Frugal Fashion Tips


American Eagle chunky sweater.

Sweater from American Eagle, $49.50.

Autumn is officially here on Wednesday.  For some people, the first cool autumn breeze means football season is just around the corner.  For others, like me, it means get to the mall ASAP and stock up on chunky sweaters, jewel toned scarves, and a great new pair of jeans.  This year, you don’t have to spend your whole paycheck on fall fashion essentials.  I’ve found a few tips to help you save money and limit your fashion purchases this fall.

The Budget Fashionista has some great rules for recession-proofing your wardrobe. I picked two rules from the list that every frugal fashionista should follow when shopping.  I promise they are easy to follow and take two seconds to master.

The first rule The Budget Fashionista advocates, is the cost per wear formula.   Cost per wear is the cost of the item divided by the number of times you’ll wear it.  If an item costs $80, and you think you’ll wear it 10 times, then the cost per wear is $8.  The more useful an item is, the more likely you are to wear it.  The more you wear it the cheaper it becomes.  Lesson learned, only buy clothes that your going to wear more than a couple of times.  There is nothing worse than purchasing an item just to leave it hang in your closet.

The second rule is the 70/30 rule.  Seventy percent of your wardrobe should be classic pieces, like the ones on Tim Gunn’s 10 essential items list.  While 30 percent of your wardrobe should be trendy pieces, like the 2010, fall favorite, riding pant.  This rule is easy to follow, and will help prevent you from spending too much money on trendy items that go out of style quickly.

So what are the 10 essential items that every girl should have in her wardrobe?  According to Tim Gunn every girl should own a:

Basic black dress.

I love this basic black dress from Forever21 for only $27.80.

  • Basic black dress
  • Trench coat
  • Dress pant
  • Classic shirt
  • Jeans
  • Any occasion top
  • Skirt
  • Day dress
  • Jacket
  • Sweatsuit alternative (like khakis or corduroys)

These 10 items are timeless pieces, and different variations of them should make up the majority of your wardrobe.  Although, some of these items might be expensive, you’ll save money in the long run because they will never go out of style.  I love to pair timeless pieces with more trendy ones.  It’s a great way to achieve an effortless fashionable outfit without looking like your trying too hard.  Mixing and matching your wardrobe is a great way to create new outfits at zero cost.  So have some fun and experiment with what you already have in your closet.  Your favorite sweater from a few years ago is probably still in style today.

One more tip before you head for the mall.  Go through your closet, and get rid of any items that you haven’t worn in the past year.  Take them to a local consignment shop and sell them for some extra fall fashion cash.  The extra money can get you closer to that new great trench coat you’ve been eyeing up.

Trench coat.

Trench coat from Old Navy, only $49.50.

Like all things in life, a great wardrobe starts with a good foundation.  So build your foundation with timeless pieces that you can wear forever.   Then add some trendy items to give your foundation some flavor.  Last but not least, when purchasing a trendy item be sure to shop around.  You want to make sure you get the best deal possible on items that might be out of style next season.

Images courtesy of American EagleForever21 and Old Navy.

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One Response to Frugal Fashion Tips

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