Shopping for Better Quality Clothing

Fashion, Lifestyle, simplicity, Slow Fashion, style

Hello there, I hope everyone had a good weekend! I know I’m a little late posting today, but I was accumulating some things for this post.

So yesterday I ran across this blog post that was about trendy fast fashion. I’m a huge comments reader unfortunately and saw a comment that said us consumers should shop a little more sustainably and buy better quality clothes. Now you all know I DEFINITELY agree with this statement and was rooting for this person. However, people started to disagree with this person, saying that not everyone can afford designer clothing. Funny thing is, nobody ever mentioned designer clothing and this wasn’t the first time I’ve seen something like that.

First and foremost, shopping for better quality clothing isn’t usually expensive…depending on what your definition of expensive is. Also, shopping at a non-fast fashion place doesn’t automatically mean designer clothing. There are so many mid-range stores that one can shop in! I just wanted to take some time and post some stores that can be shopped at that are alternatives to fast fashion. Some of these stores are not necessarily sustainable, but they do sell better quality clothing.

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You guys know I love AE very very much. It’s the perfect place to find semi trendy clothing that’s decent quality and not overly expensive. These clothes will typically last you a good year to three years. They are almost always having a sale too!

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I’m still a pretty new Lulu’s shopper. The majority of these clothes are not the best quality, but not the worst either. However, they have a MADE IN USA section and yes the quality is much better in my opinion. Lulu’s items may last up to maybe a year or two.

 

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Ok, so I’m aware that Madewell may not be SUPER affordable, but there are items that actually are affordable as well as sale items. There are trendier items in this store as well as your staples. Madewell items should last from 2-5 years.

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I LOVE & Other Stories, but I wouldn’t call it affordable. To shop here…you may have to save a little to get just what you want. The quality of the clothing is pretty amazing in my opinion. When I do feel like splurging a little bit, this is my go to store. I personally think clothing from here could last a lifetime depending on the garment.

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If you want complete transparency and affordability (give or take some garments) then this is the place to shop. There really aren’t many trendy items here, but I would recommend shopping here for staples. The quality is pretty decent, however, the fit can be a bit strange depending on the garment.

Of course, there are many other stores to shop from that offer affordable, better quality clothing such as Target, Gap, Banana Republic, Urban Outfitters (certain brands), Asos (certain brands), thrift stores, local boutiques, and small online boutiques.

So that’s my post for today. There are other stores that aren’t necessarily fast fashion but are still pretty affordable. You don’t have to break your bank to shop for better quality and/or sustainably. Anyway, thanks for reading…check back for my post on Wednesday.

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Shopping at Sephora on a Budget

Beauty, Lifestyle, simplicity, skincare

Am I the only one who loves Sephora? I think not, in fact…who doesn’t love Sephora?! I think the only thing we might actually hate about Sephora is how much money you can spend when you’re in there. I think we’ve all had that moment where we go shopping for one thing and come out with more stuff than we anticipated.

However, there are ways to come out of Sephora without spending at least $100. Believe it or not, I’ve come out of the beloved store without spending over $25. Trust me, it doesn’t happen often, but it is very possible. I have come up with some tips (some no brainers, some not) that could help so you’re not spending your entire paycheck in one place. I use these tips everywhere I shop, but mainly I use them for Sephora because sometimes self-control goes out the window when makeup and skincare are involved.

  1. Save up

Well duh right? This is at the top of the list simply because it’s a huge no brainer. I’m pretty sure I don’t need to tell anybody here how to save their money (if they can) so that they can buy what they want guilt free. However, I like to save $5-$10 every week along with putting a quarter of my paycheck into savings.

  1. Go in for samples or travel kits

I never buy a full sized product unless I’ve sampled it or tried a smaller version first. It makes absolutely no sense to buy something full sized only to not like it and return it or toss it out. I personally hate returning things, but if it comes down to it then I will. If you’re especially on a budget, definitely sample it and have no shame going back in a week later to get another sample. The struggle is really real sometimes.

