The Look for Less!!
With recession looming over us, I can’t imagine anyone paying retail price for anything. It looks like all my mom’s advice is paying off afterall. I believe I have mastered the art of bargain shopping, especially in college. College taught me a lot about saving and finding cheap apparel. Wearing fly clothes was not a priority for me in college, paying my semester bills were..but I did look fly time to time. Many times, you see students going to class as if they’re going to the club or if they stepped off a Wet Seal advertisement EVERYDAY, and it must make you wonder how much they’re spending on clothes a month. If you can truly afford it, DO YOU. But for me, I take pride in buying an entire outfit for under $30, or looking better in the $10 top I found on sale than the chick who paid retail price for it and bragging about it to everyone she knows. I would always laughed at the Style Network show, The Look for Less, when the stylists would go buy a replica of a designer outfit and their version would still be over $200, hahaha. They needed me on that show seriously, lol. So here are my tips..don’t thank me now, thank me later ;-).
- Hit up the off-price retail shops FIRST! -These stores are Marshalls, TJ Maxx, AJ Wright, Ross, Burlington, etc., etc. This is mainly where I shop 75% of the time. People often complain, “oh its too junky in there, I don’t like looking through all those clothes, blah, blah, blah.” I’ll admit, sometimes they can get a bit junky, but it depends on the day and time you go. Don’t go in at the end of the week or around 8pm. The best times to go are on Mondays and Saturdays when new merchandise is being put out and when they first open up in the morning. And you always look through your clothes regardless where you shop. Look for stains, holes, rips, broke zippers, etc. So many women make the mistakes of never looking at their clothes and never trying on them on before purchasing. Its a must at off-price retail stores such as these or anywhere else as well.
- Try Consignment Shops and Thrift Stores– I like to call them my “diamond” stores. Consignment shops, thrift stores, salvation army- you can always find a diamond in the rough there. These are the best places to find one of kind accessories. For some people, shopping at thrift stores is not their cup of tea, but
for me, I like finding items that I know won’t be available at every
other store. Older people bring their clothes, shoes, and jewelry to thrift stores and salvation army so you’re more likely to find vintage looking jewelry. I found a cute pair of Mary Janes in great condition once at a Salvation Army for like $5. And when you wear older items like this make sure you mix it with modern pieces too. And PLEASE, PLEASEEEEEE CLEAN everything you wear from these stores. Regardless if it smells clean or looks clean, clean everything, clothes, shoes and the jewelry as well!
- Shop Ahead of Seasons– For instance, now would be the perfect time to buy Summer items. Retailers are putting Summer clothes on sale, or even clearance, to make room for Fall/Winter merchandise. Items of last season are always cheaper once the next season starts so take advantage of it. Majority of the time the same merchandise is probably put right back on the floor to resell at the original price once that season comes back around.
- Know What You NEED Before You Shop!– You save so much money coming into a store knowing exactly what you need to get as opposed to just coming into the store with no clue of what you want. By sticking to shopping for what really need, you eliminate any chances of purchasing anything else that you don’t really need, which would cost you more.
- Shop With a TRUE Friend!– A true friend tells you the truth, whether to put the ugly top down or whether or not an item is too overpriced. In addition, a true friend is never in competition with you. As women, we often can become a bit competitive, for example, who can wear the best outfit, who can spend the most, or some even hide good sale items from you in hopes of getting it for themselves etc. I am not making this up, some women really do this unfortunately. It is best to shop with someone whom you don’t have to feel like you have to put on a front for and eventually go into debt for; who really knows you, has your best interest at heart and will ultimately save you money.
- Beware of “Fake Sales”– Sometimes you have to use common sense. If you see a pair of shoes that are suppose to be on sale, but you feel they’re still overpriced and the retailers have marked out the “original price” by putting the “sale price” over it, chances are the sale price is the original price and they are trying to make a sell.
Lastly, make good judgement- don’t pay an extremely high price for anything that you might only wear once. The only exceptions to this rule are prom dresses and wedding dresses. It is true, there are some items that you must pay a good penny for if you want quality, for me, its jeans. It might be shoes for someone else. The point is you though you don’t always have to pay retail price for them. Now this is how I shop and I take pride in it. It doesn’t make you any less of a person shopping on a budget, it only makes you budget conscious and smarter.