If you're anything like me, then you LOVE clothes, and as soon as you see a cool outfit on the street you want to buy it immediately. While getting a whole new wardrobe is fun to think about, it is not so fun for your bank account. In some stores, one shirt can cost over $100! However, this should not stop you from being able to upgrade your wardrobe, you just have to be responsible and smart. In order to upgrade your closet, you have to do it efficiently, fashionably, and most of all, cheaply.
Thrift stores are one of the few places you'll find such cheap clothes. Especially when it is a sale day, (ALWAYS look for sale days, there should be flyers near the store telling you when there will be) you can get many items for cheap. For example, I went to the thrift store a couple of weeks ago, and got seven items, including levis jeans, for just $19! The receipt stated I saved $30 since everything was half off, or more. Thrift stores are also beneficial because you can get unique pieces for cheap. With just a few out there, unique clothing items, your wardrobe instantly changes from boring to exciting. Additionally, you can find some sought after brands, such as Levi’s, Nike, etc. What would originally be a $90+ pair of jeans, can be yours for just 5 to 10 dollars! I highly recommend shopping in thrift stores, and especially if you want more of a 2000s attire or years before that (which is very trendy right now) this is the place for you.
BUDGETING YOUR TIME AND MONEY:
Before wanting to upgrade your wardrobe, the most important thing is knowing exactly, or at least a general idea, of what style you want to portray. I suggest looking online and creating a board of outfits you are inspired by, picking out pieces from the outfit that you may be able to replicate or really love and go from there. This link is to a perfect website that does just that when you search in the style you are looking for; www.pinterest.com . Of course, once you start shopping you will wander off and find some clothing items which are not on your list, which is ok! However, if it is out of budget, organize what you need to upgrade your closet, and things you just want. This brings me to my next point, budgeting. Every time you go shopping, whether it be to the thrift store or a boutique, make sure you know how much you can spend. This is crucial you do this, because every time you go over budget, the next shopping trip will be harder. Going over budget is a horrible habit to create because you start to look at it as not such a big deal, and the $5 that you thought you went over budget by turns into $50. Staying in budget and organized is important because it gets the job done smartly, and saves you time and money.
STARTING AT THE BACK OF THE STORE:
While this small step may seem silly, it can actually save you a lot of money. It is easy, at least for me, to dwell on clothes at the front of the store or in the window, and as soon as I walk in I want to look at all the mannequins. While this is fun to do, the clothes put in the front are the most expensive, so it is not smart, or worth your time. When entering a store, walk towards the back first. This is where the sale/ clearance rack will be, and if you dig deep, you can find some items worth the cost, or even snag a deal. If it is within your budget, start working your way to the front of the store. However, if you know you can’t afford it, no matter if you don’t get any of the "on-sale" items, don’t bother. You are wasting your time and attention on something that you cannot get. Remember, shop with your brain, not with just your eyes.
INVESTING IN CLOTHING:
There will always be a moment when you want a clothing item so bad, and you know you will love it, but it is just a bit expensive. This happens to me personally around 10 times a day. There are two options you can choose from in the situation. Either forget about it and move on, or start to consider buying it. When you are considering buying an item, picture it with items already in your closet. If it does not go with at least 3 tops or bottoms, move on from it. Pieces that you can wear with one super specific item, aren't worth the money. When thinking about a more expensive piece, you also have to make sure you will love it years from now. This item should be able to last a long time if cared for, and something you can wear to different occasions, or even multiple times a week. If you ultimately decide that the item is worth it, it can last a long time, and you can wear it with many different things, great! Then purchase it, and if it is a bit over budget, make sure to reprimand yourself, and don’t go shopping for an item until you have paid off the previous item, and also have more money than you did when you bought it. This way, no habits are created and it is a good way to keep your money, and your shopping, in check.
Shopping is a blast but can get out of hand very quickly, especially if you are eager to upgrade your style. It is important to prepare for your shopping experience before you even go, by creating a budget and list of what you need in order to achieve the desired style. Make sure the stores you enter are within your price range, (don’t enter Gucci if you can't afford it!), and lastly, keep your shopping in check. Remember, upgrading your closet takes time, and you won’t be able to immediately get rid of all your clothes and replace them with new ones. As long as you are being smart, efficient, and saving money / getting your money's worth… Happy shopping!