Do you think that in order to have great style you have to spend lots of money on the latest trends? (It’s okay if you do, a lot of us have been taught to think this!). I’m here to offer you an alternative view of style and spending.
I’d encourage you to take a moment to switch your mindset. Instead of just buying something because it’s on trend, think about whether the piece is something that you will get lots of wear out of, can be mixed and match with what you already own, can be worn for years to come AND feels authentic to YOU (i.e. it reflects your personality and preferences, enables you to look the way that you want to be perceived, and makes you feel confident!).
Yes. That’s right! Start thinking less about having to spend money to keep up with ‘trends’. You don’t always have to keep buying new things. Not only is it better for this lovely planet of ours, but it’s also easier on your dollar dollar bills y’all.
It’s so much more powerful to dress in a way that is authentic to you than in a way that’s ‘on-trend’. That’s a common thing that makes people think they can’t afford the style they desire. What’s more like it is that we can’t afford to keep, keeping up with ‘fast fashion’ trends that are in and out of being “it” faster than some of our internet speeds (one day we will be like Europe, one day!). The great thing is, once you have freed yourself from the belief that great style = being on trend, you will have saved yourself a lot of heartache and some extra dollarydoos.
That’s all very well and good Monika, you say. But HOW can I actually shop if I’m choosing not to simply follow the latest trends of the week?! Great question my friend! I’ll give you not one, but THREE ways to shop for an authentic style and save some of your hard earned cash.
1. Make a List of Items You Need in Your Wardrobe Right Now
Having a list that you take shopping with you will help you to stay focussed on what it is that you actually need to purchase, and prevent you from getting distracted (i.e. save you money!) by the pretty $20 dress rack that just happened to be strategically placed at the front of X store. To come up with this list, I recommend that you do a stocktake of all the items in your wardrobe. What are you missing? What do you have lots of? Do you have a lot of trend pieces but no basics?
When you’re compiling this list, think about what pieces you’re willing to spend more on and what pieces you’re willing to spend less on. For example, “I really want to spend a bit more to get a great winter coat that will last me a few years, but I don’t want to spend as much on one of those ruffled tops that everyone’s wearing right now”. If you’re not sure what to spend more or less on, think about what pieces you tend to wear more often – spend more on those. You are more likely to get that return on investment spending a little more on those items that you wear often. If it is a trend item that you really, really want, spend less on that item if you don’t intend to wear it in the years to come. Budget on what you will get the most wear out of first, like a great pair of jeans, pants, or shirt that goes with everything, THEN add the other items like trend pieces.
2. Time to Shop – In a Way That’s Different to What You Might Think
Are you someone who likes to check the price tag first before you try something on? Don’t worry, I used to be like that too! Through my studies and experience I have learnt that price is just one factor in determining whether or not we should buy something, and it’s not something that should prevent us from trying something on that we like the look of. Now I’m not trying to encourage impulse buying or spending beyond your budget AT ALL (that would go against the whole point of this blog post!). What I am doing, is inviting you to consider an alternative strategy when it comes to the way you shop. Instead of looking at the price tag (or whether it’s ‘on trend’) try the item on first. Think about how it looks on you, how it makes you feel.
Do you have other items in your wardrobe you could wear it with? Where will you wear it? Is it easy to take care of and wash? Is it something you really need – IS IT ON YOUR LIST? If you answered all of these questions and still love the item, THEN look at the price. If it ticks all those boxes, you’ll get your return on investment. If it’s still not within your budget, check whether it will go on sale soon, or if you could find it cheaper online. Alternatively, take note of what you like about it and try to find something similar in another store for less. There are ways around it! Have a go at doing this next time you’re in a store. You’ll start to find that you make more considered purchases and will get more wear out of what you buy (saving you money in the long run!). It’ll also mean that you’ll be less likely to focus on whether the item is a trend piece, and instead, you’ll be buying things that are more true to you and what you love!
3. Check out Designer Consignment Stores, Op-Shops, Clothing Hire and Market Stalls
As I mentioned in my Guide to Designer Consignment Stores in Perth, consignment shops are a great way to shop if you are looking to save some money without compromising your personal style. Other alternatives you could look into are op-shops, clothing hire businesses (for special occasion pieces) and local markets. Not only does this help to reduce environmental waste contributed by the fast fashion industry, but it also means you will be able to find some unique pieces that aren’t necessarily what everyone’s wearing from the fast fashion outlets! I’d still encourage you to apply Action steps 1 and 2 in these stores, because there’s no point you spending $50 on 10 items that you don’t really need just because they are recycled and cost less! So do some research in your local area or online and visit some of these stores near you – you (and your wallet) might be pleasantly surprised!
You get to decide what you want your style to be and you get to decide how much you are willing or able to spend to achieve it. If I wanted you to get just one thing out of this blog post it would be for you to shift your mindset and adopt a new way of thinking about style that goes something more like this: “I do not have to spend a lot of money to have a style that I feel good about!!!”
We have so many incredible resources in today’s world available to us to achieve our style goals. Don’t let the perception of having to spend lots of money and wear trends be something that holds you back!
Yours in style,
Monika Vuksan-Cusa is The Mindful Stylist, on a mission to help women not only dress in a way that makes them feel great about themselves on the outside, but also to give them mindful styling techniques to grow body confidence and self-love from the inside. Monika is passionate about all things mindfulness and fashion. She has integrated her personal stylist training from the Australian Style Institute and mindfulness training from Monash University and the Perth Meditation Centre, to create mindyourstyle, her Perth based personal and mindful styling business. When she’s not busy styling clients, you can find her spending time in nature or baking dairy free desserts!