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Thursday, November 7, 2013

How to Build a Wardrobe on a Budget Part Two

I am continuing to work on building my wardrobe while on a very limited budget. I need to step up my efforts because the weather is getting colder. Shorts and flip-flops aren't all that comfy when the temperature dips down into the mid-40's!

Fortunately, I had purchased a pair of comfy leather slip-on's and a pair of black chunky-heeled loafers a few weeks ago at a really nice thrift store so shoe-wise I was ready for colder temperatures.

My new favorite shoes!
One of the keys to building a wardrobe on a budget is to buy ahead of the next season or two if at all possible. If I see a cute summer dress in my price range when I am out shopping for the current season, you better believe that I am going to snag it while I can! You should do the same. A lot of times, due to space being scarce at most thrift stores, clothing that is out of season is deeply discounted. Prepare yourself now to take advantage of these deals. One of my core philosophies is to buy needed items at the lowest possible price to keep as much money available as I can for those areas where it is difficult to cut costs.

Another principle I have used in building a wardrobe for the past 25 years is to wear a certain palette of colors. A very sweet friend did my color analysis for me after I had my second child and I am so thankful she did. I am an Ultrian Autumn, which is a Beauty for All Seasons designation (check out this website for more info http://colorconnection.yuku.com/topic/1154/BFAS-Beauty-for-All-Seasons-aka-Color-Alliance-Information#.UnwaqHCbMbw).

The best thing about finding out your best colors and wearing them is that EVERYTHING you buy coordinates. This makes your wardrobe seem much larger and more varied. Today I put on a pair of light tan colored Dockers, a brown cotton knit blouse, my new favorite leather shoes, and threw on a scarf that had all those colors in it. My pants were $2.00, my blouse was $2.00, the shoes cost $7.99, and the scarf was a gift. I clothed myself for $10.00 for this outfit and I often clothe myself for less!

This same scarf can be worn with many items in my wardrobe. 
Another great way I have gained clothing for my wardrobe inexpensively is to swap clothes with a friend. I have a dear friend who also has lost a lot of weight and we now wear the same size clothes. Whenever she is cleaning out her closet, she always checks to see if I am in need of clothes. I gratefully accept what is offered, take it all home to try it on for size, see if it fills a need in my wardrobe, and donate to our local thrift store whatever is left.

One other great way to add needed items to your wardrobe on a budget is to shop the end of season clearance sales at retail stores. I have purchased pants for as little as $2.00 per pair at places like Rue 21 and Old Navy. It is hit or miss at times but definitely worth checking. Accessories are also easy to find inexpensively this way. Having nice earrings, belts, scarves, and necklaces can help extend a wardrobe and make it seem much larger than it is.

I have found that I do not need a lot of clothes if I have a basic set of items to act as the backdrop for my accessories. I like to have a core set of neutral colored bottoms such as tan, khaki, or black pants that can be dressed up by wearing them with heeled shoes, dressy shirts, and nicer jewelry or made more casual by wearing sandals, flats, and nice t-shirts. Websites such as Real Simple have a nice list of what they consider wardrobe basics (http://www.realsimple.com/beauty-fashion/clothing/wardrobe-basics/wardrobe-staples-00100000085876/). I also like to buy items that are medium weight fabrics so that I can wear them over most of the year. Pants that can be worn all four seasons are so useful when funds are limited for clothing purchases!

I will be sharing more of my acquisitions in future posts, so stay tuned!

What do you consider staples in your wardrobe? What shopping tips can you share for building a wardrobe on a budget?

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