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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Saving $$ and Staying Stylish

As a fashion lover I have a lot of clothing (and accessories) in my closet.  You already know that I sew a lot of my things, but I also have a lot of purchased clothes as well. 
Because I can sew my own clothes it has taught me how to be pretty "smart" about what I spend my money on.  If I can sew something for less than it costs to buy it without having to spend a lot of time on the project, then I'm going to sew it, but if it's a great deal, it's much easier to just spend a few $$.
I ended up returning from Arizona with a very full suitcase, but I'm proud to say that the most expensive item I purchased was a rose gold Michael Kors watch for $100 at TJ Maxx (retails usually for $250).
In my opinion way too many people spend a lot more money on clothes and accessories than they should, so I thought it would be fun to share with you a bit more about how I shop, and where I find all my good deals!
Charlie Jade (Sold Out), Mod Cloth
1.  I rarely pay full price:
I'll be the first to admit that I'm cheap.  My Dad's a financial advisor, so being smart with my money is pretty important to me.
When I'm in a store I'll usually beeline for the clearance section because there the pieces are usually the same quality as the rest of the items in the store, but lucky for me, are much cheaper!  Just because something is on clearance, it does not mean that it is no longer in style, or in season!  By doing this in NY&co I picked up 3 pairs of trousers (Royal Blue, Pink, & Beige/White Printed) and a blouse for $70, if I had pair full price my bill would have been $198...but as you know that would never happen!  I also found the Charlie Jade silk dress (pictured above) in the clearance section of Nordstrom Rack for $21, marked down from $139.
2.  I like good quality and low prices (Who doesn't?):
I'd much rather spend a little extra time browsing through TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Ross and Winners (Canada) for trendy pieces than going to Forever 21, or another fast fashion store.  I will admit though, I always end up shopping in Forever 21, but now I'm starting to realize that it's just a waste of my time.  What is the point of purchasing a top for $15 when you only get a few wears out of it before it falls apart or warps in the washing machine?  I found a really cute trench vest at Forever 21 for $30, but instead of buying it there, I found an even cuter, much better quality version by Cynthia Rowley at TJ Maxx on sale for $20!  What I love about the "Discount Designer" stores is that I can find higher quality items for the same prices (or lower!) as low quality items at fast fashion stores, or I can find the same quality of items for half the price of the fast fashion stores, so either way it's a win!
3.  I don't care about the name brand:
It's quite clear that I love finding a good deal, so it's expecially hard for me to turn down a designer piece on super clearance, but somehow I still do. 
I was browsing in Nordstrom Rack, and I came across an amazing Theory by Theyskens vest for over 90% off.  It was super cute, the price was pretty good ($40!), the quality was great...so what stopped me?  The fact that I probably wouldn't get much wear out of it.  I'd rather spend that $40 on some "no name brand" item that I'll get more than 4 wears out of....so back on the rack it went.
4.  I don't write off all Fast Fashion stores:
Everytime I shop at H&M or Zara I'm quaranteed to leave with a shopping bag....of course this is partially because I only get to shop in those stores 3-4 times a year...which is probably a good thing for my bank account!  The reason I love those two stores is because the majority of their clothes is made well, and the prices are right.  I sometimes find Zara a bit higher priced than other fast fashion, but the price is usually reflected in the quality, plus you can always find some killer deals in the clearance section!

My Most Favorite(est!) Stores for Great Deals:
Joe Fresh
Winners (Canada)
Zara
H&M
TJ Maxx
Ross
Marshalls
Nordstrom Rack

I'm pretty sure I could talk forever about shopping and all the great deals I've found, but I'll stop now to prevent excessive boredom on your part.  I just really wanted to show how easy it is to save a little money while still being able to "keep up" with fashion.  Just remember that it's not the people who wear the trendiest or most expensive items that are the most stylish, it's the "real" girls (and guys) who know how to work with what they've got (their body and their closet)!

I want to know how you shop!  Do you pay full price? thrift? shop sales? swap?

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