Looking Well-dressed For Less

Discussion in Fashion & Apparel started by LeopardJones • Apr 11, 2015.

  1. LeopardJones

    LeopardJonesActive Member

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    I’m the kind of person who loves to dress well, but I don’t have a huge clothing budget. Over the years, I’ve picked up a few strategies for shopping at places like Forever21 and Target without anyone being able to guess where I bought my clothing. Along with scouring clearance racks, knowing when the best sales happen, and using coupons, I’ve found it important to know what to look for.

    • If shopping in-store, always try things on and check how they fit. It’s time-consuming, but it’ll save you from making a potentially hasty purchase and having to return it later on.
    • Fabrics and textures play a key role. Stick to natural fabrics as often as possible, and keep the shine to a minimum. If you’re going synthetic, look for materials that look and feel more like natural fibers. I’m a fan of rayon/viscose. Also try to look for a bit of structure in your outerwear. Generally, if you can ball a garment up in your hands and it returns to its original shape, it’s a keeper.
    • Teen accessory stores can be fantastic for finding jewelry that looks like it came from elsewhere. I have an enameled owl ring from Claire’s that people have mistaken for a family heirloom. Just avoid anything plastic, or anything with fake gems, and you’re good.

    That said, I’m always on the hunt for more tips and tricks. If you have any, I’d love to hear them.
     
  2. Brenda Barnousky

    Brenda BarnouskyActive Member

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    I like the tip about the jewelry. Claire's does have some nice inexpensive things that look much costlier than they are. As far as clothes are concerned, I love to shop in consignment stores, and "better" thrift stores. You can find really stylish pieces, and build an entire wardrobe around them. The fabrics are often much more upscale than you will find in retail stores, for a fraction of the cost.
     
  3. LeopardJones

    LeopardJonesActive Member

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    Ah yes, consignment and higher-end thrift stores are wonderful places indeed. I live in a small town without many of those options, though. It’s a dream of mine to score an amazing piece from a consignment shop, but I think I’d have to drive at least 70 miles to get to the nearest decent one. Sometimes I’ll get lucky and find something nice at the Salvation Army or Goodwill, though this is rare.

    My colleague and I were actually just talking about shopping at yard sales. A few years back, I had a DJ friend who constantly needed to update her wardrobe to keep things fresh. Going to yard sales was a huge source of new clothing for her. We went on a few yard sale trips together, and I managed to score a couple of great finds for super cheap.
     
  4. tangela

    tangelaActive Member

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    It also doesn't hurt to look in thrift stores too. It really depends on what event you're looking for, like if you wanted to go to a fancy cocktail party I wouldn't get it at a thrift store and would actually splurge (because it's something I can wear again), but if it's everyday clothes I would consider getting it at thrift stores.

    The only thing about thrift stores is that it is a LOT of luck and patience; a hit or a miss. You either find a ton of things you love or you can re-make into something you love, or you walk away empty handed.

    And with thrift stores you would have to go often because their turn-over rate is so high, so if you see something you like you better grab it now before it's gone for good!
     
  5. missbishi

    missbishiWell-Known Member

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    Making sure that your clothes are clean, ironed and mended of needed also helps. Snip off any loose threads nad reinforce buttons by adding a small dab of clear nail varnish to the reverse.

    Nothing looks worse than clothes that are grubby or unironed. I would say that it's better to have cheap, but well laundered clothes than expensive pieces that are all crumpled.
     
  6. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25Active Member

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    I love shopping at Forever 21. :);) Their clothes are very affordable, not to mention really trendy and the quality is not that bad as well.

    To be able to save more money, I now prefer online shopping because they always give you discount, vouchers, and amazing freebies. They also often go on sale.
     
  7. LeopardJones

    LeopardJonesActive Member

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    Confession: There actually isn’t a Forever21 where I live, can you believe that? I have ordered online from them before, plus there’s a similar local shop where I’ve been shopping for years. Good stuff. And online sales and discounts are indeed another great resource. I was so happy when H&M finally made online shopping available to the United States, haha.

    I completely agree about well-laundered clothes, too. I used to hand-wash a lot of my clothes, and since it’s gentler on the fabric, I think it’s kept some things in better condition than if I’d tossed them in the washing machine all the time. I still hand-wash a few things, like anything white that can’t be bleached. Ironing can be a bit of a hassle, but it’s worth it when something comes out nice and unwrinkled.
     
  8. xTinx

    xTinxWell-Known Member

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    I just rummage through mall sales or flea markets to find chic but affordable clothes. Two weeks ago, I went to the flea market and bought two retail dresses (they'd be cheaper had I bought them wholesale). One dress cost $6 while the other was around $7.50. They were that affordable. I even managed to buy two more sandals, each of which cost not more than $3.
     
  9. Denis Hard

    Denis HardWell-Known Member

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    Accessories can make a huge difference — make you look well-dressed without spending too much cash. While obviously someone may tell that the material of clothes you are wearing is cheap, accessories can make even the shabbiest of outfits look much better. And the good thing is they are usually cheaper.
     
  10. Lushlala

    LushlalaWell-Known Member

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    I'm also a very avid shopper, and try to mix high end and much lower priced but good quality stuff. I find that places like H&M and New Look may not sell the most expensive stuff, but if you look hard enough and carefully, you can find some gems. But I reserve those stores for my basics like T-shirts, lounge wear, casuals and leggings. I feel that I can get away with those being less pricey.

    However, I like a good blazer that will stand the test of time, and last me season after season. The same goes for some jeans, shoes, coats and dresses. Those can be paired with some basic stuff, combining to make the overall feel of the outfit seem classier and less cheap.

    I also don't blindly shop for fashion items as fashion comes and goes like a flash in the pan. I prefer classic looks, well tailored pieces.
     
  11. LeopardJones

    LeopardJonesActive Member

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    Definitely agree on erring more classic. The inexpensive stuff I’ve kept over the years has rarely been the trendy stuff, unless I was a big fan of a particular trend. More classic-looking items also tend to pair better with higher-end items. Trendy items are fun to spice things up once in a while, but I've found they rarely stick around for long in my wardrobe.

    Accessorizing is key as well, I like to go into a shop and find the most expensive-looking thing for the best price. Which I suppose sums up my entire style in a nutshell, “expensive on the cheap.”
     
  12. keytcee

    keytceeMember

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    I found that accessorizing is a huge life saver. I don’t have a lot of clothes from branded stores but people don’t really notice that because of the accessories I wear. Accessories can really make you stand out and can also take some of the attention off your clothes. There are so much accessories I find at thrift stores that look vintage and can also pass as really expensive so I spend a lot on those as well.

    I think it’s also important that you carry your clothes well. Sure it isn’t branded or high end but people won’t know that if you wear it comfortably and confidently. I make it a point to rock whatever I’m wearing even if it’s a just really old thrift store find.
     
  13. Jannnnjan

    JannnnjanActive Member

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    It is worth spending more on an outer garment like a jacket or coat which is going to last you a few years and then wearing cheaper garments underneath. People notice the coat and then assume the rest is similar. One expensive item as part of an outfit will take the attention off cheaper clothes. I like to wear an expensive scarf over a cheap t shirt and leggings. People will comment on the scarf and think the rest is the same.
     
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