Today we’ve got a guest post from the ever lovely, Holly Watson. She’s a full time student and TA studying towards her Doctorate in literature and writing. She is an avid runner, blogger and fashionista who enjoys sharing her experiences and faith.
I grew up in a large family, and was taught the importance of frugality at an early age. I am never embarrassed to seek out deals, hunt for and use coupons, or pinch pennies! As a grad student, money is scarce. Due to my thriftiness, however, I am able to live a fairly comfortable life and do not worry about money as often as my friends. Staci’s blog is awesome because it brings all sorts of money-saving ideas into one place.
In these financially challenging times, it is difficult to afford keeping up with fashion trends. After all, there are more important things to worry about – food, gas, rent – and buying new clothes often slips to the end of the queue. However, I am here to tell you that it is not only possible to have a fully stocked closet, but a lot easier and less expensive than you might think.
Frugal Fashion with Holly
Throw out the One Year Rule
Many adhere to the One Year Rule: if you haven’t worn something in the last year, get rid of it to make space for something new. With rising costs, this rule is silly. Rather than ridding yourself of old clothes, find ways to make them fresh and new. Mix and match items that you wouldn’t normally, and accessorize in new ways. Bangles and belts can liven up an outfit, or you can add a scarf for a splash of color.
A Penny Saved Is a Penny Earned
Benjamin Franklin had it right with this one! Shop at secondhand and consignment stores, or scour the sales and clearance racks. You will frequently find current fashions at prices that will surprise you. You can save hundreds of dollars this way, which means more money in the bank for important expenses. As a bonus, you won’t feel the requisite guilt that comes with a shopping spree…or at least to a lesser degree.
Out with the Old
If you have clothing that you know you will never wear again, offer to swap with friends or family members who also want to spruce up their wardrobes. You can arrange an annual or semi-annual swap, and this can provide regular opportunities to expand your wardrobe. Additionally, you can sell your old clothes to consignment shops, or donate them to secondhand store (donations can be written off on your taxes); either of these are win-win situations, as you are not only cleaning out your closet, but making money, too.
Ain’t too Proud to Beg
Always, always, always accept hand-me-downs, even if it’s not something you would normally wear. Your tastes may change, or you can swap them later for something that is more to your liking. There has been more than one occasion when I have accepted a bag of free clothes, only to discover a few months down the road that contained therein is the perfect top or pair of pants to complete an outfit.
More Is Not Always Better
It really isn’t necessary to have an enormous wardrobe. It is possible to have a limited wardrobe that is so versatile that you never wear the same outfit twice. When shopping for clothing, choose quality over quantity (even when shopping secondhand), and purchase items that you know will go with items already in your closet. Avoid impulse shopping and only buy what you know you need and will use.
I hope that this article was helpful to all of you frugal fashionistas out there. It really is possible to be stylish and well-dressed on a shoestring budget, and once you start, you will quickly become addicted to saving money and watching your wardrobe take shape. Happy hunting!