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Top 10 ways to look chic on the cheap

A big Tightwad welcome to Ally, who is part of the team that manages Australian Credit Cards, a free personal finance tips service in Australia. Before joining ACC, she was a Media Planner with McCann Worldgroup Philippines, Inc., with award-winning executions, including the Levi's 501 "Live Unbuttoned" global campaign. Today Ally shares some ways to look chic without breaking your budget.
1. A good pair of denim jeans makes life a lot less complicated. Everything goes with jeans. Dress them up, dress them down, accessorize or wear simply for the nice-country-girl look. And it's a frugal choice, too. A pair of designer jeans may set you back $100's in the mall, but once you know your size, hit up eBay for a deal. Plenty of people buy jeans and then decide they're not quite right, so find a pair in the shop that you like, then look online for your deals.
2. Pay more per item. That's right! A generic-brand shirt may be cheap but it might go out of shape in 5 washes and get thrown out - then you'd buy another cheap one… But purchase a top-brand shirt and even if it costs you several times the price as the generic brand, you might get 100 or more wears out of it and it will still look good.
3. Thrift stores. Frequent them and keep your eyes peeled for special finds. Need we say any more?
4. Buy classic. Classic will always be chic, because it is, well, classic. You can never go wrong with white blouses and jeans, or black pants and a neutral skivvy. However, chances are, today's fashion will be "so yesterday" tomorrow.
5. Natural fabrics. They wear much better than man-made fabrics, and you'll get a longer life out of them. Plus, they look pure and go with everything.
6. Swap with a friend. Each month, swap a couple of outfits with a friend the same size as you. If you are both happy with the swap, then make it a permanent exchange. No-one has to shell out a new cent yet you both get the novelty of new clothes.
7. Multi-purpose clothes. Does it match multiple bottoms/tops?

8. Take care of the clothes you have. Wipe spills off immediately to save a full wash, which stresses the fabrics more.
9. Lose weight. OK, this bites, but slimmer people fit into more clothes, especially almost-new thrift store finds. (Maybe because people have a tendency to buy clothes that are a tad too small!) Taking up running every second morning will cost you only the price of a pair of runners and it will end up shaving $ off your clothes bill as well as your healthcare expenses.
10. Know what fits your body. It might be worth paying for a session with a professional clothing fitter who can teach you what body shape you are and how to emphasize your good points. That way, when you go and buy clothes, you'll have less of a hit-and-miss experience and every wrong purchase that you can avoid will save your hard-earned money.


Anonymous said...

The thrift store fashions available to everyone are amazing here in LA and always have been. My wardrobe is mostly designer brands which were purchased for next to nothing. I'm definitely not tight with money but when it comes to clothing, why pay more? Great post!

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