The ‘four classic shopping errors’ robbing us – not just our money, but our style potential.
# 3 Error : Shopping to save money (sans budget)
Thinking of buying Cheap clothes as a cost effective wardrobe solution – (and a bit savvy actually…)
Money of course, is a big deal, and where most of us will go wrong in our shopping plans. The naked truth about very cheap clothes: they will cost us more – in the long term.
Fashion & beauty Budget
Each season needs its own budget. I am now convinced the majority of my money should go for the things I wear most often. ie work, smart casual things and even loungewear. Your priorities may be different, but remember that being stylish is full time job.
Budget to pay a reasonable amount of money for good clothes
By setting a budget, one actually has to think about fashion purchases. Impromptu purchases are minimised. Does this dress suit me? Where was this top made? Who made my jeans? Were they made by a responsible company? or is my new coat purchase actually destroying the planet, creating potential problems for my children? How many times will I really get to wear this? (be honest!)
Say no to suspiciously cheap clothes. Likewise, suspiciously expensive clothes are not the answer. This goes against current way of thinking, but mid priced brands are actually best. (M&S and People Tree are two widely available ones.) Quality clothes with longevity, are made in a different way with different fabrics and are not to be found at rock bottom prices. Random items from the sales and those constant visits to Zara or forever 21, all add up to frightening amounts. Our wallets are empty and the wardrobes full of unwearable clothes.
Sales, Bargains & special offers
Sales bargains, no matter how discounted, are only a good purchase if they fill a void in our wardrobes… Otherwise, bargains and cheap clothes are just bills, clutter and terminators of style. This may seem a little harsh, but it is usually obvious when someone buys the bulk of their wardrobe ‘on sale’ – it will lack a coherent look. There will be no real visual connection between items bought, since they were bought because they were a ‘good deal’, rather than because they were truly our style.
The cheap clothes myth
There is a myth going round that all we need is an “investment handbag”. This perfect handbag will magically elevate a bunch of cheaply made clothes, into a stylish outfit. That, dear friends, has been an evil marketing ploy, to get us to empty our wallets. It’s so much easier to sell handbags than clothes. After all a handbag sort of fits everyone, irrespective of height or size. The story was that you can splurge on YSL handbags and buy tops from forever 21 – none would be the wiser. Not quite – there is no handbag in the world that will save a bad outfit.
The true fashion treasures can be found second hand or from smaller unknown designers, though – prepare to pay a little more than Primark- Imagine discovering unique, local designers, that will make us look amazing…’why pay more’ you may ask, surely this is a budgeting post. Well, the point is to have smaller wardrobes full of things we love and make us look divine.
(You may see my own budgeting attempts here)
If you are a beginner budget setter, prepare to fail a few times before getting it right. My own first few attempts could be described as vaguely amusing, and my sister is still trying…
Lady Sarah’s Golden rules When allocating a budget
#Accessories should, effectively, cost proportionately to clothes (be of comparable quality) and fit in with personal style. Despite what magazines and fashion blogs claim – pairing top quality handbags with ‘cheap basics’ just looks weird. If anything- the opposite is true, a well made summer dress, can work with a basic straw clutch.
#Very expensive clothes, can also be a mistake as often “we don’t want to spoil by actually ever wearing them.” Saving being stylish for another day, just doesn’t work. Looking at my own ‘errors’ I have an unworn, navy cashmere top from Hermes. It’s a very simple design and easy to wear casually, yet I am petrified of wearing it as it was so expensive. I find myself reaching for the more reasonably priced, majestic filatures…
# Only budget for those Clothes that suit the climate & the lifestyle. (see error#1) my own rule is that I should be able to get at least 60 wears from any potential purchase.
Next post: The Final (and most major) Classic shopping error # 4
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