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  1. Shop with a game plan in mind

We all like to waltz into stores to “just look around,” but that doesn’t really work out too well in Sephora. So, before you go into Sephora do your research on the things that you want and go in for that specific product or products. Try your hardest not to look at anything else including the checkout trap and just walk out once you’ve purchased what you wanted. Do this at other stores as well…some of us can get really caught up in that clearance section.

  1. Shop the Sephora line

The Sephora line has really stepped up their game this year. Their masks, highlighter palettes, and liquid lipsticks are pretty amazing. I want to say that everything in the Sephora line (individually) is all under $40. You can pretty much buy your essentials with this line and come out without spending an arm and a leg.

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  1. Shop sparingly

Believe it or not, you actually don’t need every highlighter palette that comes out. Now, if that’s your thing then carry on and do not mind me. This tip goes hand in hand with shopping with a game plan (tip #3.) Find that eyeshadow palette that you’re going to use every color and buy just that one. Really look for your holy grail concealers and foundations and keep repurchasing them. Also, maybe consider buying lipsticks and brushes from somewhere else. I personally love the NYX Soft Matte Lip Crème’s, MAC Lipsticks, and Real Technique Brushes. I mainly purchase my foundation/concealer and skincare at Sephora and that’s about it. You’ll find that you really only go into Sephora when you need to and not just randomly. You’ll even find that some things really don’t catch your eye like they used to.

Hopefully, these were some good tips because I certainly use these all the time when shopping anywhere. I’ve saved a lot more money over the last year or two following these tips. If you have any questions then just shoot me a comment. Thanks for reading

ChelsiKay

Boyfriend Jeans Outfit of the Day

Fashion, Lifestyle, Minimalism, simplicity, Slow Fashion, style

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a fashion post so why not now? I think the rest of the week and next Monday I will be posting just fashion…unless of course that changes. Okay now onto the outfit!

So, it’s a really mild day today, in fact, it’s pretty chilly out. I decided to where my new Lucky Brand boyfriend jeans that I am so in love with and a long sleeve black shirt. I also grabbed my new North Face rain coat and slid into my gray Zara sneakers. Obviously, I didn’t do it up with my outfit, but I LOVE this look because it’s still so chic yet comfortable.

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I didn’t realize how much I needed boyfriend jeans until I actually had them. I love how they can go with just about anything, including heels or a nice crop top.

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I also didn’t realize how essential a raincoat was until I didn’t have one for the last two years. Fun fact about me, I lose umbrellas like nobody’s business. I just purchased an umbrella about three weeks ago and I’m pretty sure it’s lost into oblivion.

I’ve worn this look so many times already and I just can’t get enough of it. I really am excited to change it up as it gets a little bit warmer. I’ll be sure to keep you guys in the loop when I do.

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ChelsiKay

 

Madewell Muscle Tees!

Fashion, Lifestyle, Minimalism, simplicity, Slow Fashion, style

When I truly like something I hold onto it and cherish it for as long as I can. I always try to do the same thing when I’m shopping. I try my best to find items that I truly love and will hold onto for as long as possible. With all the constantly changing trends and enticing fast fashion stores, this can be extremely difficult. This is why I really like shopping at Madewell and why it has become one of my go-to fashion stores.

Even though Madewell does tend to have pretty trendy items, there’s always this one section in the store that I feel that calls out to me. Okay technically it’s not a section but the items I’ve always grabbed are in the same vicinity to each other. It’s where they sell all of their basics – t-shirts, muscle tees, tanks, and even cropped tops.

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I think you all know I’ve got heart eye emojis for Madewell’s Whisper Cotton muscle tees. I’m pretty much obsessed with my light olive green one that I wear non-stop. So, I took it upon myself to buy two more…they were 2 for $30 so why not?

I purchased a white and a gray muscle tee. I love muscle tees, to begin with, but for some reason, I really love this style. I’m pretty sure I like it so much because it makes “the girls” look great (lol.)

Another reason is that these tees can go with pretty much anything and can also be layered. I foresee many outfit possibilities with these babies. I’d say this was a great purchase because I know that I’ll wear them without a second thought.

