SHOP YOUR CLOSET
If you are in my age group (that’s over 30, ladies) and aren’t diligent about cleaning out your closets, you may have some real gems in there. Shop your closet for the basics first – find jeans, a white button down, a great dress, and some flats. Bonus points if you find a skirt and some accessories like scarves and belts. Maybe you don’t have every item I listed, but think outside the list: what can you substitute?
A great way to challenge yourself and value the items you already have is to do a 7×7 challenge. What’s that, you say? (Now here is where I’m going to lose you forever as a reader:) Audrey at Putting Me Together has the best blog. You like my tips? You will be in love with her blog. A 7×7 challenge is taking 7 pieces and creating 7 outfits from them. The page of hers I’ve linked to has a link to that post and more.
(But please don’t forget about me forever after visiting her awesome blog.)
PARTY AND GET FREE STUFF (or deeply discounted stuff)
Remember how I told you jewelry is a great way to stretch your wardrobe? There are many direct sales jewelry companies that have great hostess benefits. The way it works is you have your friends over to your house (or a restaurant) for a Girls’ Night Out. The jewelry consultant shows you her jewelry. Your friends order a few things. YOU get free jewelry. The end.
With the company I represent, the hostess only pays shipping and taxes on her free jewelry. Your free jewelry total is based on the total sales for your party. On average, hostesses get $150 in jewelry for which they’ll pay less than $20. They also get to choose some items at 50% off but they don’t have to if they don’t want to spend that. I’m assuming other companies work that way, too. I work with Premier Designs, but there are several other direct sales jewelry companies out there and it seems like their popularity varies depending on where in the US you live.
MAKE YOUR CARDS WORK FOR YOU
If you use credit cards, consider getting a store card that gives you rewards. For example, with Gap or Banana Republic, when you use your card you get cash rewards you can redeem in any of their stores (Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic, Athleta). Combine those rewards with their frequent 30% off sales, and you’ve scored a pair of jeans for next to nothing.
GET TO KNOW YOUR MARSHALLS
If you want to buy one or two tops in a trending color, you can do that for less than $30 at Marshalls. Or TJ Maxx. Or maybe even Stein Mart. If you know what colors are “in” (hint: visit the mall and look at the window displays – likely the stores will be using the current colors for the season) you can visit your local discount clothier and pick up a couple shirts in one or two of those colors. Suddenly you look so fashionable but you didn’t spend a lot to do so.
Do you have a great tip for dressing on a budget? What would you splurge on if budget weren’t an issue?