Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ten Tips for being Fashionable on a Budget

Even mom's deserve to look good. Not only for yourself, but the confidence you emit when you know you look good passes on to your children. Unfortunately, time and budget often jump their ugly, bulky bodies right in our way. Here are 10 things I do to stay up to date...

1. Trends come and go so this is not the place to splurge. On the other hand, classic pieces can be added to and subtracted from for years to come. This is where you should be willing spend a little extra cash to get the good stuff. The classic black dress, lined trousers that lay just right, etc.

2. Change the accessories, change the look. Add a summer scarf for a casual day look then change your eye make and add a great big bangle necklace for a night out with the girls. Accessories are a great place to save money. Shop the sales, check out stores like Target and Wal Mart and never underestimate the things you can find at yard sales.

3. Don't look down on the second hand store especially if you are into brands. Places like Plato's Closet, Hut 8 and The Daisy Exchange are great for buying, selling and trading your gently used clothing but have some time to browse through the wracks; this isn't your average boutique. You might have to do some searching but snagging a pair of $200 jeans for $50 is well worth the work! Plus, accepting in house credit over cash for selling items gives you more money to spend but bare in mind that you have to spend it at that store.

4. Shoes also run the gamete of classic and trendy. Stores like Payless are great but be sure to think about how much you will be on your feet in them. Department stores have great end of the season sales on name brand shoes that might be worth the wait. If you have small feet, check out the kids department, especially on sneakers. They often have the exact same shoes for a fraction of the cost.

5. Host a clothing swap play date. We pass around kids clothes, why not our own? Every mom brings a few pieces that she is tired of having in rotation and everyone trades. You get different clothes FOR FREE!

6. Read the labels and follow the washing directions. Nothing wears clothes out faster than not taking care of them. Treat spots as soon as possible, turn printed shirts inside out, hang dry as much as possible and for goodness sake, don't wash your jeans and delicates in the same load.

7. Try clothes on before you leave the store. Even within the same brand there can be differences in sizing and fit. It takes more time to return an item to a store than to try it on. Ill fitting clothes are more likely to sit in your closet taking up funds for clothes you can actually wear than to be returned to the store.

8. Sign up for e-mail updates from your favorite stores. Retailers e-mail out information on upcoming sales and often offer discounts not otherwise advertised.

9. Really want the latest trend? Look for it at stores like Target, Old Navy, Kohl's and JC Penney. You spend half the cash for the same look and, when trend passes with the season, you don't have to feel guilty.

10. Only buy something you know you will wear. Let's face it, you find a great price on an uber trendy top but it really doesn't fit your style. PASS IT BY! If it is just going to sit in your closet, it isn't worth the money, no matter the discount. Cute jeans on sale but they are a size to small... it isn't incentive to loose weight, it is a waste of your limited fashion funds. Just walk away.

Above all of these tips, be confident in yourself. Confidence makes any outfit look fashionable, no matter the price!

To read more tips from other moms, check out Twittermoms

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Gap Outlet blogging program to be eligible to win a $20 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

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