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Before I go, I’d like to reiterate for those who don’t know that I am still on my slow fashion journey and would like to have a slow wardrobe along with a capsule wardrobe. Every time I make a purchase I usually replace at least two items that I know I probably won’t wear again or as much.

That’s all for today and this week. Thanks for reading as always my lovely readers. Until next week.

ChelsiKay

Adding to my Capsule

Fashion, Lifestyle, Minimalism, simplicity, Slow Fashion, style

I know I know, I didn’t post my Friday post yesterday. I should seriously consider auto posting for when I’m out and about and don’t plan on being near a computer. Anyway, today I wanted to talk about American Eagle Outfitters. It’s not weird that I want to talk about this retailer, I promise.

I didn’t really shop at American Eagle as a teen because their clothes were pretty logo intensive then and I did not like that sort of style and still don’t. It wasn’t until a few years ago I happened upon their site and saw that they kind of changed their style to more everyday basics yet somewhat trendy style. This was around the time that I started doing a capsule wardrobe and shopped there for mainly t-shirts and jeans.

AE jeans are some of the best jeans on the market. This is coming from someone who has trouble finding jeans because of my somewhat abnormally long legs and the random tushy I have. Shopping for jeans is something I never ever want to go do but I know is necessary every few years or so. Sometimes I’m a 0 and sometimes I’m a 4. It always depends on the store and if their sizes don’t vary too much. American Eagle is one of those stores where I am the same size in every rise, fit, and wash. Ultimately, it’s as if American Eagle jeans are made for people with “abnormal” bodies…not for the super curvy, yet not for the waif either.

Anyway, I recently went on their site again and noticed the style has changed a bit once again. They still have their Soft & Sexy line, but also added a new line that I am really here for. The line is called “Don’t Ask Why” and it features slightly sexy, edgy and somewhat trendy clothing. Think, off the shoulder, lace up necklines, bomber jackets and an homage to Yeezy maybe?

Of course, I bought some things and plan on buying a couple of more items from there for the warmer months. I’m forever in a bind when it comes to clothes and Summer and I think American Eagle is my answer!

Is AE slow fashion? Not really, but it isn’t fast fashion either. There happens to be some retailers out there who fall right in the middle. Are their practices ethical? Well, I’m still searching for that but AE has a page about a better world which doesn’t exactly include “100% ETHICAL” or anything of the sort. However, they’re leaning more towards sustainability, which is a step in the right direction.

It helps to have a retailer to shop at that’s not super expensive and also pretty stylish. I can’t say the same for some slow retailers out there. I actually really love the idea of shopping somewhere that’s priced somewhere in the middle ($30-$150.)

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So I said all of that to say that I’ve added American Eagle Outfitters to my slow fashion shopping list, especially for the Summer months. If I buy anything else from AE, I’ll be sure to post about in my next capsule update! Thanks for reading!

ChelsiKay

Slow Fashion Challenge: Update

Fashion, Lifestyle, simplicity, Slow Fashion, style

I broke a rule…well, really I bent a rule. My slow fashion challenge is going so much better than I expected, but nobody is perfect. I purchased some fast fashion items not too long ago. I didn’t exactly do it on purpose, though. Here are some of my offenses.

The first incident happened when I was going to a birthday party at an 80’s, 90’s club. I purchased this cheap dress off of Amazon which actually was in my parameters as far as the challenge went. I am allowed to purchase fast fashion for themed parties and technically it was a themed club. However, I also went to H&M for some tights and thigh high socks that same week. It was supposed to complete the outfit and what sense would it make to spend an arm and a leg on tights and socks? I also forgot to bring some earrings so I ended up buying some at H&M while I was already there. Two (three?) offenses in one week…I am out of control I know.

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The second incident happened a few weeks ago after my dentist appointment. I failed to mention it in my blog post about my relaxed outfit. That belt…is from H&M as well. Again…I couldn’t justify spending more than $10 on a belt that I tie around myself! I mean I really could have just gotten some thick black shoe strings and tied that around my waist but I wasn’t really thinking. I blame the excessive lidocaine.

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However, I have done so well in this challenge. This is one of the first times that I have ever been this committed to something like this. I am worried about when it starts to get warmer, though. I tend to buy seasonal clothing in the summer simply because it is hot. I will really have to restrain myself from purchasing that cute flowy dress from Forever 21 because I know there’s going to be one I just have to have.

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The only recommendation I have for myself is to either wear clothes that I already own for the summer months or try my hand at sewing my own flowy dresses and shorts. Of course, I can purchase from slow fashion stores as well as Target, but I tend to be a little more lenient with my purchases when summer comes around. Hopefully, I can keep up with my challenge because I am really enjoying it and loving how my wardrobe is changing into great quality pieces.

Thanks for reading!

ChelsiKay

I’m So Wild about Cashmere

Fashion, Lifestyle, Slow Fashion, style

Happy New Year everybody! I hope everyone had a blast bringing the in the new year with their loved ones.

Remember when I shared the gifts I got for Christmas in Blogmas Day 25: What I Got For Christmas? Well, I’ve had my nose in the book Parisian Street Style: A Guide to Effortless Chic. The book did happen to get pretty snobby the more I got into it, but it was still a pretty great read.

One thing that caught my attention in the book was owning a cashmere pullover or sweater. Now I love a nice soft cashmere scarf and never really thought about having a sweater made of cashmere.

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I began looking for places to buy one and oh my those prices can be steep. One of the things I told myself was to not get so shocked by the price of something. I can always save my money or sell something of mine. There’s always a reason for the high prices whether it’s because of the name or the textile. In the case of cashmere, the price is higher because of the textile. Cashmere comes from the underbelly (or neck) of a Cashmere Goat. So, automatically cashmere anything will be more expensive.

Luckily, when I was searching for a sweater, pretty much every store was having a 50% off after Christmas sale. How convenient! What would normally be a $150 purchase was only $84 after sales tax. That’s still up there, but I’ll take the reduced price over full price any day.

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Instead of purchasing online, I decided to go to the store since the item is so specific. I could get a feel for it and see if it’s actually 100% cashmere and not rough or itchy. I initially wanted a dark blue one, but they sold out of that color so I settled for the gray. I have an abundance of gray sweaters at this point but at least I’m consistent.

Tips & Tricks for Cashmere

  1. Spot clean if stains are present
  2. For deep cleaning – dry clean or soak in tepid water with lanolin soap or baby shampoo for 5-10 minutes. Rinse with cool water and gently squeeze (do not wring) out water. Fold into a towel and press out excess water and lay flat on a dry towel to air dry. Reshape if necessary
  3. Avoid wearing in rainy weather, but lay flat or hang to dry if it becomes exposed to water. Reshape if necessary
  4. Air out if garment starts to smell
  5. Purchase cashmere (or any wool) after Christmas or off-season for a decent price

Needless to say, I’m yet again very happy with my purchase. I just bought it on New Year’s Eve and I can’t seem to stay away from it. The sweater is soft, warm and cozy. If taken care of correctly, this sweater should last me a few if not several falls and winters. I’ve given my cashmere scarves the love they deserve over the last three years and they’re still holding on.

I purchased my cashmere sweater from Bloomingdales and will most likely purchase another one in the summer months. I hope this was a good post to start off 2017 because I had no clue what to write about today. I decided on this topic because it was something that made me happy these last few days. Thanks for reading!

ChelsiKay

Blogmas Day 13: Done with Fast Fashion

christmas, Slow Fashion

Today, I was supposed to have this nice, pretty, and glamorous post about Holiday Party Outfits. Clearly, that did not happen and that is because of me, Forever 21 and the wrong address. This might be a long post FYI.

My old address was still connected to my Forever 21 account, but it definitely wasn’t set as the default. Once, I realized that the package was going to be delivered to my old address, it had already begun shipping. I quickly called my old apartment building at their leasing office and attempted to intercept the package. The person I got in touch with yesterday said that they would happily intercept it and I could pick it up the next day. I call today to make sure my package is there and ready to pick up and get a different person and a different story. Turns out the person living in my old apartment had already signed for the pickup and hasn’t tried to return it to the front desk or anything.

