Sunday, May 2, 2010

Living on a Little: "Shopping" for Clothes

Clothes shopping can be expensive. In the last few years my sense of style changed drastically and I became more aware of what I was wearing. But that change didn't mean that I suddenly had money to spend on a new wardrobe. So I began searching for modest outfits that fit my own personal style. It wasn't easy at first. But I thought I'd take six of my favorites and give a few examples of what worked for me.

I did make one rule starting out: I didn't add in the cost of clothing that were over eight years old... mostly because I can't remember how much they cost... and if they were over eight years old they weren't part of my "wardrobe budget" in the recent past. Don't forget to try to find ways to repurpose old outfits!

This is my favorite skirt in the entire world and it gets a lot of wear. If you've read my blog for long, you probably recognize it. It was $1 at a yard sale last year. It still had the tags on it. The sweater was a gift from my best friend Kehli who saw me eyeing it (but refusing to splurge) after I got engaged. And the shirt I dug up from some old boxes of college clothes (it was from Forever 21 in 2002). There's also a scarf in my hair (barely visible) that was one of my grandmothers'.

Total Outfit Cost: $1

This dress was discovered during the garage sale excavation that went on this month and belonged to my mom. I snatched it up right away before it could go into the sale pile! And for a little while it still fits... oh well, that just means it will fit again post-baby!

Cost: Free

I was pretty surprised when I found this outfit a few weeks ago and it worked out. The reason? The dress is from junior high. However the top is super denim ribbed with a ton of elastic and it really stretches. That, combined with the loose skirt, means that it fit at 100 lbs and it fits now. The sweater was worn on my first day of school my junior year in high school... Okay, I have to be grateful that mom saved so much stuff!

Cost: Free!

I eyed this skirt for months at Penny's and checked the sales rack for it over and over again. Finally it was "out" of season. This happened to coincide with the point in time when I realized that my old clothes would never fit the same way again and my maternity clothing no longer fit... I may have danced around the store when I found it for $4. And this is yet another sweater from my early college days.

Cost: $4
This would be the splurge in this set of outfits. My grandmother passed away this November and I needed a dress for her funeral. Newly pregnant (and still trying to hide it... although everyone did end up finding out before the funeral) I went looking for a dark colored dress that didn't show my already growing bump. After a half dozen stores that only had mini black dresses I found this one at Old Navy on the clearance rack. It was supposed to be a beach cover up. I was so thrilled that I didn't care (and didn't even glance at the price tag... after all, how much could a clearance rack cover up be.....). Around $20. Apparently different people have different ideas of what "clearance" means.

Cost: $20
This is another garage sale find. It isn't a maternity dress, but it did fit for a good while. It has an ink stain low on the skirt on one side, but it's hardly noticeable. And I still think it was a steal at $1.

Cost: $1

Bringing the outfit total to... $26. And if I hadn't included the funeral splurge I could have said it was five outfits for $6. Proving that with a little work (know anyone who needs help sorting through old clothes?) you can find a reasonably priced wardrobe!


  1. Who or what encouraged you to begin dressing in a more traditional way? My fiance now husband was a huge impact on me; he just flat out told me that he thought that pants were not modest on me and that if I wore dresses and skirts that chastity would be easier for him and ultimately us. Also the last two skirts that I have added to my wardrobe cost me 0$. One a long denim skirt cost was a present and the other was given to me by a friend who was going through her wardrobe.

  2. Hi Mrs. M,

    I'm not sure exactly how it started! I guess it was because, after joining the Church, I started reading a lot more books by Catholic women and that topic came up a lot. And the more I thought about it the more sense it made. That was also really reinforced by the fact that men were so much more respectful when I was dressed in a ladylike fashion!

    And my husband has definitely encouraged the trend!


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