Budget versus blow out – what deserves a splurge, and what doesn’t
Ah fashion. How you tease us so! One minute it’s all about ‘mom’ jeans, the next we’re being told that strappy dresses over t-shirts are the way to go.
Curse those designers, and their tempting ways! How’s an everyday kinda girl supposed to eat while maintaining her fashion habit? It’s not impossible, so listen up and we’ll tell you how. It’s time to get savvy with your shopping, thanks to our ‘budget versus blow out’ tips.
Fashion is fickle. Understand this and you’ll soon be one step ahead of the game. While we all love to look up to date, it is possible to have a wardrobe which works hard for you without having to constantly spend, spend, spend.
So first off – here are the items you can save on. By save, we mean, buy from cheaper high street stores, markets, and charity shops…
Basics: No one’s going to be able to tell where you got your t-shirt so don’t bother splashing the cash on these. Plus, if you’re a dab-hand with a needle and thread you could customise your basic tops and give them a more expensive feel for just the cost of some buttons, fabric patches, or lace collars.
Trousers: Classic black trousers are – let’s face it – classic black trousers. They’re the supporting cast to your upper half or the backcloth to a statement bag, so don’t feel the need to splurge on these either.
Accessories: Everything but the bag. By that we mean scarves, earrings, hats, gloves, tights – you name it, as long as it’s not a bag, accessories are a prime place to save. For accessories that ooze individuality, check vintage stores and eBay for retro finds.
So, having crunched the numbers and saved on the above, it’s blow-out time. Woop!
The bag: Want to rock the expensive look without breaking the bank? Invest in a top quality bag. Stay clear of major seasonal trends though, or else it’ll look like an ‘old bag’ in no time. Tan leather and black will never date, but ‘quirky’ prints will… moustaches and owls are on the way out!
Shoes: They say a lot about a person. Plus, a decent pair will do your feet the world of favours while flimsy cheap ballet pumps won’t.
A jacket: It’s one of the first pieces of clothing people notice (because it’s the top layer, obvs!) so it’s definitely worth upping your spend. If you want your jacket to be with you for a few years, keep it classic. Focus on a cut that suits your figure and stick to a colour that you won’t fall out of love with. You can always vamp it up with killer accessories to make it look more exciting.
An occasion dress: weddings, birthdays, cocktail nights – a gorgeous well-fitting dress always works wonders on confidence and happiness levels. So invest in a dress that you adore and keep it for special occasions.
Figure your style
Fashion is a love affair we share, but keeping up with trends just because the designers keep hoisting new ideas on you can often be costly. It’s OK if you’ve got the spare cash but not so great if you haven’t.
So, the best way to balance it all out is to figure out your style and stick with it. Create your own rules and go with your own flow… cue women like Zandra Rhodes, Vivienne Westwood, Bjork, and Gwen Stefani.
Pictured: Lee patent dress with 3/4 length sleeve, from Manley’s SS14 collection (£280)