Fashion and budgeting rarely interact well, especially for somebody, like me, who loves to keep up with current trends but doesn't have a lot of disposable income to throw around. So when I find a way to add pieces of today's fashion to my collection without breaking the bank, I leap at the opportunity. Of course a lot of my inspiration and, therefore, shopping comes from fashion blogs where the writer links to funky, affordable shops or alerts readers of big sales. But sometimes I find something on my own, experiment with it, and either love it or leave it. The following are some of the ways I manage to stay fashionable without overextending.
Zenni OpticalThis site is great. I found out about it through my brother-in-law, who has never before been the gatekeeper to new fashion ideas, so I was in awe and excited. Zenni produces glasses at extremely affordable prices, and I have already bought two pairs of trendy frames that I would never have dared to buy at regular price in an eye doctor's store. Each pair cost only $9.99 plus $4.99 for a non-reflective coating and $5 for shipping. Twenty dollars for a pair of glasses that give me a way to experiment with today's trends seems like a great price to me.
ShoeDazzleThis site has been around for a little while, but I still love it. I'm not always 100% sold on all their styles, but I see something often enough that I don't mind paying $39.99 for a very trendy pair of shoes I saw in an extremely similar style at Macy's for $99.99. ShoeDazzle also has handbags and jewelry, though I am less tempted by the quality of those items.
ShoeMintShoeMint is a website that is a lot like ShoeDazzle, but the item quality is superior, and of course because of that, fashionable items cost more. ShoeMint offers shoes and handbags, and the price for each item is $79.98. This is less of a budget-friendly option, but because of the much improved quality, I'm willing to forego two pairs of cheaper shoes in order to afford one pair of better-made shoes. It all depends on how much wear I expect to get from an item.
Of course there are many websites dedicated to fashionable items at a certain percentage off, and some of them are great. GroopDeelz has some pretty great accessories, but I haven't yet signed up. With the many websites and "designer inspired" shoes, handbags, and accessories available on the market, anybody can be fashionable without breaking the bank, as long as brand snobbery isn't an issue.
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