Dreams are no one’s monopoly!
For a middle class girl like me, fashion was always an ethereal fantasy. As a little girl I dreamed of emulating the styles and looks of the beautifully dressed, confident and elegant models that graced the magazine covers of the late 90s. I loved experimenting with different styles and playing with fabrics to create unique silhouettes. Some days I would become a punk goth, whereas on other days I graced it up a bit and dressed lady like and dainty in lace dresses and pearls.
During my teenage years I had a fashion journal cum scrapbook where I wrote about my fashion inspirations, pasted magazine cut outs of my favorite dresses and sketched my own funky designs, as my vivid imagination powered me on towards unknown legions of creativity. I couldn’t actually afford any of the clothes that I desired and all I had was only the pictures of those dresses, which I had so neatly glued on my journal. I just collected them for my viewing pleasure but somehow all that time dedicated to fashion, developed in me, a good sense of style.
In high school I sort of became known for dressing nicely and looking good and other girls always approached me with respect and admiration probably thinking that I belonged to an elite & cultured family. They didn’t know that my origins were humble and my parents had never travelled outside the country or socialized with people whom they didn’t know as kids. As I grew up, I was desperate to earn my living because the pocket money given to me by my parents was not enough to sustain my passion.
I worked as a waitress, an usher, a promotional ambassador at events and at many other odds jobs through my teenage years to fund my modest purchases yet I couldn’t ever dream of the clothes that I saw models wearing on Ftv or down the ramps or on those glitzy red carpets. As I arrived in college and hit my twenties, I realized that I could no more flaunt my style by just buying cheap brands because their clothes were evidently lower in quality and style and I didn’t even like most of them. This led me to find different avenues of obtaining stylish clothes that allowed me to do what I loved doing; experiment with different looks while staying within my budget.
One of my main go to outlets was thrift shopping. As my outfits were always so different than others, very personal yet still cool, the thrift store really helped me out. I could look through endless piles and rows of clothes from all over the years and I could simply pick up everything that inspired me and made sense. A lot of people find the idea of thrift shopping daunting but in my own experience it has always been thrilling and rewarding. One just needs to follow some simple rules of thrift-ting and kick off the exciting hunt from there. As Mackelmore said “I am just pumped up. I bought some shit from the thrift shop”. Puns aside, thrift-ting allowed me more freedom and saved me money so that I could actually buy some high quality pieces.
These high quality pieces are my go to for all formal events like graduations, office parties, receptions and meetings. I realized that instead of wanting everything to be high street fashion and expensive, it’s much more sensible to have expensive staples which are used in high classed, social settings like blazers, jackets, formal skirts and pants and a few great blouses. There is no need to buy expensive branded t shirts, jeans, funky dresses or other cocktail event clothing to look fashionable. Instead there are some other tricks which I started to use to make my outfits appear more glamorous.
I use shoes, bags and other accessories like jewelry to make my simple $30 dress look ready for a dazzling night out. This way I always stay on the top of my fashion game because it’s easier and cheaper to find the accessories that you love instead of clothes. There is also a lot of room for me to get creative because I am a huge fan of mismatching. I love mixing random rock t-shirts with girly tote bags and wearing neon colored shoes with work wear. This way I always look fresh no matter what season and trends are in or out.
Even as a working woman now, I still do face a lot of budget issues so sales are my favorite times of the year. I believe off season sales are the best way to get your hands on great quality products at the cheapest rates. I have a great trench coat which I bought in summer last year at an almost 70% reduction on its original price. And what more, the brand actually refurbished it by changing the buttons and put it back up on full price of $200 the coming winter. Not only had I felt super fabulous in that trench but also super smart. Sample sales are also amazing because it’s where all designers sell their end of season items at up to 90% discounts off their retail prices.
So while my Dolce and Gabbana gown may not be coming anytime soon I still manage to feel free and fabulous, exactly how my teenage self felt in her very first prom dress on which the stones and sequins were sewed by her own hands.
Judy Robinson is an enthusiastic blogger who spends her entire day writing quality blogs. She is a passionate reader and loves to share quality content prevalent on the web with her friends and followers. Her forte is Fashion, Fitness and lifestyle, keeping a keen eye on latest trends in those industries. For more updates follow her on Twitter @judyrobinson.