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Today in Style File: What $250 Can Buy You

February 17, 2011

I don’t know about any of you, but with each new spring/summer season I have to beef up my wardrobe and it’s usually based on what some of the new trends are.  I’m in my 40’s so I have to pay careful attention about what I wear and not choose clothes that are too young or too old in style for me.  More over, I keep it in the middle where I’m generally safe.

This week in Style File I am going to tell you how I set out on a one-week quest in search of some new and exciting fashion trends I could incorporate into my wardrobe in the efforts of reshaping and re-molding my spring/summer season wardrobe.  In the process I decided to make it a little more interesting by seeing what $250 would buy me.

I checked out Macy’s over the Valentine’s Day weekend, and of course spending $250 you are not likely to come out with a whole lot unless you take advantage of the sales the usually have during the weekends, which ironically, they were have a killer sale during the Valentine’s Day weekend.  But I knew I was not going to be satisfied with walking out with barely six or seven items, if that, when I knew I could have gotten a lot more had I gone somewhere else.

Next, I ventured over to the neighborhood boutique where they are always getting new selections in week after week, as luck would have it, after spending about thirty minutes in the store, I walked out empty handed.  Didn’t find anything worthy of revamping my 2011 spring/summer wear, and that’s usually my favorite boutique to go to.

Then I decided to take a look at H&M, the one store I’ve been dying to do some shopping out of, but me being me, my liking of their clothing only goes so far and if I’m spending $250 it has to be worth the effort I’m making to do some shopping and it has to count for something worthwhile.

Finally, I took a chance on my last resort which isn’t really all that bad.  I concluded my $250 quest at Ross, where anybody knows, you can get designer labels well below the retail cost. 

I’ve spent a few afternoons in Ross (because I wanted to break up the time) and walked away with under a nice selection of under garments, a two-piece bathing suit, work pants, two tops, two dresses, a pair of jeans, a pair of shoes, and by the time I was done, my overall total came out to be $234.13.  For what I purchased, I would have been out way more money. 

My choices were carefully selected based on style, look, quality and craftsmanship.  I purchased a combination of work wear, afternoon wear when I’m out on the town, and styles for the evening.  I can mix and match and create a fabulous look. 

If you are in the position where you have shop on a budget, chances are every dollar spent has to go a long ways, so wasting it is not an option.  And basically, if you know where to go and know how to look for the deals and bargains, you’d be surprised at what you can come away with and still have change left over. 

You don’t have to limit yourself too much that you can enjoy some of the best fashion trends today.  Shopping in the garment district is another plus to spending $250 and come out looking like a star.  It’s like I stated in another post, “you don’t have to spend a fortune to look good.”

I was just talking to my mother the other night and we were talking about the frivolous spending that some people do during these economical times for the sake of looking good.  And one of the things I mentioned was, “I was gearing towards having a Beverly Hills lifestyle when I was younger,” and I was.  I shopped in Beverly Hills on a regular basis when I worked out there, and even after I moved on, I continued to shop out there until things for me changed dramatically.  But at the time it was easy for me to do because it was just me and I always kept money in the bank regardless.

As life turned over me several times, and now I have a family, shopping doesn’t always come easy for me, but when it does, whatever it is I have available to spend for myself and/or for my daughter, and now sometimes my boyfriend, I have to be very mindful of what I spend. 

My mom indicated that “you can still look like you shop in Beverly Hills without necessarily spending that kind of money.”  She is so right because even with the ready-to-wear fashion trends that come out of the fashion shows that end up in some of our favorite boutiques, we can pretty much get away with looking like we wear expensive clothing, but without having spent the fortune.  I call it dressing like Beverly Hills but living on a poor man’s salary.

The economical state we are currently in still keeps people being very careful of how they spend their money, having to take drastic measures to adjust their spending habits.  Without making too drastic changes, they look to other meaningful resources that can afford them a comfortable fashionable lifestyle.

You can find inexpensive accessories at smaller boutiques such as belts, bangles, ear rings, and other items to dress up your wardrobe.  Look to smaller online shoe retailers and swapmeets with many shoes sections for the best price in some of the hottest styles.

When it comes to fashion, your money has to go a long ways.  Make it count the next time you step out to go shopping for the latest trends.  This is another edition of Style File.

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