Friday, June 5, 2009

Budget cuts

We're ALL aware that our economy is in a bit of a slump. And yes, like others, I am more observant and conservative about how I spend my money. BUT...I still shop. I think spending is how we are going to jump start our economy. However, for now, I feel that how I spend my money really matters. I am going to shop, but I want to shop in a way that is going to give me more "bang for my buck"!

Here are a few tips on how to get the most return on your fashion investments.

1. Buy key pieces: If your budget allows you to have designer goods from head to toe, that's great. But if it doesn't, I recommend putting your money into 3 categories:
a. Handbag: The initial investment on a handbag can be pricey -- but think about it. It's something you use EVERYDAY! A handbag makes a statement about you and your personal style. Best of all it's not a seasonal purchase -- it won't go out of style. If you get tired of it, sell it on ebay or craigslist. You can recoup some of the initial money you invested and reinvest it into to a new one!
b. Shoes: This is another category that you can wear daily. Well made, well designed shoes
should be worn and re-worn as much as possible. You may not be able to wear the same dress 4 times a week, but that rule does not apply to shoes. And when they start to wear out, you can polish and resole your shoes and BAM, they look brand new!
c. Coat: Here is another piece that will stand the test of time. It's a finishing piece to your outfit. Again, it's not really a trend piece so it can live in your closet for years. Whether you pick a trench, a coat in a basic black or even one in a fashion color, your coat is also a statement piece that can be worn over and over.

These are investments pieces. Money well spent. The best thing is that when you spend extra in these categories you can fudge everything in between.

2. Buy things that can be worn in multiple ways: Look for garments that can offer you 2 looks for the price of one. When buying a top/blouse, make sure it can be worn with trousers for a more sophisticated evening look or worn with denim for a more casual look. Shop for dresses that are versatile enough to be worn with flats during the day and with heels in the evening.

3. Accessorize: In this economy, it might be a good time to spend money on accessories such as jewelry, belts, scarves etc. Focus on basic clothing that can be reinvented by mixing interesting jewelry and accessories. This is a sure fire way to bring life to your basics. You can continue to reinvent an outfit by mixing up your accessories.

4. If a garment does not serve an immediate need in your closet, don't buy it. Buy things that you can wear today. Gone are the days of buying and saving clothes for an occasion that MIGHT pop up on your social calendar. Shop for clothes that either fill an immediate void in your wardrobe or that you love so much you will wear it the next day. If you don't have a pending cocktail event, then you may want to pass on buying a sequin dress, even if it is on sale.

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