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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Don't be a fashion victim...

The Bargain Queen LOVES it when fashion stories feature wearable outfits. It doesn't happen very often, but when it does, The Bargain Queen takes notes. The thrill of the 'outfits people actually wear' article, is that you can pick up some great tips.

For example, there's an article in New York magazine showing outfits that their fashion editors want to wear. You could follow these outfits top-to-toe, wear them in public, and not look like a fashion victim. They're great classic outfits, and with the exception of the Fendi Spy bag, not a single piece screams '2006'. And when you consider the pricetags on most of the garments, you'd want them to last a few seasons!

If your budget stretches to one or two pricier items a season, the kind of things in this story are a good guide to what you might like to buy. Classic coats, well-cut trousers, little black dresses, great sunglasses, non-trendy leather handbags and lovely shoes are the kinds of things you're likely to get a lot of wear from. That doesn't mean you have to buy the $1,000 handbags in the story to be a classic dresser though. The Bargain Queen's budget accomodates a $200-on-special Longchamp handbag about once a year, and that's enough to make her feel like she has a lovely bag to finish her outfit.

If you can't afford any pricey items though, that's not a problem. The Bargain Queen has found a top-quality suede coat, a cashmere sweater, designer jeans, amazing vintage dresses and a whole lot of other great classics in the op shop (Australian thrift store).

So if you're looking at something that might be an 'investment' piece (and if you're budget's tight, you probably can't afford anything throwaway), here's some rules to remember:
  • You must love it so much that you'll want to wear it for years.
  • It will be classic, unless you love it enough to wear it when the mags say 'don't'.
  • It must work with things you already have.
  • It shouldn't duplicate something you have already, unless that item is almost worn out or gets so much wear you need two.
  • It must be practical. (i.e. shoes you can't walk in are never a bargain)
  • It must be good quality.
  • It must be within your budget. Spending more than a quarter of your annual budget on one item will almost never work out well.
  • You must have the money to buy it, as credit card interest will quickly make an expensive item ridiculously costly.
If you follow all these rules, or only break them when it makes sense for you, you'll never look like a fashion victim. Hooray!

Note: This post was edited because The Bargain Queen didn't express herself very well the first time around. The original content is over here.

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