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, all outfits are less than $15, and did I mention…second hand?)
As I was looking through my photo card for some daily fashion pictures that I had taken, but not posted, I started seeing a theme with these Frugal Fashionista pictures – layering. Layering pieces is one of the most cost effective ways to maximize ones frugal wardrobe. A plethora of plain shirts and tanks can be found at yard sales and thrift stores, but without layering them they would be just that… cheap, but plain.
Honestly, the reason I didn’t post them initially was that I determined they just weren’t cute enough, yet I realize that is in direct opposition to the goal of my Frugal Fashionista posts. I never want anyone to think that my daily wardrobe outfits walk off the pages of magazines, because that’s not reality. I typically dress nicely, but not at the height of trendy fashion. This post is a prime example of that reality: every day outfits.
My desire is to empower women that for literally a few dollars and some creative mixing and matching, we can dress incredibly well on a tiny fashion budget. It may not be Vogue on a regular basis, but outfits that we don’t have to be embarrassed about, even though we know how much we paid.
The first picture above shows a very simple outfit, but it’s accented with a fun chunky necklace which spices it up tremendously.
All the pieces in these pictures were from yard sales. My top price point at a yard sale for simple shirts and tanks is $1. The coral shirt, white tank and Eddie Bauer jeans were each just $1/piece.
Yes, a $3 outfit!
For the outfit below, all I did was swap out the coral shirt for a white shirt and added a blue belt on the left, and a wide, black belt on the right. The details didn’t show up in the pictures, but the side of the white shirt is pleated and has some really unique details. I love finding shirts with just a slightly different twist and for the summer, there’s nothing better than a white shirt to mix and match with a tank and jeans. Both of these belts were just $1, so my $3 outfit soared to a whopping $4 with the addition of the belt.
In NC, dressing can be a bit tricky based on the combination of warm outdoor weather and freezing cold inside air conditioning.
I tend to layer a lot with tanks and shirts, so that I can take the shirt off leaving just the tank or short sleeved shirt for when I go outside.
Below is another example (from last summer) of using the same core pieces, but just mixing and matching the layers. The base pieces were a $1 pink tank top and $0.50 comfy, cotton skirt. I love cotton skirts in the summer and wear them a lot. To the left, I layer my soft, white cotton $1 Anne Taylor yard sale shirt over my tank, and on the left, I just swapped that out for a white sleeveless shirt. I really think it gives two very different looks with just that one switch in layers.
Again, two more outfits for less than the price of a Big Mac.
This last outfit carries the same theme – layering basic pieces for a fun, sporty look.
My Steve Madden red shoes were one of my favorite finds last year, and I first showed them in my “Should you seriously wear second hand shoes” post. Fifty of you chimed in with your opinions on that topic, which I always love to read. Now these awesome shoes have nothing to do with layering, but they sure do make this outfit pop. Red shoes with pink, believe it or not is FUN! (And they are a bit more red than this pictures shows.) Try it, you’ll enjoy living on the wild side. 😉
Back to the outfit. If you don’t mind worrying just a bit about dripping ketchup on your white pants, white is a perfect choice this time of year. When you only pay $1, the fear factor definitely diminishes, and I figure that if I pair it with a hot, pink shirt, then even if I do get a few stains, no one will notice because they will just enjoy the colors in the shirt and shoes.
There you have it. Five varying outfits that took plain, potentially boring pieces, yet layered and accessorized with the right jewelry and shoes, turned them into something I no longer view as “not cute enough.”
No one has to dress boring. With one or two yard sale additions, you will be set to go every single day.
I love your frugal outfits – you always look so stylish! I need to do some summertime shopping at the thrift store this week.
I love yard sales. And you definately prove that yard sale outfits don’t have to look like you got them at a yard sale. What great outfits!
Seriously, I want to know how you find jeans and pants -at yard sales!!- that fit. I have such a hard time finding jeans that fit right at department stores. Not all size 10’s are alike….how do you do it??
I have definitely gone through my bombs on pants at yard sales, but at $1, I figure if I buy three pairs that don’t fit well, then the one that does is worth it. Only recently have I really hit the jackpot with pants. Before that I bought my share of “mom jeans” at Goodwill before I realized they looked horrible on me 😉
“No one has to dress boring.” – oh I love this!
Love the layering idea, and it is really something I only discovered after taking photos for “What I Wore Wednesday” posts.
The belts are great, and as much as I like the white shirt – the pink and turquoise really pop on you you beautiful girl!
