Tag Archives: budget

What if everything you owned was already enough?

I think there can be a lot of pressure when you’re striving to build the perfect wardrobe. Even more so when you’re working with a capsule wardrobe: there are must-have lists, and gaps you need to fill. Sometimes I get quite caught up in the notion that my wardrobe needs something and if I don’t have it, it feels like a big void that MUST be filled.

Example: I bought a pair of Frye ankle boots that were on sale for $185 (regular $500!) and they were great aside from the fact that they were half a size too small for me. Foolishly, I planned on getting them stretched and living happily ever after. I took them to two different cobblers, had them stretched twice, and they still hurt my poor little fit. What a waste of money! Oh well, time to move on. I have removed the ankle boots from my wardrobe because they hurt, and I believe in wearing things that honour my body.

So now I had this big ominous gap: no ankle boots! I had shoes, sandles, and boots with a high upper, but no ankle boots! What a dilemma! I immediately set out to buy a new perfect pair of ankle boots… but then I realized: what if I didn’t? What if I just made do with the footwear options I owned? Would that be so bad? I’ve looked at must-have lists like this one which is actually quite good, but now I’m abandoning the idea completely. I don’t HAVE to have ANYTHING. I can just enjoy what I own. That’s the true minimalist wardrobe: get rid of everything that hurts, looks bad, and doesn’t fit. Presto, minimalism! Done!

I think living in North American has taken me far away from the idea of making do with what I already own. Living in such a comfortable and rich country makes it far to easy to collect and check off the list of things I am supposed to have. But I’m going to try and do things a little differently. Embrace the gaps. Abolish the must-have list. Because everything I already own, really is enough.

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Never Buy Clothing Again! How to Host a Clothing Swap

I rarely buy clothing, but I freshen up my wardrobe often. How? CLOTHING SWAPS. They are a budget fashionista’s dream come true!

How does it work? Well, you invite a ton of your friends (and their friends, and your neighbours, coworkers, anyone and everyone) and they come to your house with food and clothes and everyone swaps for free. It’s amazing. Below I’ve put a draft of info you can use to detail your Facebook event or email invite:

Clothing Swap and Potluck!

Make some room in your closet, bring your gently used clothing that you’re no longer wearing, and leave the party with some clothes that are new to you!

Bring clothes, shoes, purses, jewellery, scarves, and other accessories! Books, dvds, cds, and unused or lightly used cosmetics are also very much welcome.

Here’s how it works: give as good as you get, and it’s first come first serve – but we’re all friends here. Be considerate, and help others find cool new styles for themselves! I have found that with so many different tastes and sizes, this always works out well and there is TONS left over.

To make this even better, it’s a potluck! 🙂 So bring food and/or drink if you’d like to partake.

Friends welcome, as long as you can vouch for them! The more the merrier.

**Leftover clothing will be donated**
**Ladies only, and ages 12+**

12pm-3pm

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This event is the social event of the year for me and my girlfriends! The older we get, the more rare it is for a bunch of gals to just get together and have a great time. It’s so fun to have a women-only party! The food gives it a really festive flair and donating the remaining clothing makes everyone feel like a philanthropist. It’s a win/win/win kinda party! In my friend group, we host them every six months (a winter edition and a summer edition). We find it’s useful to let everyone know that this is a bi-annual event, so that they can save items for the swap on an ongoing basis.

In the past, we put all the clothes into one big giant pile. But soon we found it’s hard to know which stuff you’ve already looked at, and which items are still buried. Now we organize by clothing type, and lay piles all around the room. We do categories such as: coats and jackets, dresses, pants, long-sleeved tops, short-sleeved tops, shoes, accessories, etc. It makes the whole thing more organized and easier to tell which areas you’ve already shopped.

If you’re worried that you don’t have friends your same size, stop fretting! Shoes, jewellery, accessories, and books are easily shared with people of every shape and size. Plus, the potluck angle means that people always have something they can bring and share. Don’t over-think it – just do it! You’ll have a blast. I hosted a clothing swap last weekend and I got plenty of new lovely things. Because everything is free, it’s a great opportunity to try styles you wouldn’t normally pick up in-store. Try it for six months, and if it doesn’t actually work, you can put it into the next swap. Another good thing is that this will help you keep your wardrobe curated: you’re constantly on the lookout for items that don’t fit your needs. Put ’em in the swap pile!

If you have any questions about clothing swaps, comment below or feel free to email me.

Maximize Your Budget by Focusing on the Big Things

I am a jewellery fiend. I LOVE jewellery. But the problem with a bling addiction is that a tiny little ring can cost me $1000 or more! Can you imagine how many pieces of clothing I could buy for over $1000? A LOT.

I have had to train myself to realize that a wonderful coat, fitted pants, and a stupendous top are a lot more noticeable than a tiny bit of sparkle on my finger. Not to mention the fact that you can buy costume jewellery for mere dollars… why pay thousands when you can get a similar look for less?

So when you’re on a budget and are allotting funds, consider the impact of the purchase. Thinking about the more noticeable, larger items, is a great way to develop a strong sense of style. No one is noticing your tiny ring. (Ok, except me, because I’m jewellery-obsessed, but most people are really not noticing. Trust me.)

If you ARE going to spend money on jewellery, at least make it inexpensive or big enough to see! Sterling silver is a great value, and if you like the look of gold but need it to cost less, search for “gold filled” pieces. Etsy has lots of them. It’s not plated so it’ll actually stay a gold colour, but it’s considerably cheaper than real 14k gold options.

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