I am thrilled to have wardrobe stylist and creative director, Gen Bell on the blog today! Bell was born in Chicago and is currently styling key individuals in the South Florida community in film, fashion and music. Bell has worked one on one with designers, boutiques, production companies, models and more. Here are her money saving shopping tips to help us use our tax refunds wisely and stylishly!
1. Have a set budget!
Having a set budget on how much you’d like to spend is key. Everyone has different methods that work best for him or her. Some people prefer to use cash so that they can see exactly how much they’re spending and on what. My personal method is to create a budget first, let’s say $100. Then I figure out how many outfits I’d like to have from the $100, let’s say 4 outfits. Then I start window-shopping and comparing prices from different stores. I always check both online and in actual stores. Often times you’ll find the best mark down prices online!
2. Hit the Discount Stores
You can find stylish bargains at stores like T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, and DSW. Designer duds for a fraction of the price! But be careful, just because a store is inexpensive doesn’t mean you’ll save any money if you over spend. Learn control.
3. Learn to Do-it-Yourself
Learning how to make a few, simple alterations can save you lots of money down the line. Master the basics of sewing, replacing buttons, and hemming pants. If you’re a busy professional like most of us, then find a local seamstress in your neighborhood that can make the simple alterations for you. The point is to have you clothes last you for a long time. So if you loose a couple of pounds and can’t fit those jeans anymore, make the necessary alterations so that you can reincorporate those jeans back into your wardrobe.
4. Shop Out of Season
Seasoned shoppers shop for spring and summer items in the fall, and buy your fall and winter looks when spring rolls around. Clothing is always cheaper when they are out of season.
5. Avoid Impulse Shopping or Emotional Shopping
Many of us can’t fight the urge to impulse buy. Remind yourself when the urge arises, are these shoes worth it right at this moment? Do not buy the shoes, wait a couple of days and if you still want them and rationalize your need then buy them.
6. Think About What’s Already in Your Closet
When shopping, build a wardrobe around one or two color families that you already have. Keep your current wardrobe in mind when you shop, and don’t buy anything that won’t go with at least two or three other items that you own.
7. Take Care of Your Clothing
Caring for your clothes will help them last longer. Use the right amount of detergent, avoid the dryer when possible and hang and fold clothes properly. Pack your seasonal wardrobe! You don’t need your winter clothes hanging in your closet all summer long. Pack them in air tight containers that are designed to keep the moisture out and your clothes fresh!
8. Shop Vintage and Consignment
Fashion is cyclical! Trends from the past always make a comeback so don’t shy away from vintage and consignment shops. It may take longer to find exactly what you are looking for at a used clothing store so you must have patience and bring a friend for a fun movie montage.
9. Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize
No outfit is complete without the right accessories. Take a simple dress and accessorize it in different ways to create completely different looks each time! This will expand your wardrobe without having to buy a new outfit for every occasion.
To view all of Gen Bell’s stylist services and her portfolio, please visit www.genbell.com