Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Looking Chic for Cheap

Looking Chic for Cheap!

When you feel bored with your wardrobe, and stuck because you show up to school or work in the same outfit everyday, you’re not alone.  As a student, it can be hard to keep up with today’s fashionable trends.   The cost of living, as well as school expenses, can be rough on our wallets—our part-time job paychecks can only cover so much.  Luckily, there are simple ways to fix this problem.  Read on to find out how to dress fab on a budget!

1.    Trends don’t have to cost a fortune

Just because right now you can’t afford those Isabel Marant heeled sneakers or that Margiela jersey dress does not mean you can’t get the look for less elsewhere.  Many stores, such as H&M, Zara and Topshop, sell their own version of current styles at affordable prices (think, $40.00 for a jersey-style T-shirt instead of $700).   Flip open any fashion magazine to get an idea of which styles you want to wear, then look for similar options at inexpensive stores.   Also, many style magazines usually suggest where to find looks for less, from regular retail stores to fab shopping websites!

2.    Invest, invest, invest!

If there is a style you absolutely love and know you will wear forever, this could be your “investment piece”.  Usually an investment piece is practical and well made.  This could be a great pair of leather boots, or a versatile bag.  Try not to invest in clothes or accessories that will go out of style or can’t be worn often.  A pair of good quality faux leather leggings are a great staple that can be worn forever (even on a daily basis), and can be dressed up or down.  However, a piece more “obvious”, such as a Givenchy graphic T-shirt, might not get as much wear.  When choosing an investment piece, go simple.  Simple styles are much harder to get bored of, and can be worn regularly.  Think of a plain black cocktail dress, a pair of jeans that fit like a glove, or a stylish leather jacket.  Most staple pieces can be worn as a day look, and convert into a night look with the right accessories!

3.    Thrift it

“I’m gonna pop some tags, only got twenty dollars in my pocket.” Rapper Macklemore certainly said it best in his popular tune, “Thrift Shop”.  You might not believe it, but a lot of today’s styles can actually be found at your local thrift store!  For example, plaid is back in.  You could pay $50 for a plaid shirt from trendy stores such as Aritzia or Urban Outfitters, but you are also most likely to always find one at Value Village or Goodwill.  And, a fabulous thrift store find is much more interesting to talk about! 
TIP:  if you are a small girl, check the kids’ section.  Some of my favourite plaid shirts were found in the boys’ section, and fit perfectly!  I have also found some great graphic T-shirts, button-ups and jerseys—all of which are in style this season!

4.    Have a “go-to”

While it is fun to dress up everyday, sometimes we feel lazy or too tired to put effort into our outfits. It might seem tempting to reach for those comfy sweat pants, but don’t! This is why a go-to outfit is crucial.  You can put on an effortless outfit, and be comfortable while still looking fab.  On a lazy day, I usually throw on my faux leather leggings (my investment piece), a plain white T-shirt, a plaid or denim button-up worn regularly or tied around my waist, and white converse slip-ons.  This outfit makes me seem put-together and caught up with the trends, but it is completely effortless!  Other times I’ll replace the T-shirt with a drape-y, long-sleeved V-neck.   Usually a go-to outfit is simple, yet still chic.  Try to create your own go-to outfit using the following: dark denim or black leggings, a plain shirt, an over-layer such as a blazer, plaid or denim button-up, and slip-on sneakers, flats or loafers.  Add some accessories and you’re set!

Now that you know how to dress on a budget, get planning! Dig through your wardrobe and find pieces that you can incorporate into your outfits.  A lot of fashion is recycling old looks—you might find something from a few seasons ago that you can wear again.  Check stores that are within your price range to find the styles that you want.  You don’t need to be a big spender to look like a million bucks—follow these tips and turn heads this season in your trendy new wardrobe.

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