Frugal Fashion for Fall

by Vincent King · 4 comments

Another new season, another freshening up of the wardrobe. You know it’s time to spice up your life again, but you have rent, a car payment, and a new private school tuition that wasn’t there before.

You need creative ways to boost your spirits for the new season.

Changes in Seasons Mean Changes in Wardrobe

Whether you store your seasonal clothes, or shop each season for new digs, you’re likely to go shopping for some, if not all, of your wardrobe needs.

Those semi-annual shopping sprees can either be uppers or downers, and most of that depends on you. If you love shopping, then staying inside your budget — especially when you’ve been looking forward to your “renewal” — can strip the fun from any mall.

Big Wardrobe Wants, Little Budget

Even though you were able to spend a little more on new clothes last year, and maybe even the year before that, it’s simply not possible this year. Without the available funds to shop like you usually do, you run the risk of flying over budget. Overspend this season, and you’ll end up with real problems — both with creditors and your significant other.

As sad as you are to do it, you call your friends and cancel your semi-annual shopping spree.

But you want to shop! And you can, while staying in budget. Sure, you want the tradition of hitting the mall and the food court, and hanging with the girls. You can still do that, with a little modification.

Make It Virtual

Shopping online offers tremendous convenience. Most stores have a site mimicking their brick and mortar stores. But the beauty of online shopping is the ability to shop anywhere in the world, and in the styles and designs you love most.

Tips for Saving:
1. Check different sites for online deals, both for shipping and returns. Many sites offer free return shipping if you’re not satisfied.
2. Know your sizes. If you can, have someone you trust measure you so you know what sizes you’re actually getting. There’s nothing like ordering a 4 when the site you’re ordering from sizes typical 4’s as 2’s!
3. Keep track of what you’re spending in a spreadsheet, so you can stay within an allotted budget.

Buy Used

Don’t count out consignments when shopping for fall fashions on a budget. While they may or may not be brand new, they’re brand new to you, regardless. With a little imagination, you can exit the store looking like a diva — without having to spend like one.

Tips:
1. Look for stains. Don’t waste your hard earned money on something that LOOKS like something someone else has already worn.
2. Keep your eyes peeled for pieces that still have the original price tags on them.
3. Find out when the store gets their new stash, and set your schedule so you can be one of the first to hit it. The early Paris gets the best designer deals.

Use What You’ve Got

Pull out everything you have from the year before and take inventory. What can you salvage? Do you have a skirt you can easily modify to make it more trendy for this year? What about your sweaters? Can you pair them with new pieces for an easy freshening?

Tips:
1. Scarves are a great way to freshen your look each season. With their versatility, you can wear them many ways, adapting your look to each new style.
2. Jackets can turn a simple outfit casual or grand. Change your jacket, change your style.
3. Jewelry is a girl’s best friend when it comes to making the most of your wardrobe budget. From long to short necklaces, or bangles to cuffs, attractive jewelery combinations are endless.
4. If you can’t update your wardrobe each season, you can at least update your shoe rack. Investing in power pieces can give you the biggest bang for your buck.
5. Choose a few seasonal fashion trends to mimic, trying to overlap pieces you can use in more than one style as often as possible. Using the same blouse three ways extends your budget and your fashion savvy.

With a little planning, you can look fabulous — not just frugal — this fall!

What are your favorite budget shopping tips?

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

KM September 24, 2012 at 11:31 am

I carry over many of my clothes from other seasons. For example, the same work dresses that I used in the summer but with warm tights and boots instead of open shoes become perfect for fall. The sweater I wear at work on top of the dress (too much A/C) just doesn’t come off on the way home, and I can also add a jacket if I need to. When it gets really cold, then the same tights can be coupled with dress pants and a warm sweater.

Although I did some major closet cleaning this summer (of things that I didn’t wear often enough or didn’t fit properly), I would never throw away clothes that fit well, look good, and are in good shape just because the season changed. I keep those clothes in the closet while I use drawer tower for what I wear now.

No need to buy anything new here!

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Ashley September 25, 2012 at 5:50 am

Vintage is so in at the moment it’s ridiculous. One of my favorite things is going to a small town with a consignment shop/secondhand shop and getting some REAL vintage ware on the cheap. I’ve even been able to turn it into a little side business and make a bit of extra cash which funds my more ‘mainstream’ clothing purchases!

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Marbella September 27, 2012 at 2:29 am

Be aware that when something on the internet is too cheap compared to store prices are often false or you get no goods that you have paid for.

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laura September 27, 2012 at 8:02 am

There is a consignment shop in west palm beach and on Sundays they have different color tags on clothing. The clothing sells for 0.25 on all clothing and the color is assigned on each Sunday. The line for this shop is around the block. The clothing is lightly used or new and they want to move their inventory since this is a large shop.

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