After that nonsense, I attempted to reach out to customer service which includes a ton of phone numbers on their site. Surprise, I get put on hold and decided to leave an email instead. I don’t really expect to hear anything back, but I’m holding out hope! I know that this is partially my fault and I say my fault because I’ve had plenty of packages delivered to my current address from Forever 21 up until now. Somehow my default address got changed, but I should have really paid attention to all of my details when I was ordering. Oh, and guess what was in the package, holiday party clothing for Blogmas and for a party I’m going to on Saturday!

So that’s my story…pretty sad huh? This was the absolute last straw I’ve had with fast fashion. I know it took some time, but I am officially done. In most of the fashion stores I’ve still been shopping at, I get attitude from the employees and let’s be real….horrible quality clothing.

With all of that being said, I am going to be shopping at slow fashion stores, both online and in stores. It will be more expensive, but it will be completely worth it. The quality of the clothing will most likely be better and last years longer than any fast fashion clothing. I’ve been attempting to make this transition for about a year now, but always got stuck on the price of better quality clothing. I’m not saying I’ll be dropping hundreds of dollars on one item, but I will be paying quite a bit more than I was before. In the long run, it is worth it as well as much more sustainable.

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Image from Madewell.com 

 

In fact, today I waltzed (because I’m always waltzing) into Madewell and walked out with a 100% merino wool sweater – only $50 with their 25% sale going on. The employees were polite and helpful and the quality of the clothing is stunning. For once, I have no regrets about my purchase and didn’t feel like I was settling. I will be returning back to Madewell to get a couple of other pieces for the coming New Year.

I’m so sorry if this was so long, but I really wanted my Holiday Outfit post to be up this week and it didn’t work out at all. I hope this was a good read too. Thanks for reading!

ChelsiKay

 

 

ChelsiKay’s Gift Guide Pt 1

Lifestyle, simplicity

It’s finally that time of year where it gets nice and chilly out! Every year you probably say that you’re going to start Christmas early right? Then two weeks after Thanksgiving, you realize that it might as well be Christmas and you’ve put off any shopping. Personally, I shop or make things early because I get so excited about giving gifts to my friends and family!

Mostly, I think people put off shopping because they don’t really know what to get for a family or friend. Other reasons include, not being able to afford gifts as well as just being too busy to go to the mall/store. Let’s be real though, if you’re too busy you most likely (not always) can afford gifts and if you’re on a budget you probably aren’t terribly busy. Maybe, just maybe you are actually both.

In the past, I’ve gotten some really questionable gifts and it had nothing to do with any of the reasons above. In fact, the person who gave me those strange gifts just didn’t know me that well and that’s okay. Maybe you’re just becoming friends with that person and you know you’ll probably stay friends – just ask them for what they would want or what they like.

Ok now let’s just jump into the gift guide! I’m going to be dividing this into two parts: part one for the giver of the gift and part two for the receiver of the gift. You’ll see what I mean below.

 

For the Busy Bee

So there’s plenty of websites where you can get gifts; the main ones being Amazon, Nordstrom Rack, and HauteLook. I prefer Amazon because the shipping is usually pretty quick and if I do happen to wait until last minute then I can at least track it down to the exact second. Pre wrapped gift sets are a busy person’s best friend. Pretty much any store has a set of something: perfume, cologne, lotion, makeup, kitchenware, you name it! These gifts are also good for someone who is just notorious for doing everything last minute.

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Uncommon Goods Wine Tool Set

For the Penny Pincher 

 

I bet you thought I was going to say, just make something right? Of course that’s always an option even if you can afford gifts, but there are plenty of inexpensive gifts out there. Word Market, Francesca’s, Target, and TJMaxx all have some really great sections where you can get your hands on some interesting gifts.

