Are you new to my Frugal Fashionista series? Find out how I dress in designer clothes for less. Yes, for mere pennies on the dollar, my outfits are less than $15, and did I mention…all second hand?)
For many of us, our pursuit towards Frugal Fashionista prowess has given us some purchasing lessons along the way. Often, my wallet comes out if an item is gorgeous or if their label screams “designer”. My mind goes to what the original purchase price must have been, and I can’t keep from buying it knowing that originally it was $125, but I only paid $3.
Yet, what happens is that my closet has a whole row of items that are “almost” types of pieces.
The sleeves on this shirt almost fit. I can almost make the color work, maybe it just needs a scarf. If I just lose ten more pounds, this dress will be amazing because I can almost close the zipper.
Yes, the “almost” items that I am bound and determined to make work because they were too good of a deal to just pass by.
Can anyone relate?
Now I’m doing a better job of refraining from the “almost” purchases. I know that something else will come along. It may not be the exact article of clothing, but it will be something else that looks great on me, and actually fits at the size I am right now. (See my post, “Designer Clothes and why I said, “No.”)
Sometimes though, an item comes along that “almost” works, yet I can visualize what I need to do to immediately fix it, and I know it will be perfect.
Last fall, I was looking for long, asymmetrical sweaters.
I love long sweaters because they work as “creative concealment” pieces. They cover muffin tops, back end mishaps, and give a long, lean look to an otherwise basic outfit.
While this brown sweater wasn’t asymmetrical, it fit the look I was going for and the price was right at just $1 from a yard sale. The only items that screamed “out dated” to me were the gold, oh so bright and shiny (you can see yourself in the reflection), buttons. Initially, I was deterred from wearing it, but hen realized it was such a simple fix.
In thirty seconds, the shiny buttons were gone, and I made it work perfectly. I’m left with what is now one of my very favorite sweaters. I am so excited for this fall weather that has just swung through because I am digging it out again and ready to jazz it up with some of my favorite accessories (like this $2 necklace score from a yard sale).
(In full disclosure, these jeans were the ones my son rolled his eyes at declaring “Mom Jeans.” They look ok from this camera angle, but that is the reason you do not have a full on look. 😉 They have now been given to Good will, so if you see them, don’t be drawn in by the lure of the Tommy Hilfiger brand. Put the wallet away and be assured you are doing the right thing.)
Do you have any “Almost” Pieces of Clothing?
Do they need to be donated or is there something you can do to make it work?
I don’t buy things that I don’t really like and I adhere to a certain price point. Looking in my closet and seeing lots of stuff but nothing to wear is not good. If I don’t already have something to coordinate with a piece, I usually don’t get it. There will always be another retail sale and more donations at thrift stores.
I have too many “almost” pieces, too. They are easy to acquire when people give you clothes or you buy at a yard sale and can’t try it on first. I have a big pile to take to Goodwill right now.
I’ve adopted the rule of if I don’t LOVE it, it doesn’t come home with me. If it’s ‘just okay’, it may never leave the closet.
Thanks for the encouragement. Now that I’ve started thrifting, the hardest part is saying no to all the $3 lovelies. It’s really hard to stick to buying only items that are a “home run.”
My mom and I had our colors done years ago to figure out what colors look best on us. It really works; she looks great in cooler colors and I look great in warmer colors. I also learned which shades to wear – dusky, denim blue looks good on me, for instance, while navy blue sucks the color out of my face and makes me look like I’m dead. Just knowing what colors to wear and which to avoid greatly streamlines my choices – and saves money because I don’t buy colors that I know will be unflattering. Also knowing which shapes of clothing – such as v-necks – look best on your body, and which shapes of glasses/sunglasses look best on your face makes shopping decisions a lot easier, too.
Ironic, as I was just cleaning out my closet this morning of all of the summer *almosts* that I don’t love enough to keep until next summer. Fortunately, I have relatives that can peruse the pile to see if they like something well enough to keep. After that, it’s off to the thrift store donation bag. I too am learning to only keep what I love, as it is hard to manage a closet filled with “so-so” items.
Good timing. Last month we moved into a great house that has big rooms but ITTY BITTY closets! My husband actually said his clothes won’t even all fit into our closet (& he’s right!!). I purchased two rolling racks from Ikea for my stuff (Do not purchase them! They are horribly designed & sway from side to side no matter what you do. I’d take mine back if we lived closer.) & it STILL doesn’t all fit. After reading your post, I am inspired to clean out all my ‘almosts’ & make space for the good stuff. Thank you!
Such good tips. I have found so many great items at Goodwill and other events. Almost all of my suits for work were bought at a semi annual charity second hand sale for $5 a pop. Love that
I have bought a lot of almost items. Some have been donated, others are still here in case I lose those 10 pounds and some ended up in my daughters closet. A new rule for me is, if it doesn’t fit don’t buy it. It is so hard to say no to some of the nice things I find but my closet is better off.
I think of it just like shopping at any other store…if I won’t use it, it’s a waste of money. Even though that top/dress/whatever is only $5, if I can’t wear it now, it’s not a frugal purchase. $5 here and there (even though it doesn’t sound like much) adds up.
I like what was said in the post though…if you can honestly fix a few of the trimmings, then you can give it new life and make it work for you! 🙂
Ok, I did it! I’ve gotten pieces from Goodwill and St Vincent dePaul’s before, but I wasn’t thinking it through! After I read your posts, I went to Goodwill today with the mindset that I need to find shirts that would go OVER some of the shirts I have now (I know, duh, but I just don’t dress that way!) So I found 4 nice shirts – 1 from Dress Barn with the tag still on it! and another one from Cold Water Creek (LOVE that catalog!). I went home and matched them up right away with the shirts that I was thinking of and showed my hubby and he was impressed! And I have a Goodwill card, so I saved more $ too! So I got those 4 shirts, a shirt with a great pattern (I wear a lot of solids, so I thought that might break me out of my rut, lol), a shirt to replace a shirt that I had to throw away (and now I can wear those pants again!) and a pair of shoes! Yes, you convinced me to check out the shoes and OMG! I found the cutest pair of navy slingbacks with a small heel that looked brand new! I’ve always shopped there for my kids bc they grow so fast, but I think I’ll be doing more shopping for me too! (I had triplets 5 years ago, so I have hardly bought ANYTHING for myself, clotheswise, from retail or catalog!!) Thanks again for the ideas and keep ’em coming!
YAY! I wish I could do a little person clapping and doing the happy thrifting dance. 😉 Way to go!!