Women are called to beauty.
Beautiful surrounding, beautiful clothes, beauty items – the list could go on, so when it comes to balancing beauty and the budget, I am drawn to surrounding myself with those things for less money.
Women love fashion. Women prioritize fashion. Women love and prioritize fashion so much that extensive credit card debt in this category runs rampant.
There is another way.
Last week, many of you joined me in your disdain for some narrow minded thinking about the beauty of thrifting. As I declared my “Face of Goodwill,” I shared my $5 evening gowns that I planned on wearing this week in New York City.
In the fashion world, the Big Apple represents all that is cutting edge in designers, fabrics, styles and accessories. Over the top trends allow people to express themselves through style choices that make me smile, yet ones that I would never think about wearing.
As I packed for my trip, I decided to only travel with a carry-on bag, thus trimming my wardrobe choices. The gowns were put away and I decided to go with my always safe choice – a LBD. Yes, I have shared my love affair with the Little Black Dress, and I admit my problem. If I see a great one, I purchase it, and this was no exception. Although, when it’s a $1 yard sale find, who can fault me? It might just be that much better than the last one, and then I have more to share. This LBD has stood the test of time, as I purchased it over a year ago. The cowl neck, which unfortunately, you can’t see well due to the bright lightening, presents a unique and classy touch.
So why did I decide to go so typically unoriginal in NYC? Because I decided to step outside my comfort zone and get a little crazy with my accessories? Nearly two years ago, when I first started my Frugal Fashionista posts, I gave my “Dare to be Different” Frugal Fashionista philosophy.
I shared how I am wearing new colors, trying new sizes, dressing more trendy, and trying new “personalities” with my wardrobe. Many fashion experts will state that you need to know your fashion personality, so you can create your ideal wardrobe. I love breaking the rules on this. With second hand treasures, you can afford to develop new personalities and possibly find ones you love, that you would have never tried at full price.
Six month ago, I purchased these fun, trendy and yes, HUGE earrings on-line for $3. Often, I view large earrings on ladies and think they look amazing, but I’m too nervous to ever try them myself.
I decided NYC was the place to wear them, but even better, I got up the nerve to go all out with my high heels – VERY high heels, as well (the ones on the left).
I am SO glad I did.
Pairing a traditional and simple black dress with some daring earrings and shoes made for a perfect NYC Red Carpet outfit, and the best part is that it was a “no-spend” outfit.
I didn’t go out and purchase additional items for this special weekend, even thought it was quite tempting. I shopped my closet and thought outside what I typically gravitate towards, and now I will never go back.
I loved sporting those fun earrings and large earrings are going to be on my “treasure hunting” list.
Have fun and ;ook inside your closet to see what interesting pieces you can match. Sometimes it just takes different eyes to try items together like mixing patterns or accessories. You may be able to take a simple $1 black item and make some magic from it by only purchasing one new accessory.
It’s amazing how accessories can make an outfit, and my next Frugal Fashionista post will cover some suggestions.
Total Cost for my “Red Carpet” Frugal Fashionista outfit?
$1 – black yard sale dress
$ 3 – Earrings purchased on -line with a Groupon
$8 – Heels purchased at Plato’s Closet
And your shoes were AMAZING, Jen!! So good to see you in person. You exuded beauty for sure!
As I wrote that post, I actually debated giving them the adjective you used for them….hee hee
I bet I know that adjective. I taught middle school. I’ve heard everything.
Way to go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I see NO photo credit in this email 😉
OH MY WORD! What WAS I thinking?
All photos should be directed to the amazing photographer behind these pics – http://www.frugalcouponliving.com. Shame on me! 🙂
Miss you already! So wish I could have stayed longer.
Wow, that’s awesome. I would’ve justified buying a whole new weekend wardrobe because of a trip to NYC. I’m so impressed!
You have totally inspired me! I have 2 events coming up over the next 2 weekends and I had already decided I was NOT going to buy something new but now I am even more focused. Now if I can just become more confident in styling the entire outfit to figure out what looks good together I will be well on my way!
Wow, you look amazing! We LOVE Plato’s closet, too. 🙂
I absolutely LOVE those shoes! You look amazing. Your Frugal Fashionista posts are always my favorites. Keep on saving and sharing!
You look great! Love your Frugal Fashionista series! It’s always so inspiring!
You look great! Looks like you guys had a blast!
