Fashion, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder and what's in this season may quickly be out the next. One thing is for sure, a love for fashion can easily become a very expensive form of self-expression. With shoes the cost of your child's daycare and bags that could be a down payment on a home, it's no wonder folks are getting lost in the sauce trying to keep up. I've been called a shopping addict directly once or twice, and it's been implied by many others, usually by the sentence "you have too much shit". While I've gotten much better at controlling my impulses (HA, tell that to my bf) that fact of the matter is I like to look nice and have nice things. But let's be real here, this is 21st Century
white America and luxury comes at quite a price. When I was broke 3 years ago (and not the "we all broke" broke, but the real kind) I learned how to stretch a dime. Even though my current situation is now decent, I compromised with myself to uphold my broke girl frugality... with a little splurging here and there of course ;) Here are a few of my favorite and most reliable fashion hacks that my wallet-conscious fancy ladies, and even a few the 'gents can use.
Replace the strap on a cute, non-designer bag with a chain strap. Cute bags are everywhere these days, and unless you're specifically looking to rock a designer label, there's no reason not to opt for one that's inexpensive. For about $10 extra bucks, you can purchase a nice shiny chain strap and replace the original for a bold and expensive look.
Be a Cyber Deal Hunter. The world of online shopping is great for the convenience of not having to leave your home, but don't let the ease of access bog down your research skills. Just because you've found an item "on sale" on one site, doesn't meant that's the lowest price. Take this Foley and Corinna Mid City Calf Hair Tote for example. There are two discount designer sites that currently have this bag for sale, but one is offering it for $50 less. See for yourself - Foley and Corinna Mid City Calf Hair tote here vs. here
Find a TJ Maxx and a Marshalls you can depend on. Discount stores like these are great for stocking up on affordable basics like blouses, skirts, work dresses, and even bathing suits. However, keep in mind that all locations are not created alike an it may take a tour of about 4 or 5 crappy ones to find the store location with the best inventory. Once you find that one, it'll feel like you discovered the lost city of Atlantis. Unlike the (arguably) real Atlantis at the bottom of the sea, bargain Atlantis can usually be found in affluent suburbs.
Choose inspiration over imitation. Can you tell an inspired look from a total knock off? Inspired looks are great! There's no harm and no foul in sporting a look that was inspired by a well-known designer. For spring 2016, there's tons of Chloe' inspired bags floating around that are actually still quite cute and even well-made. Knock offs on the other hand are cheap versions of designer looks parading around as the actual designer, and that's something we want to avoid. My conscious would never let me get away with toting a fake as an authentic, it's not good practice - it's not good Karma!
Two Important Sales. Zara'a semi-annual sale and Nordstrom's Anniversary sale. You can thank me later.
Kind of Cheating. But still acceptable! Sometimes you find little accessorizing gems that I'm pretty sure are for people who have enough money to spend $300 on a keychain, because this (pictured below) is in fact, a $300 keychain essentially. But for us who don't have an unlimited supply of bucks and fvcks to give, this is actually a way less expensive option than a Yves Saint Laurent Bag with the pretty metal YSL logo perched on the front. You can clip this to anything clippable like your key ring, bag, or cell phone case. This is not perping your item as a knock off version of something more expensive because this item IS expensive. It just likes to hang around with other accessories that aren't.
What other fashion hacks do you use? Leave in the comments below!