For many of us that are style obsessed, those last couple of days before our paychecks roll through can be some bleak, bleak times. The way the world works, it always seems like the best sales happen during those last-ten-dollars-in-my-pocket days. One moment you find yourself innocently walking to your train, concentrating on weaving between the crowds and getting back home from work to your bottle of wine, and the next you’re hit with window after window of red signs and slashed prices. Pressing your nose up against the glass, you sigh defeatedly.
The woes of being broke. You could have given those clothes a good home.
But the nice thing is that another payday is always around the corner. You run into some real problems- sartorially wise- when you think you need a lot of those paychecks to look good. Sometimes a girl has to choose between buying those boots and buying that loaf of bread (er, box of cheesecake?) and more times than not the food wins. But the good thing is, you need very little to be stylish!
Style is a reflection of the woman, not the wallet. If you have confidence and a sharp eye, you can make that ten dollar clearance rack look like a sample sale at Barney’s. To convince you, here are seven reasons that prove a girl doesn’t need a lot of money to have a lot of style:
1. You Know Where To Find The Cheaper Version
You remember that day where you were looking for a coffee shop in downtown, took a wrong turn, and- oops- now you’re somehow standing in the middle of J Crew. And in the non-sale section no less. Girl, hold those purse strings tight because a good portion of the rent might be persuaded out of it.
But see, you’re a smart woman. Sure, that striped cardigan is adorable and would look like a dream (a dream I tell you!) with your chambray dress. But it’s also $80 and you really should go now and find that coffee shop. You leave confidently, knowing that- and this is the important part- you can find a similar one like it for a fraction of the price in another store. Hit the sales racks at department stores, shuffle through your fast fashion favorites, do some impressive online shopping- whatever your means, you know you can find the “save” version to your “splurge”.
2. You’re Patient Enough To Wait For The Sale
Take what Nanny Fran Fine drilled into our heads since childhood: Never. Buy. Retail. I mean you can, but don’t come to me with your tears when you see that the dress went down half the price a week later. Exercise your will power and wait for that monthly sale section to get updated.
3. OK Fine, You’re Not Patient But You Know How To Clip A Mean Coupon
Alright, sometimes it’s too much of a risk to walk away from a great pair of shoes or a pair of jeans that make your butt look like God’s gift to the world. So you’re just going to bite the price tag. But first, you want to put up a bit of a fight. You do so by scrolling around online and seeing if your store has any coupons for the month. Sometimes you’ll be pleasantly surprised with what you could save.
4. You Know How To Buy Cheap, But Expect Quality
There isn’t a thing wrong with a $20 shirt, especially when said-shirt will hold up through more washes than your pricier Nordstrom purchases. There shouldn’t be any qualms about shopping in places like Target or Forever 21, especially if you know what small details to look out for that will make or break the purchase. Make sure the fabric is promising, the stitching isn’t unraveling, and that it’s not something that could easily pilfer, stretch out, or wear and tear. You tick those boxes off and no one will know you snagged that sweater in a buy-one-get-one-free-ninety-percent-off-sale.
5. You Have Discovered The Power Of Thrift Stores
No, don’t cringe! Sure there are some questionable crochet sweaters and ‘80s dresses behind those sliding, charity shop doors, but there are also a bunch of pretty pieces. Think of all the perfectly gorgeous dresses, shorts, and purses you donated just because you were in the mood for a change. Now to score really big, the trick is to go thrifting in wealthier neighborhoods. That way you can snap up that Kors and Donna K for a price that’s less than your weekly frozen yogurt splurge.
6. You’ve Found Yourself A Great Tailor
Sometimes you find something at a sale or the thrift store with a lot of potential but the sizing is just off. It might be a smidge too big, a skosh too baggy, or a bit too long. If the price is low enough, you know that it’s worth to buy it at a steal and then spend a little more to get it tailored. Hems can easily be taken in, pants can easily be made tighter or shorter, and sleeves can be taken in or cut off all together. Whatever the alteration, you know you can adjust the piece to your liking and have something that cost you mere dollars look like a hundred bucks.
7. You Have A Keen Eye For Remixing
Instead of heading out to the stores, why don’t you go a different route and shop inside of your own closet instead? Understanding how to layer and how to mix and match the pieces you already have will literally triple the size of your closet. You can turn a dress into a top by just pairing it with a skirt, or you can breathe new life into a sleeveless shift by popping a collared shirt underneath. You can also change the mood of a piece by varying what you usually pair it with, like dressing up a pair of sweatpants with your favorite strappy heels, or deconstructing a flirty day dress by matching it with sneakers. The possibilities are endless, and quite impressive.
Don’t know where to start? Begin by doing your research: Hit Pinterest and create a style board that saves your favorite layered outfits, and follow inventive bloggers or Instagramers. There’s inspiration from women everywhere; join in!