Benjamin Franklin once said, “if you would be wealthy, think about saving as well as getting”. Something happened between the birth of our nation, which was inherently suppose to include the virtue of “not spending money before you have it” (Thomas Jefferson), and where we find ourselves today; in payback mode after decades of spending money we actually didn’t have. Times are tough, make no mistake about that. Homes are devalued, you almost have to beg for another mortgage jut to afford a cup of coffee, and the road trip, which used to be the economic way to travel, is now so expensive (hi $4.00 a gallon), “stay-cations” are the big thing:
It seems there isn’t much to be done but remember what really makes us rich, love, family and happiness. Sounds great, right? Well, let me tell you that when I open my closet and look at all the same clothes and get that age old feeling of “I hate everything in my closet, I have nothing to wear”, love and happiness go right out the window. I want something new, something pretty and something that will make me feel confident when I step my self-manicured toe out the door. What’s a girl to do? Sacrifice her inner fashionista while trying to ‘Chinaify’ herself by saving 50% of her disposable income between the mattresses? No! Well not no to the savings part, just the sacrificing fashion part. Necessity does in fact breed creativity, so you just gotta dig deeper to find the style you want at a price you can afford (day-after shopper’s remorse is the worst, it even inspired that horrific movie with the funny girl from Wedding Crashers). But where to dig? I will tell you…. the discounters!
Discounters is an industry term for stores that buy merchandise that doesn’t sell within the allotted time frame at a full-priced store, or surplus inventory that was manufactured, but never actually sold to any retailer. You might know these discounters as: TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Filene’s Basement, Steinmart, Loehmann’s, Daffy’s, Century 21, etc. Although looked down upon for years as the place where fashion goes to die, discounters are really the best deal out there right now. With retailers not being able afford to keep their doors open, the discount stores are getting some of the freshest, current and most stylish merchandise they have in years, and the prices are staying pretty low. So, if you are one of those people who has said she can’t stand digging through all the hideous crap to find the one true gem (Gucci leather skirt marked down 95% to $125.00 for example), I suggest you change your attitude and take a fresh look at what can be found to satiate your need for style, without sacrificing the bank!
Trend Inspiration: Dolce & Gabbana Leopard
TJ Maxx Investment: $428.00
Total Cost Savings: $1596.00
Pretty amazing, right? Who thought a designer dress and heels were possible for under $500.00?! A-mah-zing.
Trend 2: Purple & Green and Polka Dots
Playing with complementary colors was a big trend on the runway for Spring and Fall 2011. Such as the case with Suno who showed mixed prints in green and purple. Also popular were polka dots, with numerous designers featuring the fun and enduring print, but none as well, or as complete, as Marc Jacobs for Fall 2011:
The Frugal Fashionista Find from:
Inevitably, these two trends had to be combined into one complete look that can take you from work to cocktails when the clock strikes 5pm:
Pair this celery green shift Lida Baday dress with a whimsical, yet feminine polka dot wrap and a sensible, fashionable shoe, and this is the perfect day to cocktail outfit:
Total Cost Savings: $947.00
It’s a really good day when the expense of designer wear accounts for approximately 30% of the total savings.
We are so in love with the discounters that each week we will feature a new designer look scored on super sale and show you how to get the look for way, way less. We also want to hear from you! Send us a picture of your favorite frugal fashionista find and we will share them with all the UpMyAli readers.