Thrifty Lady

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dollar signOkay ladies how can we save money on stuff? Guys don't have as many options in the clothing department; menswear basically consists of tops,jackets, and pants.  Even men's formal wear resembles their basic wear, but uses another material, while women's clothing may have all of the above and skirts and dresses in many styles to choose from. 

 The top for a man basically either has long sleeves, short sleeves, or sleeveless so it seems pretty easy to shop. A ladies top, on the other hand, can have long sleeves, half sleeves, 1/3 sleeves, cap sleeves, one sleeves, no sleeves and more. Ladies do have a lot more clothing options and for the budget diva it is good to optimize our options to make the most cost effective choices-not just pretty ones. When it comes to clothing one can save money by buying classy (classy doesn't have to mean boring) basics as separates like skirts, blouses, and so on. Why? Because it can give you a variety  of options and save you money at the same time.  Here is how.

When you buy a dress not only can it cost more than separates, it is usually either causal or formal and either a summer dress or a winter dress; so dresses tend to be only wearable for certain seasons and occasions.  You may be able to get more use out of a semi-formal dress than out of a casual or formal dress because there isn't as much you can do to change the appearance of an occasion dress. You may be able to dress (no pun intended) a dress it up or down a bit with accessories and other pieces of clothing to get more use out of it, but it is easier to get significant change in the overall appearance of a an outfit if you buy separates.

Separates can take you through the whole year and you can get a whole lot more looks out of the item by simply mixing different top, jacket, and bottom combinations to accommodate the occasion and changing seasons. For special occasion wear, adding a formal top to a basic skirt (or a dressy skirt to basic blouse) or combining two basics can set the tone of the outfit in either direction, taking a casual item to semi formal, or making the whole outfit formal by wearing two formal pieces at once or by going all causal to fit the occasion and weather demands by opting for warmer combinations. You can get a lot more use out of a few good separates than with one piece outfits. Don't get me wrong; it is nice to have a some dresses for specific occasions on hand, but keep in mind you probably will not get as much wear out of a special occasion dress than with separate pieces. 

When you do see something really nice in a store that is a bit pricey you might want wait and see if you can get it sale or for less elsewhere by checking online (which would save you gas from not store hopping). Fairly often I've found after a sale you can find the same outfit on Ebay new with the tags still on for far less than the store's sale price was by searching for the brand name-which makes sense. I think most of us have purchased something whim because it looked nice and was on sale and later had second thoughts about it at some point. And since sales price purchases tend to be non-returnable depending on the store one person's cognitive dissonance may bring about another's satisfaction.

I know the thought of wearing something another person may have tried on seems icky, but just because you buy it from the store doesn't mean it wasn't tried on either (fitting rooms are for testing the fit after all ). So with anything you purchase, you should wash it before wearing anyway. Also, besides looking for the exact article of clothing you love, you can use the outfit as inspiration to create similar looks for less by combining separates and/or finding a dress in a similar style for a lower price when possible if you can't find the exact item at a reasonable price.

Another way to be a thrifty lady is to buy your clothing in off seasons, like summer things at the beginning of fall and winter clothing at the beginning of spring/summer, to get things for less as stores launch sales to try to get rid of last season's stuff, so you can afford to buy other fabulous things a girl needs besides clothing without busting your budget.

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