By Chastity Garner. Plus-Size Fashion Expert
In October of 2008, Chastity started GarnerStyle, (formally The Curvy Girl's Guide to Style). She started GarnerStyle to coincide with her image consulting business just so she could offer complimentary inspiration and advice to plus size women wanting to achieve style. Chastity has chronicled her life, the clothes, travels, her marriage, moving to a new city and many other adventures through her blog, with many more to come. Her personal style is classic with a twist. From time to time Chastity can get a little crazy as she is not afraid to step outside of her own comfort zone. That is something she hopes to convey to her readers. "Be fearless. You only live once, why not look fabulous while doing it. If nothing else, don’t let size dictate your style."
One of the common questions that I get asked as a plus size blogger is, "How do I shop plus fashion and look fabulous on a budget?" Like most shoppers, I love a good deal and because clothing is a large part of my budget I have to work towards getting the best deal. I want to share some of the things I do to slash prices on items that I love.
So, what do I mean by an investment piece? These are clothing, usually a staple item like a black pencil skirt, in which you buy the best that you can afford. For me, my minimum price point for an item like this is $100. Currently, I own a Talbots black pencil skirt that I have worn for 3 years. It still looks fresh and fits perfectly. I did have it tailored to ensure perfect fit, but it's my staple back skirt. I haven't bought another black pencil skirt since. I could have bought one for maybe $50, but I'm sure it would be in the trash after 6 months and then I would be looking to buy another skirt.
I could possibly be looking for a replace 1-2 times a year and spending way more on buying multiples of the same item typeof item then just buying the one item that will last.
Black Friday - So I know that it only comes once a year, but the saving are phenomenal and it's an excellent time to build your wardrobe for a fraction of the price. I love to shop my pricier plus size brands and boutiques during this time. I make a beeline for the JIBRI 50% Black Friday sale every year.
Shop Out Of Season - Things I love to buy out of season are coats and sandals.
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I buy my coats for a fraction of the price at the end of each winter season and only pay a fraction of the price. It's the same with my sandals. It's best to cruise the clearance rack for staples and timeless pieces. Things that you are guaranteed to like next year when you wear it. Steer clear of those trendy items that you could possibly not want to see again this time next year, no matter how cheap they are.
Stalk Online Clearance Sections - I touched on this on the bullet point above, but I want to emphasize how important it is for your to stalk the clearance sections of your favorite retailers, especially the pricier ones. I also gage the demand of the item in the clearance section and whether or not I'm going to wait for it decrease in price by how many sizes are available. If you see there are only a few sizes left then the item probably won't be there long enough to take another percentage hit. If you see that all or most of the the sizes are left then you know that it most likely will stay on clearance long enough to be discounted again. My favorite online clearance sections are Talbots .
RetailMeNot & Other Coupon Code Sites - I can't believe how many people still don't know about coupon code sites. Anytime I am ordering online, right before I complete my order, I zip over to retailmenot and check to see if there is a coupon code. This could mean free shipping or a percentage off. Any money saved is a plus in my book.
GwynnieBee - GwynnieBee is a plus size subscription service that allows you to basically "netflix" plus size clothing. They have a large variety of clothing and for $79 per month you can borrow three pieces at a time with unlimited exchanges. I always suggest this to my budget concious readers. GwynnieBee allows you be able to wear new pieces all the time at a minimum price. Personally, I've exchanged up to 4 times in one month.
Armed with these tips you should definitely be able to save money and still look fabulous. The biggest thing with shopping on a budget is having patience, waiting for a deal, and pouncing on it once the price is right. As always, happy shopping!