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Style on a Budget – revisited

I’ve been blogging for years. This is one one of my last posts from my previous blog about great vintage style on a budget which still rings true. Also…scroll down to see pics of my long black hair!! haha!

 

I often get complimented on my outfits and my style. I take great pride in the fact that I am able to look stylish and put together for next to nothing.

You don’t have to spend tons of money to have great style – no matter what your style is. I work in theatre and despite the fact that I have a very enviable wardrobe, in reality I have a very limited budget for clothes. About 85% of my wardrobe is bought second hand, either from a thrift store, Etsy or a local vintage shop. 75-80% of what I buy second hand is cheaper than you would pay for a similar item at the mall.  The other 15% of what I buy is new and about 5% of that is expensive investment pieces or something special I can’t live without.

Looking great on a budget is about having an intimate knowledge about your personal style. This is key to finding killer second hand pieces that fit seamlessly into your wardrobe. . It’s taken a lot of trial and error, but I now know what I like and over the years have come to know what will be worth spending money on for my wardrobe- whether it’s $5 or $500.

If you’re still figuring out what your personal style is start a Pintrest board with looks that inspire you  (or go old school and rip out pages from a magazine and tape them to your wall) . What do they have in common? Go shopping and find similar pieces.
Now is the time to experiment and thrift shopping for your wardrobe is a great way to test out a look with little investment. Make mistakes and take risks in your wardrobe. It’s just fashion, not brain surgery. But no matter what, wear what makes you feel amazing. No matter how much you paid for what you have on your body that feeling will shine through and make you look incredible. Confidence is the best accessory (did I just write that?! how cheesy..lol). But seriously. It’s true.

I’m a huge advocate for second hand shopping, but the key to having style is to mix it up and pair thrifted items with new ones. Retailers like Joe Fresh, Forever 21, Zara, Winners and Marshals all offer great clothes at incredible prices.

Accessories. Invest in them. The right accessories – new or second hand – can elevate an outfit instantaneously.

If you are going to spend money on anything in your closet, make it a great, functional purse you can use every day of the year that matches most of your wardrobe. I bought mine at Winners for $150 a year and a half ago. It’s Italian leather, I still love it and I use it often, it still looks like new (update: I wrote this post in 2014. I have a new go to bag these days, but I still have this purse and it’s still in great shape). Worth every penny. Here it is:

Please don’t forget about hair and makeup. This is the icing on the cake of your look. Learn how to do your hair and apply makeup in a way that makes you look and feel amazing. I am a firm believer that great hair and makeup and some eye-catching accessories can elevate jeans and a t-shirt into something you could wear anywhere these days.

Here are a couple of outfits from past posts with a mix of thrifted and new items. I’ve broken down what I paid for each item and where I got them.

This is a great fall look. I wore it out to run errands, but it could easily translate to an office setting, or a date. The sweater is cashmere from Club Monaco, but I found it at a thrift store. The skirt is vintage. It’s is wool and is lined. I always look for luxe fabrics in good shape when shopping second hand.

Sweater: $7 @ thrift store

Flower Brooch: $1 @ a sample sale

Belt: $10 @ retailer

Skirt: $5 @ thrift store

Shoes: $20 @ retailer

OUTFIT TOTAL: $43

 

Here is a summer look that I love. The dress is vintage. I bought it on a sale rack at a vintage shop because there were a few popped seams here and there. Nothing my sewing machine couldn’t fix. The bag was a bargain at a thrift shop on a sale day. It was also in need of some love. I had to stitch one side of it back together with some twine. Good as new. I’m pretty handy with a needle and thread, so I’m never afraid to take home something which needs a bit of work. Experience has taught me what I can fix and what I can’t.

Vintage Dress: $15 @ vintage shop

Flower Brooch: $1 @ thrift store

Belt: came with another dress

Bag: 50 cents @ thrift store

Shoes: $9 @ thrift store

OUTFIT TOTAL: $25.50

 

And a winter look. The coat was a thrift store purchase. The leopard print skinnies were from a retailer. I watched them diligently until they went on sale and snapped them up from their online store.

Beret: $4 @ thrift store

Scarf: $10 @ retailer

Coat: $17 @ thrift store

Leather Gloves: free – a gift

Pants: $20 @ online retailer

Boots: $20 @ retailer

Purse: $7 @ thrift store

OUTFIT TOTAL: $78

 

AND Here are two articles I love with some great advice on style:

Hope you enjoyed this article! I still prescribe to this advice as much today as when I wrote it 4 years ago. Stay tuned, I’ve got many more old blog posts in the vault and I’ll be sharing them here with you from time to time. 

 

Love, Evie. xo

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Evie Assault