How many times have you surfed fashion blogs, and while you really love the style, you know that the cost to wear the designer look portrayed will mean nothing short of sacrificing the roof over your head? And even if you didn’t buy designer, shopping at the turn-over-rate the consumer industry wants would still mean that you’ll be one sexy homeless person with 11 brand cards in-hand and an empty gas tank in your car that doubles as your new apartment. (But at least, you’ll have many fashionable silk scarves to decorate it with!) That is a lot of risk, unless you are part of the 2% of the population that this doesn’t effect.
Coming into to my own, along with my thrifting side-hobby, ULTRA budget conscience shopping quickly became by personal fashion opportunity to develop a personal sense of style different from what I had known, while also having an outlet for design that could reference today’s trends with as much thrift and budget shopping as possible. Is that limiting? Certainly. But boundaries force people to consider how to break them. If it’s not the traditional way, then the alternative must be discovered!
A Thrifty Suggestion
It took time figuring out my thrift shop approach. (It is not as easy as just walking into a store, seeing something you like on a mani or table, and buying it.) The best advice is: give clothing a chance. What looks wack on the rack, may rock-out on your body. Look for clothing that have a nice hand (feel) to it. Touch every piece and allow the process to be a multi-sensory experience (maybe not smell…). This approach definitely contributes to discovering my best finds.
Keeping A Focus
Do you find yourself desiring designer pieces? Ask yourself: what element of that piece do I really like? What is speaking to you? Is the texture of the garment, the cut, print, the style genre …? Utilize your answer to provide your focus when thrifting. You may not always discover that one piece you spotted on the run way or in the high-end store. But learning what about fashion that strikes a chord within you is what will help you reach your personal style, without looking like a brand billboard for one particular store or style or having to sacrifice all of your dollars to achieve it.
Old Clothes; New Concepts
Utilize clothes and accessories in a new way. Think outside of the box with color and texture. A 2x will be a perfect oversized cardigan on a small frame. A large interesting scarf can be layered over your clothing and belted or simply tied into a top! If you love a garment, but it’s too big, consider getting it altered. Repair special clothing that is otherwise garbage. You are reviving old clothes and making them new again. It’s anti-consumerism, green, budget savvy. It’s punk rock!
[image sources: mint magazine, directory of boston, closet obsession]