What a girl’s gotta realize is that trying to stay fabuless is a commitment and not just a fad. When you’re trying to work-it with a skinny little budget but have diva-like desires this doesn’t necessarily mean that when it comes to spending you ‘can’t’, it just translates into ‘careful’. Personally, I have always operated on a me-see, me-like, me-buy basis but this has gotten me into trouble. It is important that when you see a ‘gotta have it’ item you take some time to do a little research. Is it cheaper online? Is somebody selling a slightly-used version on eBay? Can you find a comparable, more affordable version elsewhere??
The only thing that beats the feeling of elation I get after falling in love with an item of clothing and making it mine is if I’ve gotten a great deal on it! Let’s face it, no matter how much money you make – everybody loves a good bargain. Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian were both tweeting on Monday about discounted Gucci bags on http://www.beyondtherack.com/. I’ve seen Heidi Montag tweet about YSL savings on the same site and Lindsay Lohan turned me on to this amazing penny auction site http://www.fashionbay.com/ (pre orange jumpsuit of course!). Yes, we all love a good bargain but a “bargain” is of course a relative thang. What Khloe K might see as a saving on what she describes as ‘Gucci greatness’ to me is a splurge. Nonetheless, I’m sure if I set my mind to it and did a little research I could probably find a bag comparable to that which Khloe bought but at a price that works for my D-List dime collection. Now as you already know, when it comes to bags my first port of call is Chinatown. However, there are numerous other options and obviously if we spend all our money on purses we’re going to end up in an embarrassing Emperor’s New Clothes-style situation (no no not The Situation but I guess if you were to romp around in the buff all the time that’s probably the kind of hero you can expect to attract).
I think my favorite store in the world is Marshall’s. When I was living in Ireland and my only contact with American clothing labels was an annual visit to my aunt and uncle in Connecticut, the highlight of my trip was always when my aunt would bring me to Marshalls. I would literally start salivating as soon as we got into the car and by the time we would actually walk through the door I’d have developed a nervous twitch over my left eye. I’ve bought 7 jeans, Badgley Mischka shoes, BCBG dresses, Nine West purses…..and all sorts of other delights at Marshalls and all at a fraction of the normal retail cost. Of course, most of their stock tends to be veering towards the last season collection end of things but how bad?? When I think about it - when I go to a party I like to make an entrance – I don’t want to be the first there, I want the crowd to be a little warmed up before I decide to trot in. And in all honesty, it’s the same with my style. I’m not a die-hard fashionista. I like to look and feel good buy I’m not about to shank a b#tch for this season’s must-haves. That’s why Marshalls, TJ Max, Nordstrom Rack et al work for a little recessionista like me.
The same can be said for eBay. A few years ago I was with a friend who needed a new dress for a wedding she was going to attend. Now in all honesty, she’s such a little hottie that she could literally wear a garbage bag and Ty Ty would probably still call her ‘fierce’. She settled on this very sexy BCBG number (is it obvious yet how much I love BCBG – no, I don’t actually work for that company!!) which looked great on her however I was surprised to see her hand it back to the sales assistant as we walked out of the changing room door. My inquisitive look was met with a knowing glance – “I’m going to see if I can get it cheaper on eBay first”, she whispered to me. And low behold, she did! She found this $300+ dress, unworn and in her size for around the $120 mark. I was completely astonished. Before this time, I can honestly tell you that I don’t even think I’d used eBay and it certainly would never have even crossed my mind to look for a ‘now’ item on it. But she opened my eyes to a new way of shopping. Prior to this encounter I had never really looked outside of the retail ‘box’. If I saw a dress in a store and the price tag read $100 I would just accept this at face value and it wouldn’t even cross my pretty little mind that it might be available elsewhere for less. Aw bless! Sometimes I can be so innocent….;) but now when I look back I just think – stupid! I bet that if I had been as inquisitive about my shopping exploits as I was of my then boyfriend’s band practice I could have saved myself a lot of dough.
Recently, my sister turned me on to Nicole Richie’s new line ‘Winter Kate’. I absolutely love, love, love some of the cardigans from this first collection but what I love even more is that I succeeded in finding them on eBay for a fraction of the price! Now of course, I have not had this success with every fashionable endeavor but I always try. I know it’s not sexy but I have taught myself to be a more informed shopper so at least when I do spend the big bucks I know that I’m getting it at the best possible price cos let’s face it - there is nothing worse than spending your hard earned cash on something and then seeing it in another store for $20 cheaper (seriously, that literally makes my blood boil!).
So look, if the price tag says ‘not for you’ don’t just lie down and accept defeat! If you were negotiating a pay rise with your boss you wouldn’t just accept the first offer so why would you change the rules for a clothing store?? Spend a little more time scoping out the competition – it could end up saving you a lot!
WHERE TO GO?? Check out http://www.ebay.com/
Or find your nearest store at: