Shopping Smart & Using Your Basics
If I told you that I only go shopping for clothes about once every 6-8 weeks, you’d probably think I was crazy. But I’m being completely honest and a major part of that comes from my decision about. . .oh three years ago. . .to shop smarter.
What do I mean by shopping smarter? Well, about 3 years ago, I took a good hard look at my closet and realized just how much crappy cheap clothing I had. I would read fashion blogs and scroll Tumblr and would bookmark and save photos of my favorite designer bags or shoes and when I looked up the price of the items, my heart would just sink because I would think to myself, “Well, I definitely can’t afford that!”.
But when I took that good hard look at my closet, I started to add up how much I was spending on cheap clothes. . .you know the retailers I’m talking about. Where you could buy a midi dress for $15 and wear it once or twice before it fell apart. Well, add up all those cheap $15 dresses and it gets $$$! I realized I was spending so much money on cheap clothes and bags and shoes. At that point, I decided to re-work my whole entire wardrobe.
My first step was to STOP BUYING. I think for almost a year, I didn’t buy any new clothes. I wore and re-wore the clothes I already had. I styled them differently. I made shorts out of jeans that didn’t fit anymore. I went into my storage and pulled out clothes from years ago (that thankfully still fit) and tried styling them in ways that were relevant for present day.
And then, the months that I wasn’t spending money on cheap clothes. . .that money went into buying my first designer bag (a Mansur Gavriel). And after that, I bought more. And then I sold some and bought even more (I’ll talk about that in another post, how to sell your designer bags!).
Once I got into the habit of shopping my own closet, I didn’t miss fast fashion. Sure, during crazy sale weekends I would load up my online shopping cart with sale items but before I clicked ‘Purchase‘, I would ask myself, Nicole, do you really NEED this? I would do this thing where I went, “Do I want this $20 sweater or do I want the Givenchy Antigona?”. And it went on like that for almost every purchase I contemplated. Do I want this __________ OR do I want the Celine trio? It became my tiny mantra to myself anytime I was tempted to buy something that I didn’t really need.
After I owned my first two designer bags, I started re-thinking my wardrobe. Because I was spending less on actual clothing and more on my accessories, I wanted my accessories to stand out. While scrolling through Instagram/Tumblr, I realized I really loved the style of basic + designer. An example of this is pairing a white tee/jeans with your designer bag. I saw this as such a great way to showcase your purchase while also saving money because, I mean, it’s just a basic!
And that’s how we get to this outfit I’m wearing in this post. I saved for months for this Givenchy Mini Antigona and that didn’t include the 1-2 years where I was contemplating if I should even buy it. It took a very very long time for me to decide if I even wanted the bag, much less save for it.
I might do a review of the bag itself but basically. . .the bag was worth it.
Anyways, I’ve got on that basic white top I was talking about. This particular white top is from Thread & Supply and it’s a high low top easily rockable with skinny jeans. I paired it with one of my favorite Zara sale purchases, this red patent leather zip up mini, which I was able to buy for less than $20 and it’s become one of my go to pieces in my closet. The shoes are also a Zara sale purchase (I believe they were $25) and they’re one of my favorite go to black shoes. They’re both also pieces I’ve had for over a year and will continue to use until they’re too worn out.
See what I mean when I say shopping my closet?
Nothing of what I’m wearing is new or very expensive (the Thread & Supply top was gifted, but it’s also very affordable, under $25) except for the Givenchy. Minus the bag, the whole outfit is under $50 and made of components that I would wear and re-wear and in many different combinations.
Look, we all have different ways that we shop and different ways that we save money. I had a friend who loved Forever 21. She would shop there every week and easily drop $50-$100 every time. Everyone is different and everyone’s shopping styles are different. The reason I made this change to my shopping habits 3 years ago was because there were certain items I wanted and I was willing to adjust aspects of my wardrobe to get those items. This post is an explanation of how I shopped smart, and that might not necessarily be how you shop smart.
Which brings me to my question of the week. . .I’d love to know your shopping methods and. . .
How do you shop smart?
And a bonus question (which is really just for me)!
What is your favorite online retailer??