And that was a GREAT post, and honestly, you have inspired me with dropping those pounds. It’s been hard for me to see the opposite – pictures of me when I started these Frugal Fashionista posts and I was skinny, and now where there’s been noticeable weight gain, BUT..it’s real life and it’s gotten me to the point where I want to do something about this “blogger bootie.” 😉
I always love your frugal fashion advice. But you know where I struggle with that I notice you DON’T? Jewelry. I find a ton of it but I am COMPLETELY clueless as to how to wear it. Seriously, I know the bracelet goes on the wrist and necklace on the neck, but it never looks good when I pair things up. I hear often how jewelry is cheap and can change a look to an outfit, which I get. Just wish I knew how to pair things together. Maybe a future series? Please? Pretty please? Am I begging??? Why YES I am! LOL
I agree! I love looking at the jewelry other people wear, and I love looking at it in the store. But I’m never sure if it’s going to look good or right when I actually put it on. Consequently, I don’t wear much jewelry.
I also loved reading your tips! However, I am a 6P-8P & often have trouble finding slacks & jeans & sometimes even tops @ thrift stores or garage sales…enter the disappointment that catapults me to the stores(albeit with coupons in hand & making a beeline directly to the clearance racks). With the price of gas, I don’t feel I’m saving any $ if I’ve driven all day to & fro & come back with nada! The size issue may also apply to other ladies who are in various specially-sized categories.
I too, would love some tips on accessorizing w/jewelry! Again, when I see jewelry anywhere, I usually can’t mentally place it w/an outfit, become overwhelmed & leave not purchasing any!
I will definitely need to focus on some accessorizing posts, since it really does make the difference in an outfit. And yes, I can see how finding pants would be a total hit or miss, but I am surprised about tops because there is such a variety. Your best bet would be landing on a yard sale when someone is clearing out for the next season, but unless you enjoy the thrill of the hunt, you are right – gas=$$.
So cute! Thank you!
Hi! I’m a newish follower & I’m loving your site. I’m a fellow fashion thrifter…you and I would be amazing friends 😉 My BEST find so far this year…$3.00 BRAND NEW Ugg boots. They are the real deal too (I even stopped by a retailer to chack because I couldn’t believe it!). I guess I got lucky when grandma was left in charge of the family estate sale…she obviously didn’t know. There’s not a day that goes by when I’m not combining new with old. 🙂
Love the looks and interested in your toe polish! :o) Light at the base, dark on the top? New fashion , do share :o)
It’s called – real life blogging. If I had to wait until my nails, hair, etc. etc were always done, I’d never get a post up. 😉 Empowering women in normality. haha
Your layering idea also works well for either a capsule wardrobe or minimalist vacation packing — using a few pieces to create many looks.
Is it sad that I have ‘visit the Myrtle Beach Goodwill” on my list we visit the beach in a couple weeks!!
Yeah for second hand!!!
Too cute Jen! My question would be about layering when you live in Florida. It is seriously so hot you can’t layer.
Any ideas for creating a cute style in the tropics?
@The Happy Housewife, Im in SW Florida….tank tops, tank tops, tank tops…..oh and AC. 😉
I, too, was interested in the cool pedicure you had! LOL!! See, you can go longer between pedis now!!
I have only just started doing a little layering. I am a 43 yr old mother of 10, who has realized that I have had a lot of frumpy years. Well, I guess I went from always pregnant to no longer knowing quite what to wear! I have recently been getting quite a few new things, and I have received so many compliments. I guess everybody else thought I was frumpy too. Ah, well.
Thanks for so many great ideas. This mom of many can use all the help I can get! Dawn
You look so cute in all the outfits. I’ve bought a few pieces of jewelry, inspired by you, and I’m trying to accessorize more. I definitely feel more stylish when I do.
Since following your blog, I have really begun to accessorize more. A great necklace can really change a boring T-shirt into something spectacular. I pick up great pieces for cheap at church rummage sales (and no it’s just not old lady stuff there either).
You look great! You give me lots of inspiration! I am a huge fan of your entire blog and love how, above, you differentiate looking good every day without having to be ready to walk down a runway. I don’t want to wear yoga pants, but I also need to be able to handle the snotty, grimy loving little people around me. One thing that I’ve been meaning to ask you about thrift/second hand/garage sale shopping…. where I am, bedbugs are a big problem. I have been staying away from anything used for a while. A family member was plagued with them and it was physically, financially, and emotionally traumatic. Have you encountered this? Any recommendations? Thanks
When you are losing weight, keeping a wardrobe together that fits is tough and could be expensive. Like you, I have found that second hand shopping can’t be beat! When I can pick up a spring wardrobe at Goodwill for $45, why would I ever shop retail? I love your fashionista posts, the are so inspiring. Your outfits are always adorable & your accessories are fabulous.
And on the flip side, when you’ve gained a little weight (moi), the same goes. Although I am working on that. 😉
Thanks for your sweet words, and GOOD JOB on the weight loss.
Oh, man, I never thought of layering shirts like that in the summer to deal with the A/C issue. (Why do stores and restaurants seem to feel the need to make it feel like WINTER inside when we’re all dressed for sweltering summer heat?)
I will have to give that a try!
I live in Wichita, KS, and I too love Thrift Shopping! 🙂 I absolutely LOVE the shoes you are wearing in the pic with the white capris and pink top! I am SO jealous! I want a pair! 🙂