This post is a bit of a departure for me.
As I am sure you have gathered from my many other posts, I don't usually write too much.
This is mainly due to the fact that I believe a picture is worth a thousand words (how cliche) and that I don't particularly always enjoy reading other people's rants and raves or what they ate for breakfast.
I assure you - this is not a rant and I have no breakfast to tell you about.
Many of you are aware of the controversy surrounding many of the more famous fashion/style bloggers. Some of the controversy centers on how they can afford to wear a brand new expensive outfit every single day, have time to photograph themselves in it and still have a life.
If you walk away with nothing else from this post please remember:
1. You Too Can Never Wear The Same Thing Again
2. Great Style Is Not Necessarily Expensive
As you will remember from THIS POST, I talked about re-wearing an outfit. By this I meant that I wore the exact same thing, not just the same shirt or the same shoes. There is nothing wrong either of these things. There is also nothing wrong with wearing something "different" everyday. I will explore the latter in this post.
At the end of my Grade 12 year, a girl in my class commented (or lamented?) that she had "never seen me wear the same thing twice". I was flattered but knew that it was not really true. She had never seen me wear the same combination of things twice. There is a big difference.
Those of you who visit this blog on a regular basis have seen my very recent series of three outfits which all use the same dress as their base. They all look different from one another. Ari from Ari Sunshine made a really great point when she commented on one of those posts and said (I paraphrase) "it is very important for a person to be able to combine individual pieces of clothing well"". This is absolutely the truth.
You don't need to have a billion dollar budget in order to wear something "new" everyday, or even to have a stylish wardrobe. The bottom line is this: if you don't know how to properly put together an outfit, or match one piece with another, you can make even a designer ensemble into a boring flop or a fashion faux pas.
Don't get me wrong - I do have very expensive pieces in my wardrobe but I also have a plethora of cheaper (thrift store vintage) pieces and some that were FREE. I don't mean Free - as in a sponsor gave them to me free. I mean free as in - they were discarded by friends/colleagues/family members or the dregs of a garage sale (The ubiquitous "free" pile).
The key to having something new to wear every single day is NOT an unlimited budget - it is being smart with your money, working with what you have, taking care of what you have and always looking for the potential in every piece/place that you see/go. Shop smart.
The following are some of my shopping rules. Follow at your own discretion.
1. Cheaper is not always better
2. Expensive is not always better
3. Shop Everywhere - (thrift, boutique, high end, hardware store etc.)
4. Don't buy clothing on credit. Never. If you can't afford it - move on.
5. Don't only buy from the Sale rack
6. Don't only buy regular price
7. Shop online but adhere to a limit (see#4)
8. If you want something expensive - save up for it (see#4)
9. Never shop with a friend (if at all possible)*
10. Know what you already own
11. Never shop near closing time - you will impulse buy
12. Keep a list (wants/needs/inspirations)
13. If at first you don't find it - keep looking
14. NEVER BUY ANYTHING TO "FIT IN" OR IMPRESS SOMEONE ELSE
*A lot of people don't agree with this but friends or shopping buddies if you will, can really hinder you while you shop. They have different expectations (they want to go to another store perhaps), they may have more or less money than you (we don't want awkward situations) and they may not have your best interests at heart or share your vision for whatever look you are creating. In severe instances women will even stop other women from buying things that look fabulous on them because they are jealous. I also feel guilty if I make people wait too long for me to try on garments. Obviously I do shop with other people - it just isn't my preferred modus operandi. If I am planning on looking for something specific I prefer to go alone or split up and meet at a predetermined location.
I have broken down the prices of the individual pieces to show that looking good doesn't have to cost a lot of money. I haven't listed the stores the items came from (those are in the original posts) but I am sure you can guess that almost all of the items under $10 came from a thrift store. And yes - the dress really did cost 25 cents.
(Click on the photos to see the original posts.)
More Outfits After The Jump!
Did any of you notice that the bracelets are the same in two of the outfits above?
How about that I use the same belt more than once? Same Vest?
I have posted 26 different outfits thus far, and in them I:
Wore the same boots 4 times.
Wore the same belt 3 times
Wore the same dress 3 times.
Wore 4 different pairs of shoes twice each and the list goes on.
Yet I never really wore the same thing twice. It is all about creativity! Mix and Match what you have in your closet - try new things! Shop at new stores because you never know what you will find. Garage sales are great, as are thrift stores. They always have fantastic things at fantastic prices and it's even better when they are a charitable organization. I love Goodwill* and The Salvation Army because they give back to the community and they carry some amazing things.
Another tip to keep your outfits looking fresh and different - pay attention to your hair and makeup! Change them up to liven your look and stave off feelings of blah.
Enjoy your week folks - go forth and be inspired!
PS. Remember what I said about shopping everywhere? The blue sweater above is from the men's section of a thrift store. That's right - MEN'S.