Monday, June 08, 2009

Recession Fashion

I am lucky enough to be employed during this rough economic time, but even with a job I still have to be cautious with my money. A few things have gone financially well for me since the start of 2009. My roommate moved out, which left me with bills that our double what they were just months prior, but a few weeks later I got a promotion and a raise which will help to make life a little easier. My main goal for the next few months is so spend less and to save more. This has been my goal for as long as I've lived on my own, but with the prospects of buying a house in the future, I've never been more serious about wanting to buckle down. Money and situation may change, but one thing that never will is my love of shopping. It's the physical act that I love almost as much as getting dressed. I love the patience it takes to shuffle through racks and racks of clothes. I love the brainstorming you do while looking in the dressing room mirrors trying to decide what in your closet you can pair with a potential buy. I love the hunt for a perfect addition piece that won't mean I can't pay rent that same week. It has always been a struggle for me when it comes to saving money. How can I find a way to enjoy shopping, and save money at the same time? If there was one thing my mother taught me when it comes to shopping, it is persistence. We used to stop by the same stores and spend what seemed like hours in my little mind sorting through racks that we had just sorted through days before. " But Mom! They didn't have anything you liked last week, they won't today! Can't we go get ice cream or something instead?" Well thank you mom for always teaching me to be patient, and to try and try again. Now my favorite store to shop are consignment or outlet stores which often stock items on a daily basis. I had to stop at a local dollar store the other day on my way home, to pick up a few gift wrapping items. ( If you are my swap partner.. stop reading now!!) As I browsed the aisles I was astounded at some of the great items I was able to get! I went in for some wrapping paper, and I came out with some accessories for both person and home!

I decided to take a peak in their jewelry section. It is usually full of costume pieces, all of which are usually pink and plastic, perfect for little girl birthdays. For my daily wear however, their selection is usually non-existence. Even though I've never had any luck, I always take some time searching through the pegs. On this day I got lucky! They had some great pieces of jewelry! Non of it is real, and in fact most of my jewelry would fall into a more costume selection. My 'real' jewelry is all from Johnny and is all saved for special occasions. For work wear, these pieces are just perfect. The trick with ' cheap' pieces is trying them on. Now the dollar store is usually set up for trying much of anything, but the good thing about cheaper products, is that their packaging is always cheaper too, making it easy to open and close. I tried on about 6 necklaces. They were all sealed lightly at the bottom of the bag so I slipped the packages open and closed them again with no problem. The one common thread with the jewelry I looked at, was that they were all odd lengths. Almost none of them fit into a standard length for either bracelet or necklace, but after trying on a few pieces I was able to find some great items. The bracelet was just too cute to pass up! I have a lot of issues wearing bracelets because my wrists are so small. A bracelet that most people would find, buy or own will slip right around my hand as soon as I put my arms down. For this reason I solely buy bracelets that have the clips and lots of chains for me to choose from. That way I can adjust the clasp to a different chain than it was originally intended for, making a large bracelet a perfect size for my daintiest of features. I loved the girly details of this bracelet so much I bought one for my youngest sister too. And the ceramic shoe? Well I thought it was cute and would make a nice house accessory for my shoe rack.

I managed to get some pretty practical stuff too! They had headbands, packs of 3 available and a ton of different colors. I like the thin ones because they serve as more of an extra accessory and much less as a functional tool. The nail polish and lip gloss was technically not a necessity, but always good to have different colors around the house. Even with a pile of color choices, I just never seem to have the right one so I like to pick up new colors when I see them for a reasonable price. The magnets you see on the side were an item I just couldn't walk buy. Each of the little ' sticker' like items are actually magnets! I got home and popped out all of the bigger pieces, shoes, purses and dresses. Plus a few necklaces and I was able to decorate the front of my fridge with a bit of an Audrey Hepburn feel. I enjoy having little girly touches all around my home. My next move will be into a house with Johnny, and the girly touches will be kept in a closet and with some subtle touches here and there. For now, as I live on my own I enjoy adding as many girly touches while I still can! Oh, and the Ant Control? Well even the prettiest of princesses still has to wage ware against Mother Nature sometimes. The total for my mini shopping spree was just $11! I spent close to $20 when you add in the various gift wrapping items I had originally came into the store for. The moral of this lesson? Always keep your eyes open, stay persistent and patient. You never know what great items you can find where you least expect it!

Another lucky financial saving event happened the day after my accessory shopping spree. Johnny's mom is having a garage sale this weekend, which means his sister went through a ton of her stuff. In general we aren't the same clothing size, and she didn't give away much anyways. What she did part with were a number of bags. When she offered to let me go through and take whatever I wanted I just couldn't say no! I tend to live with my purses for months. I've never been the type who matches their bag to their outfit, unless we are going out for the night and I am only bringing a clutch. For my day to day bag, I try to find a bag that will work for weeks and I stick with what I've got. I was so excited to see that Johnny's sister had a lot of one tone bags, because it is easiest to make one tone match with any outfit. In this case I made out with 3 bags. The black bags were my immediate choices. They are both big, and black and will work for both seasons. The little on in the middle I almost passed up but Johnny made me take it. " It's Coach!" he said, and while name brands when it comes to bags are never a reason I buy, I decided to not argue and to instead agree with him and take it. Sure enough, I found a use for the bag this weekend. It's bigger than a clutch, but smaller than the luggage I usually carry all my stuff around in which made it perfect for a trip to a crowded public place on Sunday. I must admit, the boy was right. Coach has done it again.
It's funny what you can find when you start to look around. You'll find everyday things that can be transformed into great accessories. You'll find new ways to wear old clothes, and you can find new things in unexpected places. You can't think of the recession as a bad thing, but instead as a chance for you to train your habits to be a bit more specific. I can still shop, and be recession smart. I can still look good, and be money spending cool. I can still be broke and be living a life full of recession fashion!

No comments: