This may seem like an odd topic to include in a blog about saving money, but hear me out. I own A LOT of clothing, well, I used to. Nothing matched anything and I'm often so poor that I just took hand-me-downs from other people that didn't fit me right and didn't work with anything in my closet. When I did have enough money to get something brand new I would go to the nicest stores I could afford and buy something so outrageous and cool, but could only be worn one place for one occasion and didn't really work for anything else.
My attitude changed one day when I walked into a Family Dollar store and found a black maxi dress. It was simple, and yet it could work for me. I realized that if I wore it with a nice sweater and my pearl necklace I've had since I was 15 it would work for a dressy occasion. If I wore it with a pair of flip flops it would work to just hang out around the house in! I had to buy it. Of course, after I bought it every one else I knew wanted one too... so I knew if was even more perfect than I had originally thought. This got me thinking about everything else in my closet. I realized I wear only a few items over and over again and when I do wear the other stuff it is because my favorites are too dirty to pass off another wear before laundry. Because I go to the laundry mat I then have to dig through piles of clothes to find my few favorites and the other clothes just sit in the corner of the room... dirty. Yuck! I decided that it was time to change all this once and for all. And here is the most basic, cheap and usable wardrobe I came up with. It is also open to interpretation. All the images will be links to a place you can get the items, but they are by no means the only place those items can be bought.
I like to keep on hand one dressy shirt. I like comfort, so it would be anything too stiff and fancy. If it is winter I'll wear something like this shirt over one of my long sleeved black shirts, or a tank top. A black sweater over it would also pull it together for me. My dress shirt was a gift to me from my Mom years ago. I don't know where she got it, but I've worn it for about 5 or 6 years straight and it is still holding up. I wear it with my jeans to hang out with friends or with my black dress pants for the occasional funeral. It really is an important piece to have. It is the only piece I would really say go for it if you wanted to pay top dollar for it.
Following are some shoes that I have worked into my wardrobe. The ones you see below are not the exact shoes I have, they are just similar styles to what I have. I have gotten most of mine for very cheap by watching for sales and going to the Dollar stores. I don't by shoes thrift, because I have small feet that are hard to find thrift. And if I do find them they are usually children's shoes and have been worn completely out before I got them. But, I do manage to find good deals and in a few cases get them for free because my Granny wears the same size shoe as I do!
One final note before I sign off on this post. These are just some guidelines. If black totally doesn't work for you, find another basic color to use as you foundation for your wardrobe. That is pretty much the point of this. I used black as my foundation and build the rest of my wardrobe around that. I will write another post in the hopefully near future of how you can use accessories to give a little punch to what you have. But, it won't be one of those posts that assumes you have lots of money to spend on 50 infinity scarves (or assuming that you even like infinity scarves... what's up with that?) It will just show you how you don't have to swim in stuff to have clothes that don't make you feel like a slob.
Oh, and I realize I mentioned something about having links for everything, somehow blogger wouldn't let me do more than the first few. But, the links I did give have all the other stuff there. And thrift stores ARE YOUR FRIEND. Really they are!