Miss Money Funny—Being a Fashionista on a Budget

miss funny moneyby: Alyson Komyanek

Since I like fashion and looking trendy, people often assume that I visit stores like Roberto Cavalli and Versace. But anyone who really knows me knows that this couldn’t be farther from the truth. The only “designer store” I’ve ever been in was on a trip to LA one summer. I took a quick stroll through one of the shops on Rodeo Drive, checked out a string bikini for $423, put it right back where I got it from and never looked back. I certainly don’t have the finances to drop that kind of money on a bathing suit that would provide as much coverage as cotton balls on a string, but looking stylish is important to me.

Rule of 8

With every change of season, I allow myself to buy 8 new items. Don’t ask me why I picked 8, I just like the number. I like to get bottoms that look great with a variety of colors/styles, unique tops, basic accessories and shoes. Since I sit behind a desk all day I focus more on what I wear on top than the bottom. After all, most people only see me from the waist up.

I don’t subscribe to any fashion magazines like Harpers Bazaar or Vogue; their fashions are too outrageous and rich for my taste. Instead, I refer to the internet for trendy ideas. A Google search of “Spring 2013 Fashion Trends” tells me all I need to know about trends and show pictures of the latest craze. Stripes and bright colors seem to be “it” this season. Thankfully, bright colors were also “in” last summer, so I’ve already got some great colored shorts, skirts and jeans that will look fabulous with some new matching striped tops. Google also revealed that anything see-thru is in, but that’s one bandwagon I won’t be jumping on.

Digging In

Now that I know what’s in and what’s out, it’s time to start shopping. I of course have my list of 8 wish- list items in hand, because otherwise, I’ll over shop…and that’s not good for anyone on a budget. I’ll first check out the Goodwill for anything with stripes. Thrift Stores can be a bit of a strike out however, because there’s not much of a size selection. Once I found the perfect dress, but it was 2 sizes too small. I thought about buying it and waiting until after my next battle with the stomach flu to wear it, but it seemed a bit senseless, even though it was only a whopping $3.50.

If I strike out at second hand shops, I’ll take a look around department stores such as JC Penny and Target. Of course these stores can run a bit out of my price range, but they often have steals that no one can deny. Plus, as a Target Red Card shopper, I’ll receive an additional discount at the register, and you can’t beat that.

I always get at least one new accessory each season. Last Spring it was a fedora hat (the cheap kind), a GREAT purchase, but this year I’m in the market for a new bag or scarf. This season, Old Navy has some online (and guess what? They’re striped!) for under $12.

Now that I have a new scarf and a few outfits, item #8 is destined to be a new pair of wedges. Shoe shopping on a budget is the trickiest of all, because it’s hard to find ones that are both affordable and comfortable. My shoe store of choice is Famous Footwear….that BOGO sale is almost always ongoing.

Maybe I will have room for item #9 after all…

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