August 29, 2006

How to be a Budget Fashionista

Monday, August 28, 2006

Recently I met author and blogger Kathryn Finney, while she was giving an energetic and inspiring speech about her evolution from blogger (thebudgetfashionista.com) to published author. She later sent me a copy of her book How To Be a Budget Fashionista in a bright pink envelope to review. I started reading it that day and already felt that I was on my way to being a budget fashionista. After all, I did receive the book for free ;)

I actually didn't know what to expect from her guide to looking fabulous for less and was surprised to see that the book's advice definitely ran the gauntlet, extending to areas of beauty and personality, not just fashion. Inside are tips on how to care for clothes like a stylist, home products that you can use for beauty care (honey is apparently good on zits), a list of best budget-friendly places to buy lingerie, the staples everyone should have in their wardrobe and how to figure out your personal style with a fun quiz (I'm a trendy romantic).  I especially liked that it wasn't a book that I had to make myself read, since I'm not usually a how-to fan. Its format though allows readers to skip around and read the parts that interest them the most and clearly highlights the most important information for even the busiest of readers.

My favorite lesson that I learned, which will now become my shopping mantra is: Love What You Buy. It seems simple enough but it's an idea that I don't always keep in mind, since I often buy stuff that's just OK because it's a good deal. It doesn't help that I'm also a big impulse buyer--internet sites and catalogs were made for customers like me. After reading this tip and trying to commit it to memory, I actually prevented myself from buying three extra outfits while on a shopping excursion at Lohemans discount store. I kept asking myself 'do you love it? will you wear it often,' etc. Since I was unsure I decided I that I probably didn't really need it and left the clothes in the fitting room rack and felt less guilty and more confident about the rest of my purchases as a result. For example, I bought a Ben Sherman blazer for work, originally $139 and I got it for $49.99, but even better it looks like it was tailored already for me.

Final Sale: I feel like I'm a more educated shopper after reading Finney's quick guide and can now retire my amateur shopping status and become a professional...on a budget that is.  Karen, I'm passing it on for you to read too. 

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