So with school being out, I’ve found that I have a little more time to clean and keep our apartment in order. In the midst of all this cleaning, I realized that I have SO many clothes to get rid of that I don’t wear anymore. Recently, I went to Plato’s closet and sold back almost every piece of Abercrombie, Hollister, and American Eagle clothing that I had in my closet (with the exception of jeans). Obviously, Dalton was extremely happy about this for the obvious reasons, and I actually felt relieved to have some more space in my closet. I also felt good to get rid of that “high school” me that was lurking in my closet for almost 4 years now. Getting rid of the clothes was just another way of showing that I was growing up. I’m now filling my closet with more cardigan sweaters, just-above-the-knee length skirts, bright and colorful scarves (my recent addiction), non-cleavage bearing tops, and button downs that actually fit. It’s new, and I’m getting used to it, but I definitely like the change.
I definitely stuck with my new year’s resolution (2010) of wearing more dresses this year, and I’m sure that has helped the recent fashion change, mainly because the dresses I’ve been getting have to be work appropriate (since I don’t go out much and am in no need of party dresses). Dalton has had some influence on me too, especially since he’s always dressed so nicely, usually a pair of khakis, a brightly colored oxford, and some loafers (like myself, he hasn’t always been this way contrary to popular belief, but that’s another topic altogether).
The problem I’m finding with making this huge wardrobe change is price! Vineyard Vines, Lilly Pulitzer, Brooks Brothers, and other “preppy” brands do not come cheap. However, because I’m such a bargain hunter, I have managed to find pretty good deals from each of these brands and more. I wanted to start a fashion blog, specifically one where I could advise people of how to find good bargains on great clothing how I’ve been doing. I figured I’d share a couple tips of my own here:
1. Get an eBay account now! Doing so is free of charge, and you’d be surprised to find the kinds of things you can get for amazing prices. I usually only buy from top-rated sellers who have items available as “Buy It Now” instead of having a bidding war with another user… much easier this way. Some retailers, like Brooks Brothers, actually have factory stores via eBay so you can get great clothing at a discounted price. eBay also lets you create a profile where you can always search by your sizes for tops, pants, belts, and shoes.
2. Sign up to receive emails from your favorite retailers. This can get annoying sometimes, especially if your emails get sent to your phone like mine do, but you’d be surprised at how many deals you can come across this way. Most of these deals may be exclusively online-only, but they still include pretty generous discounts. If you’re lucky, you’ll even find one for free shipping! If you’re afraid to shop online using a credit card, one of the most secure ways to do it is to make sure that the web address while you’re at the payment site has an “s” next to the http (https://). The S stands for secure connection.
3. Visit outlet malls and discount stores like TJ Maxx and Marshall’s. I received some gift cards from TJ Maxx this holiday season and I was truly thankful. Why? Because I got several things ON SALE! For example: A navy blue Lilly Pulitzer cardigan, regular price: $198, sale price: $23. A French Connection sweater, regular price $88, sale price: $13. A B. Makowski leather wallet, regular price $98, sale price: $39. This just proves that you can look great and shop your favorite name brands without having to spend a fortune. Especially when you’re on a college budget.
4. Be prepared to spend some time looking. The reason half the time people miss a good deal is because they’re too impatient to actually look through a full clearance rack because it looks daunting. DO IT! Doing so does not take as long as you think, and you’ll be thankful when you’ve found that Judith March dress marked down 40% from the original price.
5. Balance out your purchases. By this I mean the following (assume your budget in this scenario is between $50 and $60 and you are looking for two items in the store, a sweater and a handbag): If you found a sweater on sale for $13, don’t be afraid to up your budget for a nice bag from $20 to $40. Paying more, in most cases, usually means better quality. Splurge a little. After all, you must reward yourself for finding such a great sale on that sweater!
6. Do not compromise your own style/budget JUST because something is on sale. This is always a no-no. If I see something on sale that is super cheap but does not fit my style, I move on. Don’t succumb to the powers of the reduced prices! Also, if your budget for a shopping trip is $100, keep it at that. Now granted, I need to learn how to take my own advice on this one, haha, but I never go TOO much over. Maybe about $10-$15 is what I’ll usually end up going over by… I’ll add this to my list of resolutions for the new year. 🙂
Follow these trips, and you will certainly improve your shopping skills (if you don’t do this already). They can certainly help you save some money in the new year, especially with all of these end-of-year clearance sales! Happy Shopping!