How is a girl with limited funds to survive in this fashion world of items so pretty they invade your dreams? They cling to your thoughts with the intention of making a home on your next to-buy list. (Rose Gold sunglasses, be ye banished from my thoughts!)
But the sad truth is, “pretty” is not enough. If the goal is to build a fabulous wardrobe on a budget, then it requires smart shopping; making the most of said budget. Therefore, every purchase should be well considered because you know, money (and your fashionista reputation) is involved.
So ladies (and gents?), let’s get you armed for smart fashion purchases, big or small! Here are eight questions to help you decide whether or not to buy any fashion item!
1. Is it good quality?
For clothing, check the fabric: is it scratchy or uncomfortable? Check the seams: Is it well finished? Is it the type of fabric that will stretch out irreparably after a few wears (forever mourning the death of my beloved striped off-shoulder top)? Does it look cheap? Are the heels of those shoes balanced? Is the handle of that handbag actually strong enough for heavy usage?
Related reading: In the event that you’ve bought something that looks cheap (these things happen), here’s how to style it to look expensive.
2. Does it fit?
…because you are spending your money (hard earned or dash-money) and fit isn’t something to ever compromise, no matter how cute the item looks. Unless you (honestly, truly) know you can get it tailored and it won’t cost much to do so. Otherwise, it’s always better to go with something that fits better.
‘cause the sad truth is, you’ll probably never wear it if it doesn’t fit right. Or worse still, you wear it and feel terrible the entire day.
Try to spend money only on items that make you feel like the best version of yourself. Those jeans that make your butt look great? Yaaaasss girl!
3. Why Am I Buying It?
Ask yourself why you are buying said item. Is it a fleeting interest? Is it something you absolutely love? Or are you just buying it because it’s trending on Instagram? Are mom jeans really your thing or are you buying it because your favourite blogger slays in them?
What I usually do when I’m unsure of my desire for an item is to go home and sleep on it. If I’m still thinking about it after a few days, then I take it as I sign that I really do love it.
4. Will it Go With What I Already Have?
Something may look so darn cute. Affordable even. But if it doesn’t go with anything else in your wardrobe and you have to buy more pieces to make it work, it may be best to leave it “unbought” and move on to other things. Otherwise, you may soon find yourself spending a small fortune just to make said item work. Suddenly, an item that was affordable isn’t so affordable anymore.
5. Do I See Myself Wearing it/Where Would I Wear it to?
Okay, so you absolutely adore those glitter heels with pom pom detail, but are you ever really going to wear them? Especially as your 9-5 is bank job and you hardly ever attend events? While beauty is important, practicality is important-er. Yup, bad grammar for added measure.
I once found myself (*covers face*) with a wardrobe full of crop tops when what I needed were office blouses. I just kept buying them. In my defense, those crop tops were too cute and it didn’t help that Mr Price stocked them at difficult-to-ignore prices. You can guess what happened, getting dressed for work every morning became a nightmare.
Nothing is more heart-warming than having a wardrobe full of pieces that are lovely and at the same time absolutely fit into your lifestyle. No point buying for a life you wish you had!
6. Can I (Actually) Afford It?
I know that it can sometimes be difficult to turn your back on oh-so-lovely pieces, but you see, going hungry and/or homeless from buying stuff you can’t actually afford is even more difficult. So please go shopping with a budget and stick to it.
And If you’re like me and all your budget constraints fly off the roof at the sight of gorgeous pieces, it may help to go shopping only with the exact amount of cash you plan to spend and leave your ATM cards at home.
7. Can I Get It at a Better Price?
Do you know a store (online or offline) that might sell the same or a similar item at a cheaper rate? It might be a good idea to explore that option. Especially for pricey designer stuff. It may take some effort to find deals but sometimes, the money saved is so worth it!
Also, from my experience when Nigerian store attendants say “Aunty, that’s the last price”, they don’t mean it 50% of the time. So, go ahead and ask for that discount. Even more, when you’re buying more than one item.
Related Reading: Black Friday is just around the corner, here are some versatile style staples every girl should own!
8. How Many Ways Can I Style It?
Slaying this budget life requires that every fashion item you own does its fair share of hard “style” work. This means that only versatile pieces make the to-buy cut. As a rule, if you can’t imagine styling it in at least three ways then it’s going to be a lazy piece. Say no to lazy pieces. They are bad for your wardrobe (and pocket). Maximizing your money is the ish!
Using these tips will not only ensure that you avoid costly shopping mistakes but also that you over time, build a beautifully curated wardrobe and ultimately always have something to wear!
Isn’t that the dream? 🙂
Hope you found this post helpful! Please share with your friends.
How do you avoid shopping mistakes? What shopping mistake did you recently make? Do leave me a comment and let’s gist! 😉
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