You look amazing! Just perfect, the dress is understated and classy, but the shoes and earrings set off the whole look! I love your Frugal Fashionista posts, when I clicked over here and saw that today was one I slid my chair closer to my computer in anticipation, haha! You have inspired me to shop for secondhand clothes and I’m loving it so much. Thanks!
Jen, I love to read your blog and think you are wonderful. I do not want to be rude–by no means–but what you write about Goodwill seems like a fairy tale. The Goodwill stores here in Houston have much much higher prices than you pay. Their paperback books are $1.50 for goodness sake. I will say that there are clean, not smelly ,but still have high prices.
There may be places in Houston that I don’t know about and if someone knows of a good shopping resale store, I wish they would write in and tell it.
Meanwhile, keep up the good work–you have a lot of good suggestions.
I went to Goodwill in NYC and their paper backs were $1.99.
Many of the low prices that I mention are not Goodwill purchases. The only way I can snag a $1 black dress is at a yard sale, now I did find that gown for $5, but honestly, that was a dream find. 😉 Yes, their prices are getting higher. The smaller thrift stores are a much better deal. The shoes I purchased were $8, so definitely not low, low priced, but considering they were probably $75, I was thrilled to find them.
Does your Goodwill hold 50% off days? The Goodwill in Manhattan was higher priced as well, but they still had some discount days. Their dresses were $14.99 and shirts $7.99 as opposed to mine at $4 for shirts. Nearly double, BUT they had some unique and great finds that wouldn’t be in other places.
Maybe you could ask about marked down days. Ours doesn’t do that, but I know many do.
You look amazing!!! I love putting together similar (cheapo) outfits! I usually tell people the truth when they ask! lol Beautiful post from a beautiful woman. Thanks!!
Okay, lady, you look amazing, but how did you travel to look like that with just a carryon? What about makeup and hairspray? Trying to figure out how to save $50 of baggage fees for Relevant!
A few people asked me to do a post on that. I have never checked a bag, even last year for Relevant, and that is with about four trips a year. I bring the carry on roller suitcase and try to do thin fabric items, one sweater or thing to wear if I am cold. Then I bring another shoulder bag – as big as I can get for my second. I also bring a purse and can typically get that on as well, but US AIR is strict and they make me put the purse in the shoulder bag. So, it totally sticks out to make it at “two.”
@Jen, I would love to see that post! I have not done much traveling air, but in the car and often we seem as a family to take too much even when I try to scale it down. So any super duper tips would be a blessing!
I admire that you are willing and happy to go against the mainstream when it comes to buying 2nd hand. I’ve also found a lot of wardrobe pieces through thrifting.
The big earrings look great on you!
Those shoes are the bomb. Very NYC.
I got a skirt for a conference this week from Plato’s closet too! I think they are the easiest place for if you only have a short amount of time because you don’t have to search too hard (like Goodwill) and you don’t have to drive far away (like a yard sale).
You looked great – as always. I’m surprised to hear that you shop at Plato’s Closet. I thought it was only for kids. That will be my next stop.
I thought so too, but it’s actually a really trendy thrift store. They are very picky about what they bring in, definitely higher priced, but quality items. Most of the things are way too trendy for me. Low cut shirts, short dresses, BUT they have a lot of great items as well and amazing selection of shoes that look like they are practically new.
WOWZA Jen! You look amazing! Love the big earrings. I’m usually too chicken for those too, but they’re a perfect fit for the little black dress and sweet heels.
You go girl! Fashionista on a budget. You can’t get any better than that. I love it!
Love those shoes!!! You look classy and fashionable at the same time. Loving my new Goodwill; I haven’t seen sale days here in the Raleigh area at our GCF stores but tops and pants are about $3.50 each…not too bad! I am a teacher and we were recently given a new dress code policy, so GCF here I come. Found some nice dress pants and some trendy tops. My principal now asks, “Is that another new to you outfit?” I love it!
I LOVE that, Cindy!! Yes, with things like new dress policies where you need a bunch of outfits at once, it’s the best!!
Thanks (again) for sharing this with us! Too many women (and other people) think that to look good you have to spend money and shop all the time. 🙂 Wish I had an “event” so I could dress up …
I was wondering if you knew of a sight that reviewed makeup and beauty products. Even with coupons etc, one could spend a fortune and still not have a particularly good product. Perhaps the reviews would be too subjective? I cannot find a cream blush. Most companies make just the powder type which is too drying for aging skin. I have purchased a couple drugstore type with coupons and they didnt work out well, turned orangy. Drugstores frown on taking them back time after time till you find the right one……..any suggestions?
you look mahvelus!