Most people who know me, know that I have a passion for fashion. This has been the case since my years in elementary school.
I wasn't a girl who dressed to blend in with the crowd, I dressed to stand out in the crowd. I would even face personal ridicule at time. In junior high, for example, I recall a classmate telling me that I always dressed so "weird"...that day I was wearing a solid pink sweater, and had tied a grey and pink scarf around my waist as a belt as an accent piece.
Tammie, you remember what you were wearing on a particular day in middle school?
Yes, because I'm kind of a fashion freak like that.I kind of took pride in the fact that I was dressing like the glamor gals in Vogue, and getting made fun of by the girl in the standard sweatshirt with a scrunchy.
Now, my "trendy" tendencies did NOT, however, mean that I wore the name brands. Not at all. For me, Esprit was elusive, Guess was a no-go, and Doc Martins were a delusion.
Knock-offs were my niche.
As I got older, I continued to love fashion and worked in the retail industry for about 15 years. I loved helping others find their perfect shade of lipstick, their new favorite shoe, or their most comfortable corset. However, the employee discounts seemed to be more of a pain in my wallet than one would expect. I found that I would buy, buy, buy as a reflection of stress, stress, stress.
"You deserve it, Tammie...you worked so hard today."
But, did that mean I deserved the stress of trying to pay our bills? Of trying to figure out how to explain the bag of clothes I DIDN'T need to my husband? I walked around feeling guilt and shame on account of just wanting to feel good about how I looked.
So, with all the fun choices out there, and only a limited amount of resources, how do I keep my fashion afloat and my our finances firm?
The answer is simply this; never buy it new.I fell in love with second-hand stores about three years ago. I have been finding brands like Banana Republic, BCBG, and White House Black Market for $4 a piece! Sure, you have to weed through some rubbish on your way; but the sewage is secondary to the delicious designs you can find for your dime!
Now you all know my secret...I'm a dumpster-diving, bargain-striving, economically thriving, markdown-momma.
Peace on earth, and Goodwill toward Fashion...Written in response to a writing prompt from www.sundayscribblings.blogspot.com from September 2011.