A Few Thoughts About Frugal Shopping


The golden rule one must follow to build a great wardrobe:

Pick quality over quantity.

Pick designer items!  Name brand!  Expensive = quality!

I’d like to think that there are a few exceptions to this.  (But let me clarify:  I’m not proposing an entire wardrobe of cheap items.  Don’t go crazy! Haha. But there is absolutely nothing wrong with a little bit of guilt free shopping here and there, right?)  :)

A good chunk  of my wardrobe is from Forever 21… Mostly tees, tanks, dresses, going-out-on-the-town type of garments.  There are so many people that HATE Forever 21 because they think that all of the items are of bad quality.  ‘You get what you pay for‘, etc.  But if you look hard enough and check out the material content there are some items that are pretty good.  The 100% silk, or non-rayon items for example.  Shopping in any one store can be a mixed bag, honestly.  A lot of high-end designers still create 100% rayon garments!

How you care for a garment is very important.  A 100% silk tank top from Club Monaco will lose a lot of its luster if you toss it in the washer.  A cashmere or wool sweater will shrink terribly in the dryer.  Stains will ruin just about anything if you don’t treat it.

Quality items are usually expensive (unless you take the time to look!).  Over time, you can build a great wardrobe with quality items, but you’ll have to compromise by having less.  I don’t know about you, but a bare bones wardrobe with a few items makes me a little sad.   I have a ton of cheapie clothes mixed in with quality clothing; mostly cheaper tops next to more expensive outerwear and denim.   To me, more tops (tees, tanks, blouses, shirts) =  countless outfit possibilities!

There have been a few times that I spent a good chunk of change on something and regretted it.  A full priced dress, for example.  Great quality.  But I only wore it once, and I’m considering donating it because it never sees the light of day.   It’s quite sad.  On the flip side, I have really cheapie items that I love to death and I do my best to make sure they last.

But you know what?  For me, I get tired of something sooner than an item becomes unwearable or falls apart!  So this works for me.

The greatest aspect of cheapie shopping:  If you get sick of it, its okay because you didn’t spend a fortune on it.  Yay!

A few thoughts:

  • Just because you buy good quality clothing doesn’t mean they will last a long time.  No matter what you buy, cheapie or not, you have to take care of it!  Cheap items can really last a long time this way.
  • There’s nothing wrong with buying cheap (e.g. Target, Ebay, Forever21).   Getting a good deal on something that you love is a great feeling.  And you shouldn’t be ashamed about it, especially now with the recession going on.
  • If you have to have that name brand or at least the designer look, try browsing discount stores:  Salvation Army, Goodwill, Nordstrom Rack, TJMaxx, vintage shops.  You get the best of both worlds:  name brands at a cheap price!

Here’s my number one shopping rule:

  • Buy things that you absolutely love!  If you think it’s just ‘okay’ then don’t buy it.  Be picky even if its dirt cheap (!) and make sure you’ll wear it.  If something slightly bothers you about it and you can’t fix it, forget it!