Fall Fashion for the Recessionista

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Blouse: Thrifted [via Mom's closet!] \\ Denim: American Eagle \\ Flats: Zigi SoHo \\
Sunglasses: Thrifted Ray-Bans [via Mom's closet!] \\ Belt: Target \\ Box Clutch: via TJ Maxx
With exciting new trends and intriguing store window displays and promising fall collaborations and collections, the first thing I want to do is plan a shopping trip. Between this economy and accepting the fact that I make less than minimum wage, (believe me: after becoming a waitress I've learned to TIP WELL.) I've learned to spend wisely and make every penny count toward my fall wardrobe. (And women have been penny pinching for centuries; due to a shortage of nylon stockings during World War II, women would draw lines up the back of their legs to camouflage bare legs. The more radical would go a step further and coat their legs in gravy.) So, I've come up with a list of tips to satisfy (and justify) my (and your!) shopaholic addiction, and spend wisely and thriftily.
  1.  Read blogs like this one! Most of my outfits and inspirations come from places like Old Navy, Gap, and TJ Maxx (see above)—I love looking at designer collections, but sometimes reading magazines promoting $5,000 price tags can get disconcerting. Also, a great free way to look at fall trends is through catalogs from stores like J. Crew and Anthropologie (and Madewell just started a catalog!); these stores create beautiful aesthetics in their catalogs and yield to a cornucopia of inspiration.
  2. Put together a plan of action. I've been studying the trends and keeping an eye on my favorite stores for weeks. I keep a list in my planner of clothes and accessories that I want to invest in for Fall 2011. I'm going shopping in Atlanta next Sunday and yesterday I went to Gap for their Labor Day sale. I know exactly what stores I want to visit, what expensive investments I can justify, and what basics I need to stock up on. And the Golden Rule: Thou Shalt Not Impulse Buy. If it's not on your list, don't buy it!
  3. Be an extreme couponer. OK—don't be that obsessive, but keep an eye out for deals. sign up for store email lists and keep coupons that you receive in the mail. 20% off is still 20% less you will have to spend. And, for example, I have 40% off at Gap today on top of their Labor Day sale. Score and a half.
  4. DIY. I am sad to say that I once snubbed my nose at the term "homemade." Sure I've made jewelry and ribbon belts, and wore my mom's hand-smocked dresses when I was little, but I just couldn't get over the fact these pieces didn't have a price tag. (horrible thought, I know.) However, my mother is really a gifted seamstress and now approaching is the fifth season I will wear my green houndstooth pencil skirt that she made me. This year I'm planning on reconstructing a Little Black Dress (LBD) that belonged to my neighbor. I'm adding a white collar and making the dress short and A-lined. Also, I want to make a faux fur collar to wear in the colder months with my navy yard sale Macintosh coat.
  5. Shop your closet. (Or your mom's. Or your grandmother's.) I cannot tell you how many times I've been complemented on the scarves and purses and rings and bangles and belts that I outright steal from my mother's drawers. It's a bad habit, I know, but old habits die hard. My most recent steal (I'm talking FREE VINTAGE FINDS here!!!) is my mom's pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarers from the 80's. Yeah, buddy!

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