Ladies, I have champagne and caviar tastes on a beer and pizza budget. Without even trying I can and will always like the most expensive item on a rack, no matter if I am shopping at Goodwill or Barney’s. It’s a frustrating talent! Over the years I have learned a few tricks to prevent my bank account from being in the red while keeping my closet stocked full of fun, stylish, and functional clothes. First and foremost, know your personal style. Knowing who you are clothing wise will keep you from bending to every fashion whim and will help you narrow down the brands and retailers who cater to your aesthetic. Once you’ve defined your style palate, stalk the brands, both budget friendly and budget busting, who carry clothing and accessories that speak to your fashion sensibilities. Screen shot these items or make a Pinterest board of your must-haves so you are armed with examples of what you like when you go shopping. Even if you cannot afford those covetable brands, you at least have colors, prints, and silhouettes you can look for wherever you shop.
I was browsing the Kate Spade website the other day and nearly swooned when I saw this skirt. Alas, a $250 polka dot midi skirt is not in the cards for this teacher, no matter how glorious of a skirt it might be. Imagine my happiness, then, when I found this windowpane plaid midi skirt for $20. Granted, it is not the same quirky print nor does this skirt have the same quality fabric or construction, but it does have the same bold color scheme as my dream skirt, has the same feminine lines, and will allow my children to eat and for us to keep the A.C. on during the warm summer months. The take away here is no matter how small your budget might be, you can still allow yourself some dream browsing on more expensive retailer websites and then let that dreaming inform your shopping at retailers that you can actually afford.
Windowpane plaid is a bold, somewhat masculine print, so while I wanted it to take center stage I also wanted to bring in a few feminine touches to play off the skirt’s silhouette and to provide a little balance. I chose to pair it with a black top with feminine cut sleeves and accessories that compliment the blue and black print while bringing in a little pop of color to keep things fun!
This is a look that can easily work for both work and play. Depending on your work environment the pops of yellow could be switched for black heels and if accessories are frowned upon the skirt’s print adds enough interest to keep things from being too bland. Outside of work, use accessories to add some color and play up the quirky nature of the print. Cobalt blue has been a really big color trend this year, but it’s a seasonless, timeless color in my book, so the garments you pick up during the summer in this color scheme will still work in the fall and winter making your money stretch even further!