So, y’all know I’m a teacher. What you have probably also gathered is that I have expensive tastes! It is what it is. Everyone who knew me in middle and high school probably remembers that I was OBSESSED with labels. Back then, American Eagle, Hollister, and Abercrombie were staples in my closet! Unfortunately, my adoptive dad made great money, and I chose to make WAYYYY less. (Totally worth it for those students, btw!) The problem was that I couldn’t quite change my wiring enough to get down with Walmart. So what did I do? Take out crazy credit cards a la Lily of HIMYM? Call my parents for a shopping allowance?
Haha, no way! I just had to learn to be a frugal fashionista! I still wear name brands and have what I think is a pretty fabulous closet! I have just learned how to find those deals! Here is some of what I do when I shop:
1. Check the Outlet Mall first
OKC has a fabulous outlet mall that opened up a few years ago! I actually worked at the Nine West for almost a year in college! Yeah yeah, it’s last year’s clothing, but the prices are initially lower. Then, I wait for sales to get even better deals! Since there are so many designers featured at an outlet mall, you can build a versatile wardrobe just by shopping there, though I have plenty of other recommendations! Here is an outfit that is almost exclusively from the Outlet Mall!
Forgive the tired expression! I was finishing up my night teaching job at that point! 😴
Skirt suit: Express
The shirt and necklace are the only non-outlet pieces, and I got those on super sale! My students and colleagues complimented this outfit like crazy, and I paid a fraction of the original price for all of it! #balleronabudget
2. Thrift Shop, Macklemore Style
We all know that catchy song about “poppin’ some tags” from a few years back. While I personally don’t look for your grandpa’s clothes, I definitely thrift! I have found incredible pieces from Goodwill, Daisy Exchange, Plato’s Closet, Clothes Mentor, and other local shops. If you are in the OKC metro, here is what I would say. Preppy fashionistas seem to have the best luck at Clothes Mentor in Edmond. They are super strict about what they will buy from people, and they only take name brands! I have had wonderful experiences with them! Oh, and Kendra Scott lovers rejoice!! They have quite the spread! I think my most exciting find has been these Kate Spade shoes that I snagged for $25!
Wow!! I’m a sucker for a good pump, and the gold details make them special! Kate Spade is one of my favorites because of her ability to marry the classic and the whimsical! I don’t always like her prices, though, so this was the perfect find! I wear them at least once a week!
In addition to those gems, I’ve bought several items there and would highly recommend it! Daisy Exchange and Plato’s Closet can be more “trendy,” but I have been able to dig through and find some great stuff. Plato’s Closet can be especially helpful for workout wear! Almost all of my Nike shorts are from there!
3. Upscale Resale
This kind of goes hand in hand with the last one, but upscale resale shops are great if you are looking for something like a Lilly dress or a designer handbag. All of my favorites are actually in Florida! Remember my New Year’s dress?
Yep! Lilly dress for $50 at the upscale resale shop! (Recognize those shoes?) I’ll tell you more about the bag later! Another one you may remember from the summer:
This Lilly was $40 at a different one! If you are in Florida and you’re a Lilly fan, those shops almost ALWAYS carry Lilly, since she is a Florida phenomenon! Those pink shoes also came from that store! Boom!
4. Shop Super Clearance
Sometimes you just have to go to the regular mall. You can make this work just as well for you, though! I know threading through the messy clearance racks is a bit of work, but it can reap some major benefits! Yes, clearance is usually from a different season, but get your winter clothes for next year during the spring, and vice versa, to save some precious dolla dolla bills! (…why do I even try to be cool?) Not only do those items go on clearance, but there are some stores that do extra clearance at certain times. Dillard’s does an additional 30% off clearance once a month. It’s usually the 3rd weekend of the month. Cardholders get dibsies that Wednesday, and everyone else gets in that Thursday-Saturday! Their New Years Sale is even better! Additional 50% off clearance! Beware the crowds, though!
So if you find a piece you love that isn’t on sale, my advice is to exercise patience and wait for it to go on clearance, then wait again for extra clearance. If it’s gone, it wasn’t meant to be. I did this once with a total princess skirt! I found the most gorgeous tulle skirt at Windsor, and it was $50. I waited and waited, finally snagging it months later for $9!
Worth the wait!! By the way, the only full-price thing in this entire outfit is the Kendra Scott. Gotta splurge sometimes! 😉
5. Take Advantage of Hand-Me-Downs
I feel that hand-me-downs have been given a negative connotation in our society. Even Ron Weasley complained about having to wear hand-me-down robes. We all love having new stuff, but there are times when hand-me-downs are awesome! I especially love the vintage ones, because I’m old school like that! My adoptive mom is turning 80 this year, and she has some truly unique pieces from her younger years! I now have all of her old evening bags, as well as a hat and some kid leather gloves, all in impeccable condition!
Remember this hat? Perfect for church! The eel skin clutch also adds to this outfit, which, by the way, is made up of Goodwill, Women’s Exchange, and the Outlet Mall! I’m known for my hats at church, and this one is particularly fabulous! That gold evening bag from my New Years outfit? My mom’s! This one is amazing, because it is a genuine Whiting and Davis mesh bag, and it is STILL IN THE BOX! Mom is quite meticulous, and it paid off! She told me that was the “it bag” of her time, and now I carry it! My future daughter will get it as well, and it will pass through my family! How stinkin’ cool is that? Hand-me-downs are more than just thrifty. They are sentimental! Another one of note is the black Coach bag from my first outfit! It was my Mother-In-Law’s! So sweet!
I hope you have come away with some savings ideas! I know my ways can’t be it, so I’d love for you to comment and tell me what you do to save money on high-quality clothing!