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I Have Style, I Just Don't Have Any Money: What to Wear If You're Broke

It's true, I think I possess a reasonable amount of style. Of course, that's not so hard when you're living in Mississippi, but I digress. Maybe I'm no Tavvi, but I like to think I could almost fit into the ranks of fashion's elite... Well, if I had the money.

I always felt a little less stylish when I was a fashion intern in New York, but my time there taught me a few valuable lessons in the style department. First and foremost, fashion is expensive and so is keeping up with those Manhattan beauties! The Jeffrey Campbell Litas (okay, it's my second reference to the Litas in the past week, but I really want a pair!), the professional manicures, the designer pieces... Lovely, but pricey.

While I spend my fair share of time shopping at fast fashion chains like Forever 21 and Charlotte Russe, I'm sad (and embarrassed) to admit that right now, I can't even afford a Forever 21 shopping trip. It's even harder working there--I get to see all of the fabulous clothes I want but can't have. As soon as I get my paycheck, I know I have to put it towards bills and savings. Looking on the bright side, it's great that I am finally exercising a little financial discipline, but it's coming at the expense of my style!

So, how do you dress if you don't have any money? You have to learn to work with what you've got, which is easier said than done, but


Do you own a blazer? Victoria Beckham is a style star in her typical uniform of a blazer and skinnies.

Go Monochromatic. A monochromatic color scheme is a safe way to create a chic ensemble. And while it may not catch you lots of attention, you can't really go wrong in all black and red lipstick. Bonus if you throw in a black blazer and rock it like Posh Spice.

Shop Your Closet. Have you forgotten what's in your wardrobe? Shop your closet! Learn how to wear what you've got by searching style blogs or browsing store displays for inspiration. Find an outfit that has pieces you already have, then recreate it with what you've got in your closet!

Coordinate your closet by color. Here's a fun way to rework your wardrobe. Organize everything by color. When you're looking for something to wear, go for a complimentary color scheme--like a purple skirt and yellow top. You might be surprised at the colorful combinations you create! (For colorful inspiration, I always check out Chomy of http://www.theculturecynic.com/.)

Try this twist on layering. We all know we can wear a cardigan over a tank or a dress and call it layering--but how about trying something completely different. Try these options: Layer a casual skirt over a tulle or lace skirt that you never wear; Turn your dress into a skirt by throwing a top over it; Or vice versa, turn your dress into a top by wearing a skirt over it. Get playful and try several combinations!

Posted on February 24, 2011 at 7:00AM | Permalink | 0 Comments

posted by

I'm feeling you. My last job paid so well (sales based on commissions) that i went shopping at least once a month and could buy designer pieces. but the past 8 months i couldn't even afford to buy two shirts at forever 21 or h&m. it's so frustrating. i try to grab stuff on sale and am planning to hit up the salvation army soon. and another tip.. going to shops, look what they have, go back home and look on ebay. i found quite a few steals that way (anthropologie v-neck shirt for 9.99 instead of $70, h&m dress w/ tags for $13 instead of $30 and brand new converse in white for $8.99!!)

posted by made-to-travel

Oh man! Have I been there ladies...I used to live with very well-off roommates in college and I was suuuper broke working a day job, a night job, non-tuition credits at the radio station, and ya know class...gawsh they used to come home from shopping sprees with their parents and I would want to cry b/c I could not afford anything...I used to binge shop and then return everything the next day.

Anyhow! I know how you feel and I want to hug you both b/c I know it's not a good feeling. Ebay is wonderful, goodwill and salvation army also stellar, but you guys should check out smashion if you don't know about it. Smashion.com...good luck ladies!!!

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