The Top 10 Ways to Look Chic . . . on the Cheap!
If money were no object, we might not be writing this blog, but we know it is for most of us.
Fear not though, we’re here to help with some cost-effective ways to look chic on a budget.
1. Purge before you splurge I get that this is a tough one, ladies. How many of you have 21 pairs of black pants – and wear about only three of them? Before you buy another thing, clean out what you’ve got. Divide them into piles (toss, give away, wash/dry clean items, alterations). Be ruthless and if you can’t be – ask a friend to tell you the truth!
2. Nothing beats good grooming Cleanliness is next to . . . well, better opportunities in life. Period. Although it may seem trivial to get your hair and nails done on a regular basis – the (negative) attention you may receive if you don’t isn’t worth the savings. If your budget is tight, take the time to do a manicure on yourself, pluck your eyebrows and be sure your clothes are clean and pressed at all times. The devil is in the details!
3. Invest in key pieces There are some wardrobe staples that are so worth the extra money – and often you can find them on sale or at outlet malls. Start with a fabulous trench coat with a zip-out lining. It can carry you in almost any season or event. Other items worth the investment include a great pair of perfectly fitted dark jeans, a crisp white blouse, a pair of diamond stud earrings – all will stand the test of time.
4. Avoid spending a lot on “trends” Trends are for kids – for the most part. Trends come and go, but classics are forever. If you absolutely have to rock a trend, don’t invest heavily in it. Stores like H&M, Forever 21 and Target offer some “trendy” pieces that won’t break the bank.
5. Choose clothing items that play double duty Vaseline is not only great for your cuticles, but also a great lip moisturizer. Think of your clothing that same way. If you’re going to purchase a dress for a specific occasion, think about the other events you have coming up that you can wear it to again. If you’re smart about what you’re buying and where you will wear it, you’ll get double, triple…quadruple bang for your buck.
6. Visit your local pharmacy or big box retailer for cosmetics Many cosmetic lines you see at Sephora or major department stores have “lesser” brands at your local CVS or Walgreens. If you want to move from a higher end brand to one that’s more affordable – save your bottles when you visit the pharmacy and do your best job at color matching. Many stores, like Rite Aid, have Beauty Advisors to help you make the best decisions. Wrong shade once you get home? Don’t throw it away – return it! Find out what their return policy is and you can save a bundle on cosmetics
7. It’s all about the shoes If clothes make the man, shoes make the woman. These are worth investing in. Look for styles and brands that are comfortable and make a subtle but stylish statement. Personally, I love a leopard print, patent leather and booties (for the right occasion). Personal favorite places to shop for shoes are Bloomingdales and Nordstrom.
8. Chic color combinations You can never go wrong with the classic colors of black, gray, navy, cream and white. I love the look of cream and black together with a hint or pop of color – like a fabulous red shoe. Color is a nice way to bring more life to an outfit and can be done in subtle ways – such as wearing a contrasting blouse or tucking a bold scarf under a jacket.
9. Hair options that look like you care about your hair A great haircut and styling is worth the financial output. If you had to choose nails or hair, I’d go with a professional blow dry or styling and do my nails myself. Hair speaks volumes about who you are and makes a statement about your personality. I go both ways depending on my time, the audience, etc.
10. Accessories make the outfit. Accessories are the most fun part of dressing. When you have your bases, or basics, covered – accessories can pull together and complete any outfit. This includes everything from the diamond stud earrings you wear to the quality of the pen and leather bound pad you carry. It’s paying attention to the details that make a huge difference in how we’re perceived.