Fall Shopping 2009

How to Shop This Season Without Losing Your Savings, Or Sense of Style

We’re quickly approaching the autumn months and even though most of us are long out of school, fall still means one thing: back-to-school shopping! It’s a phenomenon no longer reserved for just those taking classes. Fall is the time year when we scope out new trends and switch over our wardrobes from tank tops and flip-flops to blazers and boots. But with our banks empty and jobs in jeopardy, shopping extravagantly to craft a whole new wardrobe isn’t exactly an option anymore. Although that doesn’t have to mean no shopping period. It just means getting a bit more creative. Here’s a few tips on how shop thrifty and still stay trendy.

Get Thrifty.

While many vintage boutiques may be just as expensive as high-end or full-price retail stores, old favorite second-hand shop, Goodwill is just as reliable as ever. Check out their gently-used section which is bound to have tons of oversized blazers from the 80s and 90s which (good news!) are back in style. In addition to gently-used clothing, Goodwill also has many never-worn items from retailers with the original tags still on them, but at knocked down prices. Though be warned: Goodwill and vintage shoppers alike must be dedicated, it takes some scrounging to find the good stuff.

Set a Budget.

Set a budget as you would for your regular monthly expenses, but instead of allotting various amounts of money to things like groceries, rent, or electricity, divide it into clothing categories such as work-clothes, weekend, accessories or shoes. It will give you a good idea of how much you can spend and just how badly you need that new pair of booties.

Get Connected.

Sign up for shopping websites like shopittome.com. Fill out their questionnaire about your own personal shopping style and they’ll send you a heads up via email, letting you know when your favorite brands are on sale. Do the same for your favorite local boutiques–most have weekly newsletters and are more than happy to let their regular clients know when the good deals are happening.

Downgrade (slightly).

If you’re someone who could once afford designers but are now finding yourself having to scale back a bit, try shopping designers’ slightly more affordable labels. If you’re a Marc Jacobs girl, shop Marc by Marc Jacobs. Love Alexander McQueen? Try McQ. While still pricey, they’re less than half the price of the high-end lines.

Swap.

If you’re the kind of person who can’t go to the mall without buying something, don’t. Invite a couple of friends over instead and tell them to bring some clothes. Make a night of it–get some drinks and raid each others’ closets. Trade clothes, if only for the evening. It will make you feel like you have a whole new wardrobe to choose from.

Fall’s Fashion Must-Have: The Fiercest Clutch You’ve Ever Seen

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Envelope shaped and swathed in floral printed silk with a gold and crystal encrusted skull and bones clasp that looks like it belongs on front of pirate’s treasure chest, the Charlie “Gypsy” clutch from British design team Wilbur & Gussie, is the perfect combination of toughness and frill. Girly, chic and fierce, this clutch can easily go from afternoon tea to after 2 a.m. drinks. It’s the only clutch you’ll ever need…this fall anyway.

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