Day 27 of the Spending Freeze Challenge – Style & Spending

Welcome to Day 27 of the Spending Freeze Challenge. Maybe, just maybe, you’re at a point where you’re thinking “Meh, 27 days or 30 days, who cares?” You’ve got home-stretch blues and don’t want to continue on with the challenge of not spending for 30 days straight. I’m encouraging you to dig deep for these last days and to find the joy in what you’ve accomplished in these past 3.5 weeks.

While you’re making your “look at all these victories I’ve racked up” list, let’s talk about style and spending. I’m no fashionista. In fact, I regularly use the hashtag #notafashionista on Instagram when I’m showing off whatever attempt at style I’ve pulled off. But, there are a few things that I know for sure when it comes to dressing myself. You might be surprised that they don’t involve Chanel or DKNY. Here’s my unique view on fashion, with the following caveat in mind: I wear yoga pants for work most days – and not because I need to be comfortable, but because I am a yoga teacher.

Seriously - I get to wear stuff like this everyday.
Seriously – I get to wear stuff like this everyday.
  • If you need something for one night only, do not spend money on it. I’m talking the “I-have-one-wedding-to-go-to-all-summer” one night only. Reach out to friends or take something from your own closet and put a new spin on it. If you’re only going to wear it once, it’s not worth an investment of any kind.
  • There are droves of Ann Taylor, Banana Republic and J. Crew clothes at your local Goodwill. You only need to be willing to spend the time there to find them. I consider it a gift of mine that I can reach in to a rack of Goodwill clothes and pull out a name-brand. Here’s what to look for to uncover treasure – fabric, fabric, fabric. As you scan the rack, look for fabric that is non-pilled and well colored. You will hit the name-brand jackpot quickly.

    $2 scarf added to a sweater from last fall = fresh, new combo!
    $2 scarf added to a sweater from last fall = fresh, new combo!
  • A consignment store is your best friend. Maybe you’re not familiar with consignment, but here’s the joy of it – you reach in to your own closet and pull out clothes that you no longer want, but that are still in good condition. You find a consignment shop in your area and meet the owner, who will choose clothes that best meet the season and her customer’s needs. She sells them for you, taking a small portion of the profits for herself. You walk in later, collect your money and then  immediately spend it in the shop for the beautiful clothes you need. 75% of my wardrobe is consignment. It’s a beautiful thing. If you’re the Cleveland area, visit my lovely friends at It’s So You Boutique.
  • Arrange a swap party with your friends or neighbors. The idea here is that everyone brings 5 or 6 items that are in good condition and you lay them out. During each round of shopping, your party friends each take one item that they would like from the community pile. Keep the rounds going until everything is gone and box up the leftovers for Goodwill. No spending, but 5 or 6 new items to add to your wardrobe!

    Original laces!
    Original laces!
  • Finally, if what you are buying is an investment piece, do your homework and find the best brand name and option for your needs. 10 years ago (yes, seriously, 10 years ago) I bought brown Doc Marten winter boots. These boots are warm, mildly fashionable and do not disappoint me in the depths of a Cleveland winter. I bought them on Ebay, paid $70 for them and have never regretted that decision. Why Doc Martens? Because time and again, reviews said that these boots were indestructible, holding up to harsh conditions. Sold!

How do you save on your style spending? I’d love to hear your ideas.

Day 26’s Post