What to wear today? Always such a struggle, especially at 6:45 AM. I pulled out a mint pocket tee and paired it with a comfy A-line stretch skirt, threw on flats that didn’t quite match (it was dark!) and headed to the office. I was partway through my day when I realized three things: everything I was wearing I had already owned for 1-3 years, I had paid next to nothing for them, and the whole ensemble was comfortable and fabulous. The top I’d bought several years ago on discount, the skirt was a clearance item and the shoes I’d bought at DSW. I’d passed up tons of more expensive items in my closet that day for this old, dirt cheap outfit, which has become one of my favorites. It proved to me once again that what matters is not how much you spend on your outfits, but what you buy.
Shopping Tips for Getting a Quality Wardrobe on a Bargain Budget
Here are my shopping tips for making the most of your wardrobe dollars, at any price point:
1. Fabric. Is it a good quality fabric? Does it feel soft and durable in your hands? Does it look like it will keep its shape through many washings? My favorite fabrics are non-itchy wool, cashmere, silk, rayon, modal, tencel and cotton. If it’s poly or acrylic it’s probably going back on the shelf (unless it’s really, really cute).
2. Fit. Does it flatter your figure? If it makes you uncomfortable or self-conscious about your flaws, put it back. There’s something better for you out there and trust me, your time is worth too much to spend it adjusting your clothes and not feeling like a hottie.
3. Comfort. Are you happy wearing it, or can you not wait to take it off? Try running, jumping, and squatting in the dressing room to make sure you’re comfortable in it before you buy.
4. Color. Does the color make you look pale (bad) or vibrant and healthy (obviously good)?
5. Timelessness. Is it a trendy pattern or cut, or one that will stand the test of time? It’s totally fine to spring for fun, trendy pieces that will only be here for a season, but I try to spend less on these as I know they will need to be replaced soon.
I hope these tips inspire you to wear what’s best for you, not just what’s expensive and trendy.