spend a lot of money on.

1. First on my list of things is a dress you're only going to wear, once. If you're talking prom, wedding, or that magical sorority formal you'll talk about forever, then it makes sense to splurge for a special occasion. However, how many times do you really think you're going to wear that spring semiformal dress? How many times are you going to want to look at the pictures, if any were even taken? For occasions like this, if you don't have an old dress that you want to wear, you should buy something low-quality and low price so that you can look great once, and then never think of it, again.
Example:

This cute rosette dress from Forever 21 will make you stand out in a good way at semiformal, and it only costs $22.80. Just don't plan on wearing it more than a few times.

2. The other major thing you don't want to spend a lot of money on is trendy clothes.  Before you buy something trendy, ask yourself if you would be embarrassed to wear that item if public three years from now. If the answer is 'yes' then don't spend a lot of money on it.  Do you need some examples of these flash in the pan trends? Does anybody remember the shrunken tie tops that hit high schools around 2004? How about the bubble skirts that hit around 2008? Some trends just hit one high school, others sweep the nation, but in general, they don't last. Are you a trend setter, not a follower? If you're thinking about trying something new and crazy, this is also a good way of trying out a look without making a huge commitment. It's easier to try out something like zebra print jeans if you're spending $10 than if you're spending $100.

Example:


If your school hasn't gotten tired of the shrunken vest trend, it will by the end of the year. If you want to partake, don't spend a lot. Get this one at 599fashion.com for $5.99.  But remember, never wear a trend that doesn't fit your body type - paying money to look bad is never a good idea.

When You Should Splurge:
In the long run, there are some items that it just makes sense to invest in, so that you can wear them for years to come. These pieces should be versatile, and have a classic look - don't invest in a high quality top that will hold up over the years if it's going to go out of style next season.
1. The Little Black Dress is a classic that you'll find yourself wearing again, and again.  Women wear LBDs to the office, to class, on dates, and to go out with the girls.  Choose one that is versatile enough to wear on several different occasions, is made from good materials (no polyester, please) and shop around to make sure that you get a good deal.
Example:

This LBD by Armani Exchange will last for years without losing its shape, or color.  It's sexy but conservative enough to wear to work, and it's on sale for $79.99.

2. Our bras are the little-celebrated superstar of our outfits.  They not only affect how good "the girls" are looking every day, but they also affect how comfortable and confident we are. Don't make the mistake of thinking that just because nobody can see your bra through your shirt (hopefully) it isn't important. Also, don't just buy expensive - buy smart.  La Perla might be sexy and cost more than a black market kidney, but it doesn't offer support for to day to day. Get a bra that give you support, and looks sexy.
Example:

Victoria's Secret bras might tend toward the pricey, like this Body by Victoria demi-cup for $46.50, but treat one right, and it will give you comfort and fit for years.  Remember, the better you treat your breasts now, the better they will look in 20 years.  

Try these tips, and stay within budget, and you will be looking great in the short-term and the long-term, and nobody will know how much you saved. 

As always fashionistas,
Happy Shopping :) 


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Save Your Money for Clothing!

I have given several posts on where to find affordable, fashionable clothing, but sometimes that isn't enough.  As a (very) broke college student, I have had to find a few different ways to cut costs.  One of the most pointless expenses for me was laundry costs.  You live 18 years of your life with a washing machine and dryer in your house for free, and then all of a sudden, you have to pay $1.50 to wash and $1.50 to dry - wtf?

Solution: Get a drying rack.

I would do two loads of laundry per week, so by buying a cheap drying rack from Target, I saved $3.00 per week in laundry costs.  This might sound small, but it adds up,  and it helps the environment because drying racks use no electricity (like the ancients used to do_.  Added bonus: you avoid the risk of a horrible apartment/dorm coin run dryer shrinking your sweaters down to doll size.  Still at home? Get one anyway, and discuss with your parents whether you can pocket part of the monthly savings from switching from a dryer to a drying rack.

After a year of using a drying rack, you'll save about $150, which is like getting this awesome ABS dress ($146 at bluefly)  for free: 


Here is how not to spend your money. 


Everyone knows that I love Marc by Marc Jacobs, but this $137 puffer lime green tote looks like something a  grandmother in Sarasota would pull out of a bargain bin. You've hung laundry on a line for a year! Have standards with how you spend that money!

Happy Saving, and Happy Shopping, Fashionistas :)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Be Vivacious this Valentine's Day

I am sure that everybody knows that this Tuesday is Valentine's Day. For those in relationships, this day can be filled with heavy expectations of romance and magic that may or may not come true. For you single ladies, it can range from crying into a bowl of cookie dough to hitting the town with your girls and celebrating all of the love in your life.  No matter what your plans are, however, it can't hurt to look fantastic while you're doing it.  Whether you want to be sweet and demure, scintillating and sexy, or just not acknowledge Valentine's Day at all, here are some picks to look and feel great.

Tactful:


If your Valentine's Day plans include meeting your boyfriend (or girlfriend -no haters here) in a little bistro, lunching with your sisters, or just dressing up for cocktails with the girls, this is the dress for you. Tadashi Shoji flat out knows how to dress for a woman's body. This dress is sweet and simple, but it's girly, it flatters the waist, and it mayy make men want to give you flowers....maybe. The amazing part is that it's 73% off at bluefly.com.

Tantalizing:

My personal fashion motto is "Never Apologize". If you're going to dress up, don't hold back.  Whether you're single on Valentine's Day, or trying to impress a certain someone, there is no reason not to go all the way romantic and ravishing.  This v-neck red ruffle dress is sexy without going sexy, and is unapologetically in the spirit of Valentine's Day. As a special tribute to one of my heroes, Ellen Degeneres, I chose this dress from the store that chose her to be their spokesperson, JC Penney.  It's $50, not on sale, and in my opinion, it's worth every penny. 

Tuesday:

If you associate February 14 with the anniversary of the beginning of the Polish-Soviet war in 1919 or the day Pope Gregory VII excommunicated Henry IV in 1076,  then this is the dress for you. Just because it's "just Tuesday" doesn't mean that you shouldn't look fabulous in class or at work.  This Antik Batik flame silk dress is perfect for looking great on an ordinary day.  Its long sleeves are weather-appropriate, its color scheme is neutral, and the flame print adds a little spice to an everyday dress. Get it now at Gilt Groupe for 59% off.  

Remember, fashionistas, no matter what your plans are this Feb 14, love yourself, love your body, and look great.  What are your Valentine's Day plans? Let me know in the comments!

Happy Shopping :)