Thursday, October 18, 2012

Budget Shopping, you're *probably doing it wrong

I know that most of us are on a budget, and most fashion guides or magazines we read are aimed at those with a much more disposable income. So we resort to cheap and cheerful places and end up with what is essentially a pile of crap after just a few washes. Which is actually a giant waste of your money, because now you're stuck wearing threadbare, misshapen, holey clothing. If you are over the age of 22 you should not be shopping at forever 21 or Charlotte Russe, or Aeropostale. Don't worry I'm guilty of it too, I have a pair of jeans from Aeropostale that I love. Though I think those jeans I just got really lucky with, and I don't wear them often, or when I'm leaving the house if I can avoid it. The quality just isn't worth what you're getting and it probably isn't made for your body shape. The reason those places are inexpensive is because they have a high turnover rate, and they're trend stores. They're there for teenagers who get bored or grow out of their clothes to quickly to make it worth it to buy quality garments. This is where so many people go wrong, they think because the stores are inexpensive and trendy that they're shopping smart. In reality you're just tossing your money away.

It's far smarter to spend your time and money buying things that will last you a while. Once you're in your mid 20's you should begin to build the wardrobe you'll have for the rest of your life. There is a reason it's called building a wardrobe, it takes time and effort, and little bit of money. If you purchase one quality item that fits you amazingly here and there that will last you 5 to 10 years, then you'll be far better off than if you head to forever 21 to buy $50 worth of items that are of low quality and will be misshapen after you wash them. It may take you longer to build up your wardrobe this way but you won't have to be replacing items as often. Not only will you stick to your budget, but you're more likely to think about your purchases and make sure you really love them before you bring them home.

So where are you supposed to shop? Well there are actually a list of places, but I'll start with the general rule of invest in your classics. Not your basics, your classics, there is a difference. You shouldn't pay $70 for a white tee that you'll wear a bazillion times because chances are it won't stay white. Especially not if you have young children. But your classic pieces that you will wear and want to wear for the rest of your life, those you should invest in. Trench coats, Little Black Dress, Handbag, those are investment pieces. If you only bought one you could easily use it for the rest of your life.

Your basics can be picked up at mid-range like Macy's, JCPenney's and Nordstrom. TJ Max or TK Max if you're in the UK is a great place to get your basics. Macy's especially is great because they almost always have sales going on. JCPenney lowered their prices and not their quality when they revamped themselves earlier this year. I know a lot of people wouldn't consider Nordstrom a mid-range store, but they do have a lot of great sales, and not everything there is outrageously priced.

Then there's chain stores, such as Loft, The Limited, New York and Company, and H&M. Starting off with H&M there prices range from insanely low prices to really insanely expensive. I really love H&M for their trendier pieces, they're decent quality and usually lower priced. The other 3 stored are great for their sales, and if you see something there you like you can either splash out a bit, since their prices aren't too insanely high, or you can wait for the sales where you'll really get more bang for your buck.

These are just example stores, ones that I personally shop at. If you're wondering what it is that you should be buying there are tons of "Items every women should own" lists out there. I'm not going to make one of those lists now, and really they're just guidelines. I might make one down the line, containing the items that I feel are most applicable to my life, but I'm still working on building my closet up after my closet clear out.