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World Market Pumkin Spice Candle

 

For the Indecisive Individual 

I consider myself a very indecisive shopper probably due to my being a semi minimalist as well as kind of cheap. I also really want the receiver to absolutely love their gift. So what do you do in this predicament? Make a gift basket! Gift baskets are so much fun to make and they always end up being perfectly curated for the person. I once gave a friend who loved to bake, a gift basket full of cake mix, measuring spoons, and a baker’s cookbook. Another year, I accumulated makeup and makeup accessories over the course of a couple of weeks and put together a makeup gift bag for my friend’s birthday. Gift baskets and bags are a great way to buy little inexpensive paraphernalia and create one big special gift!

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Pinterest Image

 

For the “Salty” Shopper

So, not everybody likes to shop and I happen to fall in this category too. Shopping near or during holiday season is hell and so is shopping during peak mall hours. If you too fall in this category, I recommend shopping before holiday season or shopping around the time a store opens. Online shops are even better if you just really hate going into stores. For this group, I suggest shopping at specialty gift stores such as Things Remembered, Hallmark, Papyrus, and even Starbucks. The gifts in these stores can be wrapped or pre wrapped. The gifts can also be personalized and let’s be real there’s no such thing as too many mugs or Starbucks cups!

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Google Image

 

I hope this was a great read and a thorough shoppers gift guide. I also hope this makes it just that much easier to go shopping during the holiday season! My part two will be up next week, don’t miss it!

ChelsiKay

Shopping Mindfully

Fashion, Lifestyle, Minimalism, style

My last post talked about how I would love to permanently quit fast fashion but it is just too expensive for my budget at the moment. I gave a tip on how to wear and make cheap clothing last, which you can read here.

I wanted to follow up and write more about fast fashion and how to shop mindfully when purchasing items.

So, you find yourself in a Forever 21 after you gave up on a quest to find something sustainable, stylish and in your budget. The biggest problem with your fast fashion stores is that they have almost every trend you could think of. This sounds pretty awesome until you have a ton of items hanging in your closet that you’ve never worn and never plan to wear.

Your style is Boho Chic but you find yourself buying all these Soft Grunge pieces because they looked so great on the mannequin or they’re only $9.50. This is why it is imperative to find your personal style before stepping foot into any store. Assuming that you want to shop mindfully, you should already have a personal style in mind. Tip #1 shouldn’t be too difficult for some

Tip #1: Shop within your style parameters.

 You’re invited to a party or event and really want to make statement. You purchase a sequined skirt and a halter-top. Now they’re sitting in your closet never to be worn ever again. Instead of purchasing a piece that is super specific, try for a piece that is a little simpler. Accessories were invented for a reason…accessorize please!

Tip #2: Don’t purchase items that are too specific and accessorize.

 A lot of the times we buy something from a store (especially a fast fashion store) and bring it home only to find out that it doesn’t fit. I know, I know, I hate trying on clothes too. The lines can be long and changing out of clothes multiple times is somewhat tedious. If you decide to forgo the changing room and find that the item doesn’t fit, DO NOT hang on to it! Return it or exchange it and don’t try to convince yourself you’ll fit into it later.

Tip #3: Utilize the changing rooms/return ill-fitting items.

It’s ridiculously easy to get caught up in trends. Fringe is back in…or did it ever go away? My goodness do I love a nice fringe heel, jacket, shirt, skirt…etc. Now this tip isn’t supposed to deter anyone away from being trendy; in fact I say embrace the trends but in your own refined way. This tip goes along with tip #2. I’ve mentioned a versatile wardrobe on here before and I still wholeheartedly believe in having versatility in a closet. When you’re shopping and you find something you like, think of the different items in your closet that you can wear with the new piece. If you can get two different outfits out of an item then you found yourself a winner.

Tip #4: Shop for versatile pieces that can be worn in more than one way.

 I hope you all enjoyed reading this post because this is one of my favorite topics to talk about: mindfulness. As consumers, we can be easily convinced to buy and buy and buy without really thinking about it. Shopping mindfully helps to think before you purchase (also saves you money) even when you find yourself standing in the middle of a fast fashion store.

ChelsiKay