Friday, October 31, 2008

Buford Betty Fashion Week: Style on a Budget

How could I not touch on this topic, girls? Especially given that (a) I'm on a self-imposed shopping hiatus, (b) our economy's in the crapper, and (c) I refuse to pay retail! It's a perfect way to end Buford Betty Fashion week, I say!

You guys know I am ALL about going chic on the cheap. I love nice things, but I don't like paying a lot for them. I have a devilish addiction to designer shoes and bags, and there is no *high* quite like finding that killer bargain. And with the internet, we don't even have to hunt for them like we used to - they often just fall into your lap! But the hunt can be fun, too. And whether I'm shopping on a tight budget, or - like now - not even shopping at all, I've always found ways to stay current each season. So if you're pinching those pennies like me, here are a few tips to help you rock out your style while keeping some cash in your wallet...


  • You don't need the entire new fall line - just pick a few key pieces. It happens every time... our inboxes get overloaded with all the new fabulous pieces and "must-have's" for the new season. I have several catalogs at home with drool marks all over dog-eared pages. What's a fashionable girl on a budget to do? First, get a grip. Take a second look at these new trends and you'll find out that a lot of them aren't that difficult to pull off with the stuff already hanging in your closet. I mean, how many truly *new* items are introduced in any given season? Trends aren't always about new styles - more often than not, a trend relates to how something is worn. Chances are you have half of these "new trends" already in your closet. I often go shopping in my own closet to discover new possibilities. I haven't bought anything new in months, but I'm always coming up with new combinations and ideas from my own wardrobe. So if you're wanting to get some new things, just pick a few key pieces that you can work with... For me, the first must-have's are usually shoes. Those can definitely change dramatically from season to season, so I do love picking out some new shoes. And there's often another accessory or two that catches my eye, but for the most part - I can work out the rest with what I already own. Y'all know I'm an accessories girl anyhow, but I'm a big believer in having a wardrobe of good basics to carry from season to season... and then you fill in the gaps with a few new trendy accessories.

  • Retail's for the birds... Find a bargain. Oh, I could devote an entire ginormous post to bargain shopping, as it's my favorite pastime. Designer-duds-at-Target-prices is the name of the game, and I play to win. Now if you're savvy enough to find your way to fun blogs, I'm going to assume you can handle online shopping. I personally do most of my clothing and accessories shopping online. I buy gifts almost exclusively online. But I do have some crazy friends that never buy online, so I know you people exist. Well I have to say my first advice would be to start online shopping. There are some serious deals to be had in cyberworld. You're able to shop around and compare prices from the comfort of your own home. Even if you end up purchasing something in-store, at least do a little research online beforehand. But really, most bargains I've found are online. And with great resources like Shop It To Me, they aren't that hard to find. With access to so many stores online, these shops know they're competing for your business. There are a lot of great bargain and overstock sites out there where you can score some serious deals. Smart Bargains is one of my all-time favorites. And as a lot of y'all know, earlier this year Smart Bargains popped out a baby named Rue La La. And ooh la la... we are loving this members-only sample sale concept. And what a brilliant move on their part - the perceived exclusivity of it makes us girls go ga-ga. And let's not forget our brick and mortar stores... there are some serious bargains to be uncovered there too. Whether online or in-store, it's just a matter of knowing what's out there and what you want. I rarely pay retail for anything. If I do, it is a true "must-have" that I know won't be marked down. Even still, I'll hop on ebay first to see if I can snag a deal. I consider 75% off to be a killer bargain. If it's something I want, that's nearly a no-brainer if I've got the cash. And 85% off... that's a stupid bargain. As in I'd be stupid not to get it. 50% off or so... that's good, but I dont' know - maybe. 40% off or less? Puhleeeeez. Get back on the shelf! Bargains are to be had everywhere if you're willing to look. A lot of really seasonal items will be marked down if you can wait just a little bit. And oh, it is SO rewarding when you get that incredible deal. You just wanna tell the world, don't you?!

  • Host a clothing swap. I'm actually hosting my second swap next weekend and I cannot wait! I snagged some real gems at my last one, so I am super excited to see what I walk away with this time. You can hop here for a more detailed how-to, but basically you and your girlfriends gather together with everyone's old clothes and accessories... you set up shop and go wild! It's a great way to pass on some beloved pieces that you're ready to part with... the hub and I still give lots to Goodwill every year, but I rather see one of my girlfriends enjoy one of my old Kate Spade bags, you know? And you also come home with some fun new things! One of my favorite pairs of jeans came from the spring swap I hosted. It's a ton of fun, super easy to do - and you get to go shopping for free! We loves free.

So in the spirit of great style on a dime, tell me about one of your recent bargains. I think my most recent one (which of course is not all that recent) was a belt I bought at Neiman Marcus Last Call. I tried to dig up my post on it, because I'm 95% sure I bragged about it... but anyway, I fell madly in love with the studded belt Carrie donned in several scenes in the Sex and the City movie...


So I stumbled upon the belt rack at Last Call where the sign atop read "75% off lowest ticketed price." Killer, right? Oh but that's not all... above that sign was another: "Additional 25% off." This was completely stupid. So I got a fabulously fabulous $400 studded belt for $27. Yep, that's a hall-of-famer.

4 comments:

Gracie Beth said...

I love the Last Call place, congratulations on your belt!

Jillian, Inc said...

I'm a big fan of using personal shoppers at the big retailers like Neiman, Saks, etc. Doesn't cost a thing and if you really "work with them" they'll snag stuff for you and let you in on good sales. My best buy so far is a $1400 Tahari pant suit for $105. Al la personal shopper. I brought him lots of chocolate.

Kate said...

Great post, great advice :)

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

My local news is running s story tonight about hosting cloting swaps. How funny!