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Beautifully Organized: How To Look Expensive On A Budget

Welcome back to the blog,

Life is full of so many wonderful things. With so many places that we can draw inspiration from, it's easy to become overwhelmed by the variety that is out there. With a little creativity however, it is possible to live the life that you dream of, and still have money left over to do things like invest. In 2020 and beyond, wisdom has to prevail. Approaching the change with some caution, my fashion evolution is still underway, but I'm taking my time to actually build my collection. What to do during times of uncertainty, is to do what you've always done, but scale back so that you keep your reserves intact. Being bougie on a budget is our style focus for today.

  1. Keep Your Style Simple

The acronym KISS is one that has been a guiding principle for many things. Keeping a simple style, can allow you to have diversity in your wardrobe, without having to invest in too many pieces that can cause you to go over your budget. As an example, in the image above, by utilizing neutral pieces that mesh well, you have the versatility to create elegant looks. With the right combination of pieces, there can be more than one look that is created via the utilization of these baseline pieces. In the image above, the dress in the image can be worn to various occasions such as work, brunch on a Sunday, or even to church. Depending on the occasion, with the right accessories such as a jacket (white, navy blue, black or even a khaki jacket) five or more different looks can be created via the utilization of this one baseline. If you build with basics, you'll eventually become a fashion icon, with a few baseline pieces. Don't think of having many pieces, just think of having a baseline of items that you can actually mix and match, and with each week, you'll find yourself able to creatively put together looks with the pieces that you already own.

2. Wear Flattering Clothes

With your clothing, sometimes you may be in a situation where you may have pieces that are too big, too small or somewhere in between. The best person that can help you to create the flattering look that you desire, is your tailor. For just a few dollars, you can actually have your dress, shirt or pants fitted to your body. You won't have to be wondering about those extra flaps, or worrying about whether you need to wear a belt with this, or pin that there, or suck in your stomach. With well fitted clothing, you'll have the confidence to pretty much feel good in what you're wearing and when you feel good about yourself, there's a level of confidence that you can comfortably emote to the rest of your world.

If you're so inclined, it's a good idea to invest in a sewing machine. With so many tutorials available that will be able to teach you how to make alterations, before long you can even do things like make your own clothing. As a millennial, I grew up with a grandmother who sews. Essentially, you can imagine that our closets were stocked. If we needed pygamas, they would be made, if we needed curtains, they would be made, if we needed graduation dresses, they would be made.

With your sewing machine, you can create custom pieces. Modern living has created a culture where we thrive on convenience, but you'll surprise yourself that with a little time on your hands, what you can actually create for yourself and your family.

3. Invest In Your Grooming

One of the best places to keep yourself properly groomed, is the beauty supply store. For me personally, this place is gold. If you wander through a pharmacy, you may feel that it's impossible for you to keep yourself up, but if you walk through a beauty supply store, you'll start seeing that it is actually possible. In my plaza for instance, I am able to purchase lipsticks and lipglosses from Milani for just about $1.00. In the pharmacy, just about two minutes away, the same items are about twice to three times the cost. You have to know where to shop. Since beauty supply stores purchases certain items in bulk, they will give you the lowest mark up on certain items. Stock up on your shampoos, conditioners, combs, hair accents, and even make up.

With all your essentials on hand, you can then take the time to put yourself together. The look above, took me about an hour to create. The process of washing and conditioning my hair is a process that takes me about forty minutes. Once done, I took the time to flat twist the front of my hair, after which I was able to actually create two buns (crown and base of my hair) and secure the buns with my extensions. With the extensions, I'm able to add volume to my hair, and also am able to protect the roots. Everything has a purpose.

The cost of the entire look: FREE with my own supplies. If you take the time to learn how to groom yourself, you can save lots of money across the years, and also have the versatility to actually change the look if you so desire.

4. Be Clever With Your Budget Shopping

What I love to do when I'm shopping is look, budget then purchase. It always helps to approach the shopping experience with more logic than with emotions. By taking the time to actually calculate and plan, you can see what you already have, and identify what you can add to your intentionally made collection. Instead of impulse buying and ending up with several beige dresses, you can have dresses in all the different neutral tones that there are, because you'll have actually taken the time to note what you had and allow yourself to have a balanced closet.

By looking before you purchase, you will expand your horizons. I personally learn as I shop. I treat shopping as an adventure. I explore different stores, discover that some places that I had the impression were expensive, probably aren't expensive during the sales, and those places that are at your price point, will carry the essentials that you'll need for an occasion. If you need a camisole, you'll know where to get it for instance, without having to stress out over these items when you are ready for them.

5. Wear Neutral Colours

When it comes to your style, it's always a good idea to wear neutrals. Not only can you accessorize them to create different looks, it also won't be noticeable when you wear them again. In your closest, it's always a great idea to do things like wear nudes, whites, navy blue, military green, beige and even black. These baseline colours work absolutely well, in terms of ensuring that you have a solid canvas that you can build on. If you wear a floral dress, people will remember it, but if you wear a green dress on week one, then the next week wear the green dress with a white jacket, you're able to create the versatility that you need.

Neutral colours are the best baseline to have in your closet. High budget brands like Ralph Lauren, tend to have a lot of their pieces in neutral for this reason. They want you to have the versatility to utilize their pieces with various accessories.

6. Add Statement Pieces

Investing in some statement pieces, is always the way to go. With accent pieces such as bold earrings, sunglasses, and bold necklaces, you can actually elevate a look. Pieces such as belts can actually elevate a look. If you have a dress for instance, and it's slightly loose on your hip area, with a nice statement belt, you can cinch in the waist and allow your look to have a little more dimension.

There are some accessories that actually have the ability to serve multiple functions. These pieces include scarves. With a scarf, you can actually utilize it in the following ways:

1) As a headband: As an accent piece, headbands are always the way to go. With so may styling options, you are free to actually get creative with your head wraps. With this style, statement pieces like sunglasses actually elevate the look.

2) As a necklace: If you have a solid necklace, you can actually wrap the necklace with you scarf and create a beautiful look.

3) As a bag tie: If you have a neutral bag such as: beige, black and even white, you can actually take the time to do things like tie a scarf of the bag in order to give it some fun and some dimension.


7. Know where to spend

As with all things in life, it's always a good idea to know where to shop. When it comes to food items, people quickly realize that they can do things like shop for food in places like Costco. At bulk dimensions, the food itself actually is more affordable. With clothing, there's a similar principle. Where you can, look for the trends that you want, and either thrift these items, or find a clothing wholesale store. There are places lik TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Ross, Walmart that actually have great prices for items that are doubly expensive in more boutique stores. Because you're conditioned to purchase items from places that are more expensive, your mind will not automatically think about stores like this...where can even find probably twice the items for the original price that you had budgeted. With the current quality of today's items, you can find high quality items at prices that are affordable.

Once upon a time, people could play the price-quality card, but in today's regime, where the world is global and you can actually get imported items with similar quality to higher priced items, this is no longer becoming applicable. I'm able to find $3.00 body wash, that is rivalling Bath and Body Works. By rethinking branding, you can identify where you can save for your items.

With a little more conscious living...anything is possible! Happy shopping!!


Dr T

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