Looking Chic On A Broke Gal's Budget - Tay Meets World

Looking Chic On A Broke Gal's Budget

12:00:00 AM

If I'm going to be honest here, I'm broke. The kind of broke that pays for the bare minimum. All the of the bills, loans, and necessities are paid with little to spare and some months, none to spare (like when I needed new tires #ouch). I, like so many other striving young adults, thought I was going to graduate college, land my first role in the adult world, and make millions. Wrong! Instead, I work 40+ hours a week, stay up late only to get up early, live off of coffee for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and wear the same black pants three times a week. That my friends, is life...at its finest.
With all of that, there is one significant detail I am leaving out...I have very expensive taste. I'll be the first to admit, I lust over Valentino shoes, cry tears of agony over quilted Chanel bags, and cripple at the thought of never owning a cashmere sweater. You may be thinking, how horrible! I agree, it's terrible. However, I grew up with my nose buried in fashion magazines, swooning over the Mary-Kate and Ashley line at K-Mart, and watching VH1 music videos debuting the latest and greatest singers and songwriters.
I came to terms a long time ago that I will have to work very hard to purchase some of the finer things in life. Fashion is something that I find very expressive and creative and while I don't have a lot of money, I still try to find ways to look "chic" on a budget.

Some rules of thumb:
1. Don't follow trends unless they are "timeless and classic." If you wanted to, you could go buy a ton of new clothes this season and stock your closet full, only to realize that this time next year, fringe is totally out and ruffles are totally in. There are certain pieces and patterns that, in my opinion, will never go out of style. For example: classic boyfriend shirts, tailored skinny jeans, florals, and converse sneakers are all wearable pieces that you can pull out years to come.
2. Sale only means sale when it's really too good to be true. Let's face it, all stores have sales. They do it to attract buyers. You think you are getting a good deal...when you are actually paying market value. Think about how many times a store has 40% off. Um, hello, all the time! That 40% off might seem like a great deal but it's not...truth be told, those clothes are probably worth 40% off and you generally pay the escalated price. My favorite time to get a good deal is when things are marked down (i.e., in clearance) with additional deals, OR, are 50% off or more. The way I see it, that sweater I just "have to have" will be 40% off for four more weeks, then, they will mark it down $15.00 and it will be an additional 30% off, that is the time to get it while it's hot!

3. Only buy things you absolutely love. I used to be so guilty of this, I chose quantity over quality. When it came to picking out what to wear I always had "nothing to wear" because I didn't love anything that I had. All of those retail stores that offer a large variety, low quality, and an extremely low cost might seem like the treasure at the end of the rainbow, but in realty those clothes will rip, break, and you will wear it once...twice at most. I find that I gravitate towards my nicer pieces in my closet anyways (do you?). This J.Crew sweater and this Lou & Grey utility top are especially comfortable and I feel 'put together' and chic when I wear them.
You may be thinking, well this is all fine and dandy but if she is broke how does she even buy clothes? Utilizing my rules of thumb from above and saving when I can, I can be very thrifty. That, and I have a keen eye for spotting a good deal. Some may spend hours going through the racks at T.J.Maxx, I will walk down the aisle, spot a top, pull it out only to find out that it's a Joie top. That's how I found this Kate Spade dress, and this handbag. It's either a gift or a talent, either way it rocks! Adam and I don't have time to travel, go on a lot of dates, or spend money on the house so anything I leftover is used for home essentials and when I can, clothes and accessories.

How do you buy clothes on a broke gal's budget? Share your tips and tricks below!

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