Ways to dress like the royals on a budget
Since I can remember, I have been a fashionista. Whether I am designing new fashions, creating fine jewelry, or I have the gift of putting together an unforgettable outfit, it has all been done with a small budget in mind. I’ve never had millions of dollars and when the day comes that I am so blessed, it will not be spent on the finest of garments. That’s not to say I will not have one or two pieces that are a little higher than others, but in general I know a bargain when I find it.
In this era of fast fashion and cheap threads, it is easy to buy all that glitter only to regret it when the credit card bill comes. Soon enough, closets become over filled with fineries that soon fade after two washes. Then the decision to throw away or donate comes across your mind. Before I get ahead of myself, let me show you how I save money and look fabulous!
High end jewelry is cheap if you know what to do
There was a holiday many years ago I was planning out what I would get for people. I was talking out loud on the bus that I was making my presents. One woman said how cute homemade gifts are and the bus driver said that she’d rather buy quality gifts. I spoke up and stated that one gift was sterling silver earrings with an amethyst drop and the other was sterling silver with a cubic zirconia accent. They both wanted to be added to my Christmas list.
I have a rule that I tend to stick to when it comes to jewelry. I either make it or get it as a gift. Unless something catches my eye that I cannot make which is rare, this rule serves me very well. After many years of designing quality jewelry, I know where the best deals are and what will last. They are high end quality that will last generations.
The way you can start to make your own jewelry is so simple. Research jewelry supply outlets online or near you, watch Youtube videos on how to make things and practice. I stick to some shops on Etsy.com and FireMountainGems.com to get my supplies. Often times I will draw out my idea then calculate how to make it. Before even touching the silver wire, I make a mock up with copper or brass. However, this only sometimes works because the property of fine metal is different than base metals. You’ll discover these tricks along the way.
Designer clothing that you can afford
I discovered only this past year what types of clothing to buy and what to avoid. Often times I would go into the mall to get what I needed only to have the garments fall apart after a few months. There are some brands that I will get more than others because they fit my figure and they last a bit longer. Many second hand shops or consignment shops are awesome because they will have designer clothing at a bargain and I already know it has lasted a few washes which is the crucial period to determine the longevity of clothing.
It’s not necessarily about the store, but the label. The shops that I now frequent are Macy’s (sign up for coupons and sales), Garment District in Boston, Kohl’s business section, and my friend’s closets! So many people throw away clothing and know I don’t mind second hand. If I cannot use it, I will pass it on. If there are holes or it is falling apart, then it goes in the bin to be thrown out.
Ethically sourced companies are worth the investment
There are some great shops online that help support third world countries, eliminate waste, and help build communities. Sometimes the garments have imperfections, but I know that my money is being given to those who need it. Global Girlfriend, Darn Good Yarn, Project Servv, and many more like this are great resources. Often times I can contact the owner and ask questions about their factories as well.
It’s not all about how much you can save in the short run
Have you ever noticed how many stores are always having sales? Yea it’s definitely marketing and it is stealing your hard earned money. The idea of dressing like royalty for me is to boost my self-confidence but being budget friendly is also part of the equation. The more money in my pocket, the more I can invest into my dreams.
There is the 333 movement or other challenges that clear out the closet with a limited number of items. Most of us only wear a couple dozen items with the exception of a few nice dresses or suits. The rest is clutter and can be recycled or given away.
When I break down and open my tight wallet, I want to get only one or two items. I do research on the best deals, find coupons, see if there are discount clubs, read reviews, and see how long they may last. Then I will buy something. I’m not afraid of returning it before I wash it if I find a hole or see that the material is falling apart before I get it home (this has happened).
Why fashion is so important to me
The way we look influences how other people see us. The suit does make the man and the nice set of high heels can get you a promotion. It’s unfair and bias. However, it is how the world works. That’s not to say you need to compromise your values, just know that people who are clean, well put together, and confident get to their dreams a bit faster. Fashion plays a huge role in this.
I stopped caring about the latest trend years ago and just go with what looks good on me, is comfortable, and is within my budget. Most people do not notice the different between this season’s fashion and something I bought 10 years ago. If I await long enough it will come back in style with some exceptions of course. You can even go a step further and have clothing that is shared with a couple of your close friends.
Looking fabulous does not cost a lot and it can benefit you in so many ways. The biggest is giving you the self-confidence to reach for those dreams of yours! Do not let something as small as an old t-shirt stand between you and being amazing, unless that is your style then own it!