Fall Fashion on a Budget

Animal Spots & Deep Hues

This is the time of year I look at my closet in utter frustration. I'm tired of summer gear, but the thought of putting socks on and wearing pants is completely unappealing. I am bored with last year's clothes! Since, like most people, I'm living on a budget, I can't just go out and buy a whole new Fall wardrobe, no matter how much I might want to.

Among my plans for getting ready for the Fall/Winter fashion season are:

1. Clean out my closet. I'm invited to a clothing swap in a few weeks, which are always a fun time. I haven't been in a while and they are always a good excuse to go through old things and figure out what works and what doesn't anymore. All the gals will get together, throw our clothes in the pile. Since everything you take with you is unwanted, even if you come home with just one swapped item it feels like success! The things that no one wants are then donated to charity. In the past I've gotten great items I've worn many times. The bonus to this is that going through your closet helps figure out what it is you want to fill in the gaps in your wardrobe.

2. Daydream. I hang out over on Polyvore sometimes, making little mood boards of styles I like. This helps me work through things I like and don't like, experiment with fashion and colour, and shop for things virtually that I couldn't ever afford in real life. It's fun paper-dolls for adults. 

3. Read the Fall issue of Vogue. Sure, it is mostly ads, but I love the layouts and checking out the new designs is very inspiring. Then, when I shop in thrift stores and discount shops, I can keep in mind what trends are coming up that might interest me. I'm not a person that follows trends to the letter, I like to pick and choose the ones that work for me. But being someone that has worked in trend forecasting in the past, I'm hyper aware of the fact that sometimes the desire to have a trendy item can't be avoided. It is weird how it just happens. Like floral prints. I really didn't expect myself to want floral printed anything ever again...but this summer, I picked up a couple of items. Everything old is new again, and feels fresh again with time. I like to stay in touch with what is going to be popular down the road so I can pick and thrift wisely. 

4. Shop vintage. Vintage shops, thrift stores, discount bins. These places are my friends. I'm never one to buy a whole look from a trendy store at full price, not because I disagree with that approach, but because I don't enjoy it! I think someone once wisely said that shopping is like hunting for many women; the search is as satisfying as the find. Shopping vintage is so rewarding to me, because to find something great, you have to work twice as hard. And when you do find something great, it feels as if it is one-of-a-kind.

5. Shop my Closet. This was the mantra for 'recessionistas' and I try to do it often. Just this week when running late for work I threw something together because I couldn't find the shoes I wanted. More than satisfied with the look I decided that I need to experiment with what I have more often. It isn't often that I truly need new clothes, so I just need to find new ways of putting together what I already have. 

Some Links!
I've just discovered Nasty Gal. The shoes are almost too much for me to handle.
Check me out on Polyvore - ad me as a friend if you use it and say hello!
Trend forecasters say animal prints are back in...I say, did they ever go out? 

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