Fashion

How to be a Budget Fashionista: Top 10 tips on looking fabulous for less!

Author: Elle Canada

Fashion

How to be a Budget Fashionista: Top 10 tips on looking fabulous for less!

Visit our forums to chat about fashion, beauty and shopping with other ELLE Canada readers!

Budget Fashionista Tip #1: Buy What You Love and Love What You Buy
Repeat this tip to yourself before you enter a store, while trying on clothes in the dressing room, and while waiting at the cash register at your favourite store. Feel empowered to say no to useless trends, stand-alone pieces, and overpriced designer items that make you look anything but your absolute best. Approach shopping like you would approach a marriage. Would you marry a person you just "liked"?

Budget Fashionista Tip #2: Keep the Receipts
Save all tags and receipts for at least two weeks after you purchase an item. Go to your local Office Max or Staples and purchase a coupon or bill folder. Number each tab in the folder according to the days of the month and place your receipts in the folder at least three days before the last day to exchange or return the item.

Budget Fashionista Tip #3: The Savers Rule
Here is a little-known fact: The more you save, the more and longer you will be able to spend. Budget fashionistas must save at least as much as they spend on clothes per month. For example, if you have $250 after paying all of your expenses, at least $125 of it should go into your savings account. Deposit the other $125 into a completely separate interest-bearing chequing our savings account with its own debit card and cheques, to be used specifically for shopping. That way you will be able to keep track of the money you spend on clothes.

Budget Fashionista Tip #4: Purchase a Gift Card
In order to track spending, purchase a Visa or American Express gift card (available online at www.visa.com, www.americanexpress.com, or at your local bank) to manage your shopping expenses. Just bring this gift card with you when you go shopping. Once the money is gone from the gift card, it is time to stop shopping. Many stores have implemented the gift card format for gift certificates, and I also find them particularly helpful for managing expenses. The cards are refillable, so you can add more funds when you are ready to go shopping again.

Budget Fashionista Tip #5: Call It an Estate Sale
If you are selling a large amount of high-quality jewellery and vintage furniture in good condition, calling your sale an estate sale will increase the number of customers and the amount you can charge for your items.



Excerpted from How to be a Budget Fashionista: The Ultimate Guide to Looking Fabulous for Less by Kathryn Finney. Copyright 2006 by Kathryn Finney. Published by Ballantine Books, a division of Random House of Canada. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Budget Fashionista Tip #6: Avoid the "Work and Spend" Trap
Be careful not to fall into the work and spend habit –- spending your entire paycheque on purchases at the store where you work. To avoid this trap, opt for direct deposit of your cheque into your chequing or savings account.

Budget Fashionista Tip #7: How to Find Your Natural Waist
With so many different types of pants and jeans, how does one find one's natural waist? Use this trick I learned from my seamstress grandmother. Stand up straight and bend your body to the side (either left or right) as if you are stretching for a workout. The crease, or the indentation between your hips and rib cage that is formed when you bend to the side, is your natural waist.

Budget Fashionista Tip #8: Learn How to Walk in Heels
Don't know how to walk in heels? Rent the first season of the UPN television show America's Top Model and watch runway maestro Miss J. teach uncoordinated model newbies how to walk.

Budget Fashionista Tip #9: A Little Spandex Can Go a Long Way
For those of us who need a little support, jeans and pants that have a spandex content of 2 to 5 percent are the best. (Any higher, and you will look like you belong in an aerobics class.)

Budget Fashionista Tip #10: Take Care of Your Clothes like a Stylist
Below are some tricks used by fashion and celebrity stylists to help preserve and care for the clothing entrusted to their care. Use these tricks to help maintain the clothes in your closet.

Iron with steam: Every budget fashionista must have an iron. No exceptions. The steam will help press out deep creases and prolong the life of your clothes by reducing the use of starch.

Double-stick tape: This take has adhesive on both sides. Stylists use it to stick clothing safely to the skin. This works great for plunging necklines; think J.Lo and the infamous Versace dress.

Masking tape: Stylists use electrical and masking tape to protect the soles of expensive shoes from horrible scuffs. Following the outline of the sole, apply pieces of the tape to the bottom of shoe. Make sure the tape is securely placed so that it isn't noticeable from a distance.

Quarters: If you live in a windy city, you might be reluctant to wear fuller, lighter-weight skirts for fear of showing your “goods” to the entire city. Stylists tape quarters or fishing weights to the inside seam of the skirt to help weigh it down and prevent it from flying up.

Polaroid or digital camera: Stylists use these cameras to help keep track of their outfits. For example, if a certain outfit looks fabulous on you, take a picture of yourself wearing it so that you will remember what you wore. If you have a lot of shoes, you can also paste a Polaroid on the outside of each shoebox to help identify your shoes.



Excerpted from How to be a Budget Fashionista: The Ultimate Guide to Looking Fabulous for Less by Kathryn Finney. Copyright 2006 by Kathryn Finney. Published by Ballantine Books, a division of Random House of Canada. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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How to be a Budget Fashionista: Top 10 tips on looking fabulous for less!