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Cutting your clothing budget down is something that many of us are faced with when our discretionary spending takes a hit. (I definitely have had to in the past!) Whether it’s a job loss or life circumstance change, a re-shifting in our priorities, or even a forced statewide stay-at-home order, there are times when we need to take measures to tighten up our finances. The clothing budget is often one of the first places to find some wiggle room, but there is still a way to get the clothes you need for HALF (or less) of what you are currently spending. When times are tough, here are 5 painless ways to cut your clothing budget in half:
How to Cut Your Clothing Budget in Half
1. Do a clothing swap with friends, family, or neighbors
Right now many people are unable to sell their extra clothes, as garage sales and other outlets have dried up (though I’m still having some luck on Poshmark – get $10 when you sign up using my referral code CARLYJCAIS). A great way to increase your wardrobe options and help others get rid of their unwanted items is to organize a clothing swap amongst friends, neighbors, or family members (who are not ill or immuno-compromised). You can have everyone drop off a bag of unwanted items at a location at a designated time, lay out the items, and have people return to look through what’s available (in small groups or in staggered times to be safe). Observe social distancing and group gathering protocols, or even snap photos of the items and share them to the group. Decide what you will do with unwanted items and you have yourself a clothing swap!
2. Shop at thrift stores and used clothing shops instead of buying new
Deemed essential businesses in many states, many thrift stores and used clothing stores are still open to the public (though many have suspended taking in new donations at this time). As stores reopen, do your part to shop (still being careful of course). So many of the raw materials for my shirt makeovers have come from the local Goodwill! (Goodwill is my absolute favorite thrift store hands-down, partially because of their global supply chain and that they ensure every donated piece of clothing is not wasted. It completely blew my mind when I researched how extensive their organization is and the amazing things they do. Check out my article on Goodwill’s ability to keep clothing out of the landfill and their sustainable practices for more information.)
3. Style your pieces differently to create a whole new look
Sometimes it just takes fresh eyes to breathe new life into your wardrobe – which is why it can be fun to share outfit ideas with a friend remotely. But if you’re looking for styling ideas by yourself, you can always search on Pinterest for the specific piece you have in your closest that you want to style differently (“striped shirt” or “outfit ideas” for example). I also keep a ton of old clippings from magazines – cool pieces, clothing I’d love to make, DIY ideas for this site…as well as whole outfits. One source of inspiration that I love is The Uniform Project – even though it’s more than a decade old now – because Sheena Matheiken’s sense of style and different ideas she came up with for that little black dress were amazing and so versatile! It always starts me thinking about similar pieces I have in my closet – and the cool stuff I could do with them that are a little outside my normal go-to.
4. Purchase just the tops
With the proliferation of Zoom and online meetings as a part of everyday life, many of us are having to appear on camera…but only from the waist up. A great way to keep costs down is to only purchase from the waist up! Instead of a whole dress, buy a top only (and wear sweatpants below…shh! no one will know!). A pretty pair of earrings or nice necklace and you’re done – for only a fraction of the cost of your normal shopping budget.
FTC Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written in partnership with BloomsyBox. I was provided with a complimentary bouquet of the month from Bloomsybox.com for review purposes. The below opinions are my own. My full Disclosure Policy is here.
It’s amazing how much more chic one’s life can feel with a beautiful bunch of fresh blooms in your living space. It’s one of those little things that doesn’t necessarily cost a lot, but can really lift one’s spirits (as evidenced by the market for flower bouquet for numerous special occasions). BloomsyBox takes it a step further and asks why don’t we all just #treatyoself with a bouquet just for ourselves? We all probably tend to put other people first, so sometimes something indulgent like a pretty bunch of flowers is a well-deserved treat. So…why don’t we??
BloomsyBox is a flower subscription service which offers single-variety bouquets (which means no filler flowers that you don’t want). Every month is a surprise as to what seasonal flowers you receive, and you can sign up (or gift) Small, Medium, or Large size bouquets starting at $39.99/month. If that’s not enough for you, you can also sign up for bouquet delivery every 2 weeks, or every week if you want! Also, if you are a rose lover, you can receive a monthly flower subscription of roses every month (and check out all the cool varieties they offer…I’ve never seen some of these offered with a floral subscription service!).
Summer is in Full Bloom with a BloomsyBox Subscription Box
The box I received for August opened to reveal a wrapped bouquet of Free Spirit Roses, which are a rare orange and hot pink rose variety with an absolutely staggering petal count that open super-wide once in a vase. BloomsyBox includes with every shipment a detailed “Bloomsy Facts” card about the flowers you receive, which is particularly interesting.
They also are Rainforest Alliance Certified, using less water, more efficient farm management, and improved conditions for farm workers, so you know you’re doing something good for the environment with a purchase.
