Having Style On A Budget (Part 2) – An Interview With Katherine

Does “NO money mean NO style?” I think not. Just like “Mo money” doesn’t mean “Mo style”.

While my daily work go-to’s are usually black Old Navy pants (that I’ve re-dyed with RIT to extend their life), and black shirts when I’m outside of work I like to look a little more stylish, and that can cause problems financially. Because, I like cute things.

Since the “clothes thing” got me into trouble in the first place it means I have to be extra VIGILANT in this area so I don’t slip back into my old ways.

That means I’m always on the look-out for ways to be stylish while being also being completely frugal. For me, that means:

● Re-thinking how I put outfits together with items I already own

● Looking at textures and for interesting color combinations rather than looking at brand names (love how Bri Emery of DesignLoveFest mixes colors)

● Keeping my clothes in good condition. One of the ways I do this is to wash my clothes in cold. It saves money, preserves the colors, and even helps the earth too! (bonus!)

image via because i’m addicted via stockholm streetstyle

There are so many different ways to do the same things so who better to talk to than a fashion blogger. I love hearing other people’s tips on things that baffle me. Hopefully you caught Part 1 of Katherine’s interview yesterday. If not here it is.

Without further delay…

Part 2 of How To Have Style On A Budget by Katherine at Feather Factor.

“I can’t be reminded enough times about responsible spending and saving. So, here we go – more rules that I live by when shopping and budgeting.

6) The 80/20 rule.

No matter how many times I hear the Pareto principle, I still am amazed by how true it rings for so many things in life – that 80% of effects come from 20% of causes. Translated and diluted down for my extreme layman’s ears, it means that 20% of my closet makes up what I wear 80% of the time. And it’s totally true! Do you know how easily I am convinced to fork over my wallet for beautiful heels or gorgeous gowns? But honestly, I never wear them! Take these glitter Miu Mius which I picked up a while ago and have nearly worn on a few occasions, but never have.

I always end up swapping them out because I have to do a lot of walking, or because a dinner companion is a notorious lush and wine spiller. So I end up wearing the same easy flats, cashmere dresses, cardigans, trenches, boots, over and over again. Why not invest more in those pieces? But it’s hard, I know – buying heels and sparkly things is always so much more fun than boring flats and cashmere cardigans. That’s why I..

7) Keep a list.
I carry around a little Moleskine notebook that contains a hodgepodge of all my to do lists, insane musings, and a master “Closet buy” list for myself. I am constantly crossing items off and adding them on to the list – it’s a good way to write down everything you need in your closet and make sure you are sticking to the list when you are tempted to make an impulse purchase. In the past few months I checked off boots and work bag – I also added, and then took off, sequin skirt (don’t need it!!)
8) Take care of your things.

I purchased my all time favorite Chanel bag in 2001 or so and still wear it – it’s going strong! My go to discreet interview shoes, from Joseph, I bought in 2000, have resoled twice, and love. My work Louboutins have had some nasty run ins with various street grates (ahh, my nightmare is falling through one day!) – but they are six years old. I resole, wash, tailor, polish, everything possible to keep my stuff in good shape. I think sometimes when you pay lots for luxury items, they are “too good to wear.” But to me, luxury means that it’s well made, right? So shouldn’t you be able to wear it, lots and lots?

9) Make it work.
This mantra, for me, generally involves becoming very, very good friends with a tailor. If I see something I love on sale and it’s not in my size, a quick calculation in my head on tailoring costs allows me to see if I can still buy it at a discount. Also, I have some items in my closet which after a quick trip to the tailor, have been refreshed – I generally hem dresses, tailor in (or out) coats and jackets, add v necks to things, whatever I think would make me wear an item more. Usually, it’s way cheaper for me to shop my closet than buy new things – and it’s better for the environment too.
10) Check the internet.

I’m one of those annoying people who checks everything on the internet. If we pull up to a restaurant that is full of people and looks pretty good, I will still want to pause and check for online reviews. So whenever I am out shopping and see a great item, I am extra annoying and check the price on the internet. “Err…let me go check this important work email!” I bashfully said to the sweet Vince sales girl the other day, as I tried to quickly punch in a style name into Safari – “I will be done really quick, and then I can let you know about this sweater!” She totally knew what I was doing. I am so shameless. But the sweater was 40% off at Neiman’s and full price at the boutique, so….money talks! Always check for a better price.

Thanks for the tips Katherine! 


What are YOUR “How to have style on a budget” secrets?

4 thoughts on “Having Style On A Budget (Part 2) – An Interview With Katherine

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  1. Katherine

    Thank you so much for having me Anna! I love all the images you chose and your commentary (I love that you dyed your ON pants! I always think about redying items)

  2. Lindsay

    I'm huge believer in the list and in a good tailor. I often buy little black dresses on ebay for $20 or less and take them to the tailor. That way I'll have them for a while and they fit perfectly!


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