Fashion has always been a passion of mine. As a child, I did not agree with my mother’s fashion choices for my closet. One day she was in my room and discovered an entire drawer of lonely and insulted clothing, still tagged, that I had been stockpiling for years. Her expression was really sad. And I remember thinking, “Why is she upset? Does she really care if I don’t like her Talbots-like style?” From that point on, Mom got me gift cards or gift receipts … and this was the beginning of my lifelong career in dressing how I wanted and feeling really good in my own, properly accessorized skin!
People frequently say to me, “I love what you’re wearing, where did you get it?” Although I’m no A-list celebrity walking the red carpet—I’m a stylist/brand strategist and the new fashion editor of the mag you’re reading—I have learned to relish answering the question according to my recent experience.
Like, a couple of years ago, after a big bargain shop (like five shopping bags’ worth), I remember evaluating my purchases. Hey, I am no KonMari minimalist! In fact, this story may put me on the people to expect at Shepherd Pratt list, but I’ll share for the sake of fashion education. When I got home, I opened all the bags and laid out every piece I’d bought. I removed all tags and started pairing each item with something great I already owned. After matching up the best ensembles, I either hung the pieces next to one another or draped them on the same hanger (I do this to my daughter’s closet too). It’s a labor of love. And it’s a cost-effective way to build a wardrobe that keeps on giving … ideas and stylish looks.
Recently I purchased an elegant staple from Hunting Ground: a gun metal gray Vero Moda drop-waist dress. I paired it with an old blazer I got years ago at The Loft and black TOMS booties. I added my favorite masculine Rachel Mulherin gold necklace. Completely NEW look, made possible with only one new piece. Score.
My favorite work to evening piece is a pencil shaped skirt. I just bought a bright J.Crew midi and wore it with a last year’s white tank from Target, threw on an Old Navy denim jacket I have never washed since I purchased in 2000 and Aerosoles black suede pumps. Made me smile to rock this polished and stylish outfit for under $100!
How do I save?
I ALWAYS do a scan at Target. I often love their basics, and they now have a Who, What, Wear Section that features plenty of must-haves. I like to do a Marshalls run and an H&M or Forever 21 tour. PLUS, I love a good sale. Mondays are the best time to take advantage of online deals. And don’t be afraid to buy off-season! It’s the only way I purchase good winter coats.
When do I splurge?
UGH. It’s rare. I have to admit that my splurge often comes in the form of a Christmas gift. As a teen, I returned all my gifts and got one really nice Esprit sweater. Still remember that navy wool gem! But yes, I believe you get what you pay for. I like to reserve these special occasions for bags, shoes and a seasonal staple.
How to reuse?
This is my favorite part of the whole process. I realize, OMG, those black converse hi-tops are IN. So I grab them out of the OLD Bin and reawaken! Or that pair of bell-bottom jeans I wore at every Dave Matthews show … I put them on and fly. I think it’s rewarding to see myself put together with something new AND something old.
So WHY do I do it? The reward is what I crave, whether that comes in the form of a compliment or a “like” on social media. I love to surprise people and say, “I got this at Target.” I also believe I have this obsessive need to wear something that looks amazing. But I know the most important “thumbs up” I get comes from myself. I truly believe that if you love what your wear, and feel good in how you look, this will shape your entire day for the better. But outside of that, I know I have no choice but to make the best out of what I can afford, what I can buy and what I can reuse. Save, Splurge and Reuse.
Let’s chat again soon!