5 Tips To Looking Great On A Budget

After the holidays it can be somewhat of a challenge to get back into the swing of things. This includes attending beauty appointments, purchasing the latest styles for the season, and accessorizing your current outfits. The reason for this is that many spend a great deal of money on gifts, food, and travel during the holidays which leaves less for typical expenses, such as buying clothes. This article will provide some helpful tips on how you can still look great while staying on a budget after the holidays.

 

  • Shop trends on sale. One of the best ways to stay up to date with your fashion reputation is to shop styles and trends of the season when they go on sale. Look for coupon codes online and consider purchasing a brand that is less popular. For example, one of the hottest trends of the upcoming season is the romper. Affordable Rompers can be purchased online and you can typically find a discount code, free shipping code, or sign up for the company email to get a discount. No longer do you have to pay full price for one of the latest trends.

  • Shop your closet. It is true. Your closet probably has a lot of classic looks that you can pair together to create a new ensemble. If you need to generate some ideas on how to spruce up an outfit, consider looking online at Pinterest or LiketoKnow.It. Shopping your closet can save you money and allow you to get use out of what you already own. You will not only look great, but you will have a new level of confidence about yourself as you allowed your creativity to shine through in your outfit.
  • Accessorize. When in doubt, make sure to accessorize. Doing so will allow you to pull the entire outfit together. Wear a scarf, necklace, earrings, bracelet, or paint your nails to complete your look. Adding a great pair of shoes can also make your outfit look great.
  • Mix and match. One of the hottest trends right now is to mix and match shapes and patterns. While this sounds odd to some who are more tradition, wearing a flowered top with polka dot pants can look quite swell. Don’t be afraid to mix and match textures and fabrics as that can also look fashionable and trendy.
  • Consider shopping second-hand. Visiting a consignment shop can open up the door to many great possibilities for less. The beauty of shopping second-hand shops is that you can obtain access to many great brand name labels at a fraction of the retail price. While you may not find this season’s garments on the rack, you will certainly be able to find clothing that has a classic style and can be worn regardless of the season or current trends.

 

Saving money on looking great doesn’t have to be hard. Allow your creative side to lead you in your outfits, shop your closet or consider shopping a consignment shop, accessorize, and look for discount codes to save money on new purchases. By following these simple steps, you can continue to look fashionable while staying within your budget.

Vintage Love for This Old thing

My summer television treat has been ‘This Old Thing – the Vintage Clothes Show’. Presented by Dawn O Porter, ‘This Old thing’ is a delve into the world of vintage fashion and how to shop for it. I love anything shopping related, and this series shows some of the beautiful items that can be found if you have a magpie’s eye. But as much as I have loved the series, I do think it has uncovered some of the major problems of shopping vintage.

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This Old Thing has shown that when you look into the past for your inspiration, you can find something that is unique, beautiful and well-made. Unfortunately, it is, more often than not, also very expensive. Items that come from places like Lucy in Disguise, Gingermegs vintage and the Portabello Road are often more expensive than even High End High street, enough to frighten some people off the idea of wearing vintage, especially in our more frugal times. In addition, the idea that vintage will look like a costume is not really helped by Dawn O Porter. She looks amazing, a stunning looking girl. But her inspiration comes quite literally from the 1960s, with Dawn the epitome of a swinging London dollybird. For those who think vintage means fancy dress, Dawn sort of proves the point.

But Vintage fashion doesn’t have to be expensive, nor do you have to look like an extra from Scooby Doo! (unless you want to of course). Nor does it have to come from Vintage shops if your budget won’t stretch to that.  Charity shops and car boot sales can also have rich vintage pickings, and you can mix and match them with pieces already in your wardrobe to create modern looks.

Here a few looks I created with a few ‘old things’ that didn’t break the bank.

Look 1 – The Vintage skirt and the new bag

This is a look that combines a vintage silk skirt with pieces from the High Street, and a fabulous new bag from Spanish label Desigual. Desigual is my latest style crush, I also have my eye on some very pretty sandals from their range, and I may be able to afford them due to the saving I made on this skirt! The skirt is not labeled, and I feel it may have been handmade, but it is in a really beautiful coffee shade, and it is not see-thru, despite being unlined. I teamed it with simple separates, a vest from select, a long pendant from Next, and gold flip-flops from Dorothy Perkins.  The skirt cost just £4, a total bargain for something that can be worn again and again.

