After years of bargain hunting experience, especially looking for clothes, I wanted to put my shopping skills to the test. I mean, I'm ALWAYS finding cute stuff at $10 or less. So the $25 outfit should be easy, right? As I found out, the task of putting an entire outfit together for under $25 posed more of a challenge to this frugal fashionista than I thought. While I was always stumbling upon a bargain find here or there, finding two or three coordinating pieces all at once seemed as rare and coincidental as getting my kids to nap at the same time.
The difficulty of finding an outfit for $25 lies not in finding bargain clothing, but in finding a coordinating outfit. You may find a great buy on a cute shirt, skirt, jacket, or you-name-it. Then, what will you pair it with? You might end up forking out even more money to find a piece that matches, which defeats the purpose of your bargain. I've learned that if you look for pieces that will fit in nicely with basics like denim, black, and tees, you'll have a better chance of finding something to match.
Watch Out for fashion Mistakes
Since you're more likely to put more thought into an expensive piece of clothing, it's more likely to be a piece you'll truly put to use. Most of my fashion mistakes have been clearance items. With sale items, I tend to think, “It's such a good deal — I just can't pass it up!” Well, many times I should have done just that.
Before you buy, ask yourself a couple of things. For one, how will you wear it? Do you have an occasion in mind? Can you wear it different ways, with different things? The more versatile the piece is, the more use you'll get out of it. Secondly, is it something you'd consider buying even if it weren't on sale? If the answer is no, then you're better off saving your money for something you truly want.
So, where is a girl to shop when in search of the $25 outfit? Start by looking for one great piece at your favorite stores' clearance racks. That one great item will serve as the basis for your outfit, so make sure it's something you love. Once you've found it, you're on your way.
For matching pieces, stick with the basics. Denim is always a smart buy since it goes with everything. Wal-mart's Faded Glory jeans, which retail for under $15, are surprisingly well-made for the money. Old Navy is also a source for basic pants like khakis and jeans that frequently get marked down to $14.97 or less. If it's a cute top you're looking for, basic knits with a bit of a flair are great.