Tip #2 -- Think Like A Merchant

Think like a merchant – Treat your wardrobe like you are trying to sell it.

The way most stores present their collection to shoppers is that all the items on one wall or fixture should work together backwards and forwards. The shopper should not have to search throughout the store to find things that go together. There are basics and then usually a fun key piece which makes the outfit pop. Your closet and outfit should work the same way. Do the items hanging in your closet make sense together and do you have enough fun pieces that make it pop?

Go through your current wardrobe and identify the pieces that "pop." These are the items that drive your personal style.

If you have too many "pop" items, time to go back and make sure you have the basics to pull an entire outfit together. If your "pop" items are from last year, are they still in style this year?

If you have too many basics, then time to add some "pop" to your wardrobe. Do not mistake pop for trend but maybe start by picking one particular trend you kind of like and start there.

For those on a more limited budget, a simple statement accessory can do the trick usually for under $25.

A "pop" item I am loving that can go with jeans or black pants, pumps or flats:

Large and in-charge yet both affordable and versatile accessory:

Tip #1 -- Think Like A Designer

Think like a designer – Have a vision! Find your inspiration!

One of my favorite sources for inspiration (despite most items being out-of-budget) is Instyle.com and their “Look of the Day.” It is a daily email link where they feature celebrities and looks their stylists have created. It shows not only current trends but a glimpse into the future for fashion to come. Use this not literally but as an inspiration for a look. Can you use items you already own to interpret the look? Or pick a look you love and go shopping for similar pieces to create your own budget-friendly version of the look.

The same can be done by flipping through any fashion magazine. One of my go-to resources is People Style Watch magazine because most of the content features affordable items which are in-stock at stores in most major malls. Their discount code section also helps.

Even if you don't love the entire look, pick the piece that speaks to you and just add that element to one of your go-to basics....i.e. an armful of bangles with a black dress might be all the trend you need.

Rocket science, no. But it is surprising how much easier shopping and style can be if you know what you are looking for and already have something in mind.

InStyle "Look of the Day"

People Style Watch


Before the Shopping Starts....Tips

Nothing is worse than when you are flipping through the pages of your favorite fashion magazine drooling over all the amazingness and thinking to yourself, “I would totally wear that,” only to check the price and it costs $8000 for one dress. And don’t send me a daily link to a hot pair of shoes I can’t afford…it literally is a virtual attack. Or almost even worse, finding something in a magazine that is from a store you can afford, only to find the item is not in stock or unavailable. Isn’t it called shopping because you should be able to buy it?

I have a handful of advice I would pass along to any woman trying to build a stylish and put-together wardrobe on a realistic budget. The following posts will highlight the fashion lessons I have learned spending foolishly and studying fiercely.


I Would Die

Fashion could kill me….literally. Literally, I would die if I allowed my never-ending fashion obsession to satiate itself. I would die because either I would no longer be able to afford shelter or I would starve. And I am all for making sacrifices for fashion but the reality is, I want it all, but I cannot afford it all.

Naturally, I made the best decision any fashion junkee would do, work in fashion because then you get a discount! Wrong. Just because you get a discount does not necessarily mean you will spend less because you just buy more. But! What I have learned through all my years on the job, is the tricks of the trade and how to get high-fashion while still being able to afford necessities such as oatmeal and a roof.

What I intend to do is share with you where and what you can buy to look of the moment, stylish, hip, put-together, realistic without sacrificing every dollar in your soon-to-be more full and fabulous handbag.