Building A Wardrobe One Piece At A Time

camisole: Aeropostale
skirt: thrift
iphone: a gift :)

Over the past two years, I have had a mental struggle that I am certain many of you females are familiar with: should I buy cheap thrift store items to get me by and that will need to be replaced in a few years or the more expensive, better quality department store brands that hopefully will not need replacing?

Unfortunately, I do not have an answer to this quandary. :(

I am in my late 20's, having just gotten married, with lots of student loan debt (ick!), travel plans in my future, and the desire to some day purchase a house. As many 20-somethings have probably experienced, I am not in the position I thought I would be in at this age, but I am quite happy with the life I am living. When it comes to buying clothes, I want to look good, but I don't want to go into debt.

Shortly before getting married, my husband had a year-long trek into the world of sewing. It began during a crazy week-long snowstorm, atypical for Georgia, where we were kept inside due to ice. With material from a large discount fabric store, Ocho, and a borrowed sewing machine from my grandmother, Justin began sewing. He was the only one in the house confident enough to attempt to sew without fearing the wrath of my grandmother over what we assumed would only result in a broken sewing machine; he knew he would be able to fix whatever he could break. (Ah! The confidence of engineers!) And so he sewed… and sewed… and sewed.

Unfortunately, I find myself with only one dress that my husband has sewed for me. Nevertheless, I'm quite pleased that he was able to make the dresses for my two bridesmaids that each fit their personality and were close enough to my color scheme for us all to be happy. :)

However, the point of the sewing story is that my husband learned what it took to make a quality garment. And thus, my days of shopping at Kohls (and other lower cost mall stores and thrift stores) were forever limited.

I can't say I was displeased by this discovery of his. Being given permission to shop at the higher costing Anthropologie was very nearly a dream come true. Previously I had only ever allowed myself to occasionally wander through the store dreaming of wearing the beautiful dresses, coats, and clothes that were clearly out of my price range. Of course, the discovery of Effortless Anthropologie made shopping at Anthropologie so much easier! But that was only the beginning!

Two years after beginning my venture into higher end clothing, I can say with some confidence that my wardrobe has improved. I'm much better at buying clothing that will last, and I've learned quite a bit about shopping in the upscale market. (i.e. Stores are more likely to back their products by allowing for a much longer return period.) Best of all, I feel more confident and pretty when I'm out and about; people pay me compliments and ask where I purchased items of clothing.

If you are considering a move towards the purchasing of higher end clothing, I recommend starting slowly. Purchase items that can be mixed and matched. Most importantly, only purchase items that you LOVE. (In order to decide how much you LOVE it, give it 24 to 48 hours… or a week… then come back to the store to decide. Compare it with other similar items you own. And only buy it if you would label it as a favorite item or staple in your wardrobe.) Don't give up shopping at thrift stores, but be particular about what you choose to buy. It's not worth $2 or $100 if you don't wear it.

Over the weekend, I bought a purple sweater from Anthropologie (as shown above), a pair of skinny peg-ankle Paige jeans (Noah? Is that the color perhaps?) from Nordstrom Rack, and a book to help me with the improvement and development of my wardrobe: The Lucky Shopping Manual. Don't be surprised if you find me sharing more fashion dos and don'ts as I learn more in the near future. In the mean time, what are your fashion dos and don'ts? Do you have any tips or tidbits to share with me?

I hope you are having a fantastic Monday!

** This post is thanks to NaBloPoMo, offering bloggers tips on blogging, monthly blogging prompts, and chances to win prizes! :)

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