This is how they look when they arrive. They look pretty small and compact, yes? Well, just you wait!
Day 1: Put into a vase following the included Tips to Enjoy Your BloomsyBox Instructions, the Free Spirit roses still seem pretty small and crumpled.
They smell really fragrant…but aren’t really show-stoppers.
Day 2: The roses have begun to settle and open. There are about 20 of them in there.
Day 3: Uh-oh. These are already too many for the vase!
On Day 3 I removed a few flowers and made another arrangement with flowers from my garden.
And then Day 4 I had to remove more…and more…and more…until by Day 6 I could only comfortably fit 8 blooms into the large vase because the blooms were so wide!
That’s how big each rose opens up to! Unbelievable! I literally have 5 vases of roses decorating my home now…
The BloomsyBox bouquet is still going strong into Day 7…and the number of blooms was so generous I was able to share with coworkers too and spread the happy around.
BloomsyBox will keep you #BloomingHappy all month long!
The first huge sale of 2017 is live on Shopbop. com – where you can save BIG and score some amazing deals on brand-name and fashion-forward merchandise. And yes, every order gets 20% off or more with code EVENT17!
Some great transition pieces for a Spring vacay as the weather warms up and we head into Summer:
Shopswell is an easy, fun way to curate shoppable lists of products or wish lists around a certain theme – that update dynamically no matter what.
Unlike Pinterest, which is frozen in time from when the original Pinner pinned the product (for years!), on Shopswell you have the ability to integrate a product’s price so it updates on the image as the price changes. No broken links. No item not found errors. No clicking through and finding that the price is totally different from what you suspected. Lists of items that are actually shoppable – still. Christmas wish lists that are updated. Beautiful layouts that are embeddable in your blog, no plugins necessary. You can even watch videos and reviews in the interface to make an informed decision before buying anything. It’s really the best of all shopping worlds – come together in one website.
Shopswell is so easy to collect products around a certain theme. Register on Shopswell and then click on your profile photo on the top right and choose “My Lists.” From there it will bring up a list of all your Lists, along with a Create New option.
I chose to create a list based on Fall – and themed it around affordable fashion under $50 (because as we all know, that is totally my mantra over at Chic Steals).
Then it came time to add products to my list, which I did through just typing the name of the item into the search bar. When an item came up I liked, I chose to add it to my list – plus checked the “Track Price” checkbox so I would be notified if the price changed (so I could swoop in on a sale as it was happening!).
Then I chose the list I wanted it added to – and BOOM! It was added to my list, that simple.
I could also hit the plus sign to the right of the search bar and enter the URL of a product I’d found on a site on the internet. Shopswell pulled all the info about the product without me having to do anything else (no entering keywords, title etc. – thank goodness!)
Within just a few minutes I had a cool, curated shopping list, that will live forever here – and I don’t have to do anything else for it! No commenting, no SEO’ing…no nothing. Awesomeness.
A review of the Shopswell website would be incomplete without mentioning that Shopswell’s monthly giveaway. The Shop.Share.Win Program gives away $10,000 every month (yup, you read that right) in rewards to the members who share and interact with other community members on the site. You earn credits by inviting other members to the site, creating helpful content, creating lists, and upvoting other members’ content. (Specific details on how to earn credits are here. The current leaderboard showing who’s earning the most credits this month is here.)
So what are you waiting for? Get in on the action and start putting together wishlists that will link to your picks permanently – embeddable, beautiful curated content.
Have you guys checked out Hatch.co yet? No? It’s a curated marketplace for independent makers who love to personalize their artisanal products based on customer requests. They were just named one of TimeOut’s Best New Shopping Sites and one of Time Magazine’s Top 10 NYC Startups!
Unlike Etsy, the Hatch.co site is curated, which means their team recruits only the top artisanal makers so the products are of the highest quality. Every one of their items is made-to-order and customizable, so our makers take the time to create each order to the customer’s exact specifications!
In full support of independent makers, they are waiving their normal 5% fee for this weekend only in order to give their makers 100% of the sales that they make on Hatch. It’s their way of supporting Small Business Saturday.
Check out my picks above, fully customizable for all your gift-giving needs:
I’m also partnering with Hatch.co to offer $15 off any purchase of $50 or more with exclusive code ChicSteals14. (Just email firstname.lastname@example.org with the words “ChicSteals14” after you make your purchase and you’ll be reimbursed for $15)
In this way, you can cross off everyone from your Christmas shopping list, all at one site.
The Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday trifecta has snuck up once again this year (how did that happen??!) and I’ve made a large shopping list for all my holiday giving. Just like last year, I’m taking advantage of some major steals going on this weekend. Here are some things I have my eye on: