Savvy womens Magazine

Is Cheap the New Chic?

by Susan Koefod

With the sky-high price of everything, today's style-conscious women have downsized their wallets and are now on a fashion budget.

You don't have to camp out on the pavement in front of today's destination consignment shops to see if anyone has parted with that coveted designer item you would die to have. How about a fashion paradigm shift? Stretch your fashion budget with these suggestions.

That little neighborhood boutique. You know the one; you've driven by it on your way to Starbucks everyday always meaning to stop in some time. Now is the time. You can both help your fashion budget and get your 30 minutes of daily exercise by walking to it from your home and striking up a conversation with the owner while you peruse her quaint and charming store. Buying local can keep your figure trim and save fashion dollars.

Home Sewing. Admit it. You have a sewing machine tucked away in the back of your closet behind those tight leather boots that were yesterday's must-haves. Cost-conscious fashionistas know that saving fashion dollars requires little more than creativity and a bus ride to the nearest fabric store. If your sewing skills are rusty, start with an accessory, like a scarf, or if you are more adventurous, how about this smashing cape (Simplicity pattern 6658)?

If you don't have a sewing machine, you probably have a crochet hook or knitting needles. While you are catching up on those episodes of Sex and the City you missed over the years, you can knit yourself a cute, unique scarf that you will proudly admit to having knit yourself which will certainly help your fashion budget.

Brick and Mortar Auction Houses. Come on, you didn't think I was going to suggest eBay? Every woman knows that you need to touch apparel and see it first hand to know if it is worth all of those skinny lattes you are scrimping in order to save up some fashion dollars. Pretend you are a curator from Antiques Roadshow as you look through the lots. And you can sell as well as buy, so you can get your yard sale fix and have a garage sale all in one stop.

Your BFF's Closet. One woman's hand-me-down is another woman's treasure. Most of us have a few items hanging in some corner of our closets that we never, ever wore, maybe because we gained (or lost!!) a few pounds, or bought once when we were depressed over a break up or a break out. Tight fashion budgets suggest that you invite friends and their never-worns over for an evening of swapping, gossip, and cocktails.

Don't forget Wal-Mart. Yes, I mean Wal-Mart. Let's admit that times as tough as these demand that you fasten on your helmet, fire up your Stella, and scooter on over to the nearest of Wal-Mart's billion locations. For less than the cost of 5 gallons of gas, you can outfit yourself in something that ISN'T EVEN ON CLEARANCE yet. My favorite summer dress came from Wal-Mart this year for the low, low price of $14.95. Keeping well within my fashion budget, I even had money left over to get a Star magazine.

About the Author:
When she is not too busy scanning the clearance racks or clipping coupons, Susan Koefod is sipping double lattes and busy working on her other writing projects. She can be located via