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Look 2 – Vintage, High Street and charity shop finds

This is the outfit I wore for my Father-in-laws birthday meal. The skirt is Betty Jackson Black from Debenhams, but the rest of the outfit is pre-owned and pre-loved. The lovely top is a 1970s Marks and Spencer, St Michael label, and was £2.25 from a charity shop in Shrewsbury. I found the early 1960s bag on a tabletop sale held at a local church, a bargain for just £1. The shoes are early 1990s Roberto Vianni and were the perfect way to finish this outfit. I love this outfit and think it is quite classic and timeless.

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Look 3 – Pretty vintage sun dress

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This is a pretty vintage dress that I tried on when shopping for my holiday. Vintage clothing always needs to be tried on, the sizes are totally different. So, if you like the look of something, ignore the label and head to the changing room!

Look 4 – A modern trend with a vintage touch.

This season, pastel lace was a huge trend that was all over the catwalk, and then the high street. This pink lace jacket is a 1960s original that was picked up for £4.99. It has the most incredible buttons, but these are a detail that I could’ve changed if I hadn’t liked them.

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Four different outfits, all with a vintage touch. Here are a few more finds, and a couple of things I didn’t buy.

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1960s evening bag

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I love vintage trinkets. Add paste brooches to a black evening dress for a 1940s look.

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1960s Jackie Kennedy style boucle suit.

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One of my favourite bags – a 1960s box bag.

I really liked this blouse, but it needed to be tailored to make it more fitted - maybe buttons added down the back?

I really liked this blouse, but it needed to be tailored to make it more fitted – maybe buttons added down the back?

Wish I had got this now...

Wish I had got this now…

This was incredible, it still had a child's name on the inside in ink.

This was incredible, it still had a child’s name on the inside in ink.

1980s Bally heels in gold - love!

1980s Bally heels in gold – love!

I upload all my vintage and charity shop finds to instagram – you can follow me here. http://instagram.com/fashionmommywm

I also have a section on my Facebook page for Charity Shop finds. https://www.facebook.com/fashionmommywm

Super Busy Mum

 

 

 

Retail Royalty Challenge – Giving a bit back

When I was approached about taking part in the Retail Royalty challenge being run by the Money Supermarket, I was really intrigued by the premise. The idea was simple, could you use £30 to purchase something for your chosen charity to either use, or sell on? You needed to choose a charity that was close to your heart, and then decide what to get for them.

I decided to support my favourite charity shop. Acorns, in Wednesbury, is a shop that I have known for a long time, my mom has managed the store for many years and I have often helped out when I have had some spare time. Acorns supports a local children’s hospice, doing a great job to support the families of  children with terminal illnesses, and it was a charity I was really happy to help.

Staff at Acorns sort through Donations.

Acorns, like many charity shops, has suffered from a fall in donations recently, losing out on good quality items to companies offering cash for bags. After a chat with Diane and the volunteers, it was clear that toys were one of the things that the shop was lacking in terms of donations, particularly good quality cuddly toys. These needed to be clean and well looked after, with recognisable TV favourites a good bet. Another money spinner could be accessories, in particular, handbags. If these were either designer or well-known high street brands, these could be sold for £10 – £15.

So, where to look for these items? Other charity shops? Bric-a-Brac markets? Ebay? I decided that the best place to look would be at local fetes and fundraisers. I thought that local school fayres would be a great place to find good quality toys, whilst jumble sales and table top sales could be a source of clothing and accessories. I set a weekend aside to attend some events I found in my local paper and hit gold!

Some of my finds from the school fete.

My son’s school fete yielded a huge bag of cuddly toys. These were all clean, and relatively unused, and included a monkey from ‘Tinga Tales’ and some Teletubbies. I spent exactly half the £30 budget on this purchase, and was particularly pleased with a huge red cuddly toy perfect for a baby’s room. In total, I got 18 soft toys of various sizes for my money – less than £1 each.

At a church table top sale I was able to pick up some amazing handbags from the store of a lady who was having a wardrobe cull. These included River Island and Marks and Spencer designs, and again seemed to have been hardly used. One New Look bag still had the labels on, showing it cost £12 originally, I got it for £1 and felt sure that it could be sold for at least 3 times that price. All in all, I was really happy with my finds and felt sure they could bring in a profit for the charity.

Handbags on display with brands including Dorothy Perkins, River Island and New Look.

Acorns Wednesbury were really happy for the much needed donations and made sure they were placed on sale immediately. It remains to be seen how much they make for the charity, but as it is all pure profit, I’m sure it will be put to good use.

Sorting the donations.

Great Quality soft toys including TY.

More soft toys, including Teletubbies.