Ever since Martha Stewart made it OK to brand herself with K-Mart, many Style Gurus have jumped on board trying to become the next “it” designer for large discount retailers.
Isaac Mizrahi has gone from elite fashion designer to the king of sensible style for the masses, all because of his multimillion-dollar success at Target. Patrick Robinson and Proenza Schouler also now design for the retail giant. Even Stella McCartney and Carl Lagerfeld have their own special lines for the clothing chain H&M.
That’s great news for savvy shoppers who want high style at an affordable price! By mixing a few of these frugal fashion finds with some luxury basics, you can get an upscale look for less!
The trick is knowing when to splurge and when to skimp. This is an art. Here are 7 tips to help you do it well:
1. Splurge on a Suit
The basis for any work wardrobe is a suit. Reserve the largest part of your budget for this. The better quality the suit, the better it will make you look and the longer it will last. Choose a suit in a timeless, year-round fabric like wool or wool blend. Pay a lot of attention to cut and fit to look polished and powerful.
2. Skimp on Accessories
One sure way to waste money is to buy expensive accessories to complete a look of the moment. You know, you buy the $300 safari sundress, and then they upsell you $300 safari necklace, $300 safari belt and $ 300 scarf to match. And next season that style is out. Accessories are very important to finish a look, but you need to be careful. It’s o.k. to pay a little more for a belt for jeans you wear all the time but don’t throw your money out the window for an expensive belt that has a short style life.
3. Splurge on the Important Basics
Skimp on cute, colorful t-shirts, and trendy casual fun tops and sweaters from designer budget lines at places like H&M but ……… Splurge on a great classic shirt, a beautiful cashmere sweater and one great white stretch T, even it means paying a higher price. The latter are investment pieces. You know the rule, figure out how much something costs and divide it by the number of times you will wear it to get the cost per wear. This should determine how much you are willing to pay.
4. Skimp on Casual Shoes
Unless they are shoes for work (which need to be the best quality you can find) shoes, do not need to be expensive. Be on the lookout for seasonal sales at stores like Sacs, Neiman’s and Nordstrom for deals on high-end designer shoes like Gucci that you don’t want pay top top dollar for. Visit the outlet stores and pop into discount stores like Marshalls like TJ Max for bargains on top name brands. Go often to get the best offerings instead of waiting until you need a pair of shoes and are forced to pay full price somewhere else. Try not to be shoe snob. Let’s face it if you are just running around on the weekends, you don’t need to be wearing a pair of expensive shoes. Target has some fabulous shoes at great prices that will work great for this sort of thing. Save your money for shoes when it is going to matter.
5. Skimp on Jeans
Many women buy pricey jeans because they want to be wearing the label of the moment. Wrong! What’s more important is to find a pair of jeans that fit you perfectly, regardless of price. Get over the label thing and keep shopping until you find the perfect pair. Remember no one will be looking at your label if they’re looking at your fabulous figure in these perfectly fitting jeans.
6. Splurge on a Purse
Like it or not purses has become a statement of who you are and what you stand for. A good quality bag says volumes… Keep your eyes peeled for sales and remembered if you are going to spend a few hundred dollars on a quality purse choose one that is classic. Black, taupe, and cream are better choices than trendy colors like mustard or orange. Look for simple, timeless details that will stand the test of time and give you your money’s worth. Better one good bag than several cheap ones.
7. Skimp on Lingerie
In general, no need to spend full price, unless you are hard to fit. Better to spend less and buy more often to keep your lingerie looking and feeling fresh. Beautiful, good quality Camisoles, bras, and panties are everywhere at great prices. It’s always nice however to have one decadently luxurious bra, and panty tucked away for special days.