Fashion For Under Fifty

Ben Harthum / THE JIBSHEET
Ben Harthum / THE JIBSHEET

True Religion, Gucci, Ed hardy and Prada all have one thing in common: they are name brand clothing lines that help break your bank account real quick. Not to take anything away from those who love their True Religions, but in these hard economic times we all could stand to save a few dollars. For less than half the cost of a pair of designer jeans you can buy a whole outfit and look just as good.

TJ Maxx, H&M, Target and anything with the name outlet attached to it are just a few places to find good looking, inexpensive, fashionable clothing for both men and women. For jeans, H&M is a great place to go. You can find men’s and women’s jeans as low as $20. When shopping for tops you can never go wrong with H&M and TJ Maxx. They have shirts for men and women as low as $9.99. For those who are sensitive to the major labels, TJ Maxx usually carries name brand lines marked down over 50%. And for shoes (my personal weakness) check out Ross, H&M and Right now Ross and H&M have stylish shoes for as low as $9.99.

You don’t need to have bargain shopping in your blood, but you do have to be a patient shopper to find good deals. Most people go to retail clothing stores with a mission to walk out of the store with items. Sometimes people don’t even care what it is they’re buying as long as they walk out of the store with something. Shopping for clothing is all mental.

The best tip I can give is that you need to prepare yourself mentally or you just might end a day of shopping with nothing more than a few extra calories from Cinnabon. For those of you who claim to be therapeutic shoppers, I’m not sure I can be of much help, but as for the rest of you, listen up. When you walk into the mall expecting to walk out of the store with something, and you find nothing you like or want, you’re hosed. One of the most helpful things you need to know to get on your way to being a bona fide bargain shopper is that you have to change your way of thinking.

To do so try this- pull up to a clothing store of your chose, but before you go in tell yourself that you are going to walk out without buying a thing. That’s right you’re not going to buy one thing. Then go into the store walk around, feel the clothing, look at the clothing but DO NOT try anything on. Give yourself no more than 15 minutes then get out. If you can manage to leave the store without buying a thing you will not get upset or flustered because you mentally prepared ahead of time to leave the store with nothing.

The importance behind practicing walking out of retail stores with nothing is because there are going to be many times when you walk into an outlet malls, Ross, TJ Maxx and you end up not finding anything you like. You have to take your time and in some cases make a few trips to find good quality, good fitting clothing. Also be prepared to spend a little more time looking through these kinds of stores, the gold can sometimes be buried.

If you’re asking yourself how on earth do I know anything about fashion under fifty, I have a real simple answer for you. With a whole lot of practice I’m a hardcore bargain shopper. Find me on campus any given day and chances are my jeans, shoes and my top will add up around fifty bucks.

I challenge you put together a fashionable outfit for fifty dollars the next time you go shopping, but only after you have practiced walking out of clothing stores with having bought nothing. Plus being a bargain shopper isn’t just about saving money, it’s also about creating your own style, not copying someone else’s.