By Leslie Gonzales
If you are like me, you want to look good but not break the bank. Money can only stretch so far, and lately it seems it is even harder to extend with costs rising on everything we purchase. There is never enough money left at the end of the month to spend on your wardrobe — especially if you are trying to stay on a budget!
So how do you stay stylish on a budget? One thing for sure, the fashion magazines aren’t any help. I always get a good laugh when I read the fashion magazines. They show fabulous “must haves” to add to your wardrobe. The clothes are what they recommend we should run out and buy…NOW! Then — here’s the real kicker — a good-looking pair of black pants for $900! Are they mad?! I don’t think that unrealistic price fits into anyone’s budget!
Since we do not have the bank rolls of Paris Hilton or Jennifer Aniston, real dollar-stretching ideas for style are essential. I have put together some realistic style ideas and tips so you can look great and keep your beauty on a budget!
1. Shop the seasonal sales. I can’t stress this idea enough! You may not get lots of wear out the clothes right now, but you can really save on jackets, sweaters or tank tops and sundresses — whatever is on the rack at the end-of-season sales. Stock up for next year! Do this every season and you will always be ahead.
2. Splurge on a nice purse or shoes. Buy quality shoes or a purse and make any outfit look really chic!
3. Avoid impulse shopping. Do a closet purge and be sure you buy only what is on your basics list — the $20 blouse is not a deal if you have nothing to wear with it.
4. Buy in-house brands. Try the brands from the department store. Often they copy famous designers’ styles — but you will save a lot of money.
5. Get your hair styled. By keeping your hair looking current, you look younger and more fashionable — no matter what you are wearing!
6. Keep it neat. Make sure that your clothes are neat and clean. Iron if necessary, because people really do notice the difference. “Scruffy” does not equal style!
7. Keep a keen eye on sales. You never know where you might find a great deal. Don’t always shop at the same store. Look in different places like vintage shops, thrift stores, consignment shops or clearance centers. You may find something really different and unique by going off the beaten path.
8. Shop online. Many Web sites offer specials online that can not be found in the stores. Plus Web sites are now keeping shipping costs down, making it more affordable to shop online.
9. Make sure clothes are right for your body type. Don’t waste hard-earned money on clothes that are not right for you. Be sure that you make the most of your body type and dress it with the right fit.
10. Try jewelry and accessories to update your style. A new inexpensive piece of jewelry can sometimes make all the difference in the world! Don’t knock it, if you haven’t tried it!
11. Keep fit. You always look better if you keep your body in shape. Exercise regularly and take care of yourself — your clothes will fit you better.
Now that you are prepared with some great tips to stretch your money, you can be a budding fashionista! Get shopping, girlfriend!