Hers: easily over $1000. Between her Prada and Victoria's Secret accessories, her $80 jeans, and $100 sunglasses, she was rocking a month's salary (for me, at least).
Mine: $5. I wear free and thrift clothing, nearly exclusively. Yes, I buy new underwear. Other than that, my motto is: why buy new when thrift is so awesome?
- WAY CHEAP. As in, <10% of the cost of new clothing.
- Buying used keeps new products from entering the consumer cycle, saving valuable raw resources and a lot of human labor.
- Shopping thrift / digging through free-bins is like a treasure hunt! So fun! It can also be a zen-like practice in openness to the moment and letting go of your expectations.
A lot of people think that being fashionable has to cost a lot of money. Well, chalk it up to my over-inflated ego, but I disagree. I think I look pretty darn good, and for how much money? Let's find out.
My 'casual' look - or, what I just happened to be wearing today.
Shirt: Free, from a clothing swap.
Undershirt: $1.50 at Goodwill.
Jeans: $3.25 at Goodwill.
Belt: $0.50 at Goodwill.
Socks: Free, gifted.
My 'elegant' look - what I would wear to go tango dancing... ooh la la!
(Yes, I would wear heels with this - but we'll ignore that for argument's sake)
Cowl-neck Shirt: Free, gifted.
Undershirt: $1.50, from Goodwill.
Pinstripe Pants: $4.00, from Goodwill.
My cute, 'summer-chic' look - or, what I would wear on a date to a river-side festival.
(Judging by its effect on the lovely Emma, this outfit will get all the ladies...)
Striped Halter Top: Free, gifted.
Ruffled Blouse: $1.99 at Goodwill.
Flared Pencil Skirt: $3.50 at Goodwill.
My 'summer night' look - a favorite for hot summer evenings spent on rooftops, preferably with a tequila cocktail and someone highly attractive.
Halter-Dress: Free, gifted.
Layered Skirt: Free, clothing swap.
Underwear: $3.25, Target
(I had to include the underwear, just to make it cost something!)
My 'early-70's hippie' look - or what I wear when I want to channel my mother, bake homemade bread and then play acoustic guitar.
Ruched Tank: Free, gifted.
Bell-bottom Jeans: Free, gifted.
Belt: $0.50, from Goodwill.
Sweater Dress: $3.99, from Goodwill.
My top tips for a rockin' & incredibly cheap wardrobe:
- Find out when your local thrift store has their big sale. The Goodwill near my house has 50%-off sales every other weekend, so I got on their e-mail list to get sale alerts. This is beyond awesome.
- Go to clothing swaps! I've had luck with befriending like-minded folks, as they often throw "naked lady parties" (aka clothing swaps) at co-ops and other hip places. If you don't know anyone who wants to host a clothing swap, organize your own! It gives people an excuse to get all giddy about other people's free goodies.
- Have lots of female roommates. This tip is mostly a joke, but a great deal of my awesome clothes have come from my roommates' closets. In fact, as I wrote this, one roommate popped in to ask if I'd had a chance to try on any of the tank tops she's getting rid of. Score!
- Learn basic sewing skills. If something used isn't quite right, you can alter it to fit your body and sense of style.
- Develop your own sense of style. It takes a little creativity to create your own style, but it's worth it. If you feel comfortable and attractive in an outfit, your look will rock - whether or not it's "in fashion". In fact, I recommend not paying attention to what's in style, because it may not suit you. Dress like yourself - not anyone else.
And hey, take a second - how much did your current outfit cost? Please share!