The shopping season is in full-swing. Not only are people out shopping for gifts, but also for holiday parties. It’s always a challenge to find perfect festive outfits that are comfortable, stylish, and affordable at the same time. Here are some guidelines and tips that I use when shopping for events and parties.
- Buy versatile clothing. Instead of buying that super sparkly dress that you will only wear once, look for a trendy jumpsuit or skirt & shirt ensemble. Buy something(s) that you will be able to wear again. Whether that is a corduroy skirt and off-the shoulder blouse or an edgy “plunging neckline” jumpsuit, find items that you can mix and match with other pieces in your wardrobe to make new outfits throughout the coming year. Adding a denim jacket, a long necklace, and a pair of edgy black wedges can transform your jumpsuit into a more casual look. Dress down your off the shoulder blouse with a pair of jeans. Wear an oversized sweater with the front tucked into your skirt and thigh high boots for a completely different look. The more times you use an item, the more bang you get for your buck.
- Speaking of getting use from the products you buy, do the math before you pay the price! When shopping, look at the price tags. If a blouse costs $40 and you make $15 per hour at work, it will take you almost three hours to earn the money to pay for that shirt. If you don’t think that the blouse is worth working three hours for, then it isn’t the right buy for you. Find something that you love while matching the price to the piece’s value.
- Let’s do some more math while your calculator is out. Let’s think about that $40 shirt again. How many times do you think you will be able to wear it? If you only think you will be able to wear it twice, that’s $20 per use. If you buy a top that you could wear more frequently, maybe it will only be $2 per use. I’m not saying that you can’t buy anything special for a particular event. Just keep in mind how much you are spending on an item that you will only get use of once or twice before it finds a home in the back of your closet. I know that I still have a dress (or two) that still have tags on them from years ago. I tell myself that I will wear them one day, but I think we all know that’s a lie. They were a good deal, but it was still a waste of money if I never ever wore them.
- Give new life to used clothes. One of the many things that I miss about living super close to my mom is being able to stop by her house to go through her closet if I needed (okay, wanted) something different/new-to-me to wear. It’s okay to borrow friends’ and family’s clothing! Maybe you found the perfect shirt to match the cute skirt in your closet, but you are still searching for a cardigan to match with it. I always text my mom to see what she has. Sometimes we will even video chat so she can show me her closet. All I’m saying is that it’s okay to reach out and ask if your friends have anything that you can borrow for your event instead of rushing to the store.
- Quality versus Quantity. But wait, didn’t I pretty much say buy everything as cheap as possible? Yes and no. It’s all about balance. You want to buy quality products for reasonable prices. Sure you can buy ten $5 shirts, but how long will they last? Chances are, they won’t last long. But if you buy two $25 shirts that last you several years, you feel beautiful in, and you wear regularly, then to me it’s worth it. Figure out what you are willing to pay for products and opt for higher quality products when possible. I have spent way too much money over the years buying clothes that are “a great deal” but only last a couple wears. If I added it all up, I could have bought a lot of quality made clothing that would have lasted years.
I hope that you feel beautiful this holiday season. Find your voice and figure out what you are willing to spend for the products that you are shopping for. Don’t forget to take a deep breath and enjoy time with family and friends.