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Fashion on a budget!


14 posts in this topic

Posted

So! What is everyone's favorite stores/places to buy nice clothes, jewelry, accessories or even wigs and lenses for their fashion choices? I find it hard personally to live up to my own style of fashion because of the prices of a lot of things (especially since I'm in Australia, our dollar is so horrible at the moment and I'm a big girl.) and I'm wondering you all would like to share some of your favorite affordable stores for things!

I personally love surfing the dollar section of jewelry on ebay. I know they're kind of cheap and take a long ass time to get to you, but some of the jewelry is pretty good for a buck.

Decently priced plus sized clothing stores are also a rare find. I personally like ASOS for my clothing or city chic (only city chic in store when they're having a MASSIVE sale, which at this shopping center where I live is every day because it's an outlet of theirs)

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My favourites are second hands :D In my area there is not even ONE "normal" clothing store with things in my size - I'm too small for everything, and when I finally find something it either is too small in terms of lengh or it just looks childish. The worst part is that I love cute, girly outfits that are rare in my country and fiding them in my size is nearly impossible. So I have to realy on second hands, and I don't mind it. They usually have clothes for everyone, no matter hight or size. And the best part - they have clothing from foregin countries, so I can save a good amount of money on shipping costs. And with the currency - I feel ya. One dollar is 4 something in my currency and euro is like 5 or more, so even buying from ebay is not a great idea, especially that shipping costs to my country are horrendous. 

So if you don't mind used clothes, I would highly recommend searching through racks in second hands - For example, I had searched in a couple of big cities for my ideal coat, I could't find it anywhere but when I get back I found one in my local second hand ;D 

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My favourites are second hands :D In my area there is not even ONE "normal" clothing store with things in my size - I'm too small for everything, and when I finally find something it either is too small in terms of lengh or it just looks childish. The worst part is that I love cute, girly outfits that are rare in my country and fiding them in my size is nearly impossible. So I have to realy on second hands, and I don't mind it. They usually have clothes for everyone, no matter hight or size. And the best part - they have clothing from foregin countries, so I can save a good amount of money on shipping costs. And with the currency - I feel ya. One dollar is 4 something in my currency and euro is like 5 or more, so even buying from ebay is not a great idea, especially that shipping costs to my country are horrendous. 

So if you don't mind used clothes, I would highly recommend searching through racks in second hands - For example, I had searched in a couple of big cities for my ideal coat, I could't find it anywhere but when I get back I found one in my local second hand ;D 

 

I shop second hand too! Most of the stuff I usually find are kind of old though. Like, not even vintage cute. Just real grandma clothes which make me wanna cringe. But I do find a lot of cool costume jewelry and books in second hand stores.

Here in my country it's hard to find anything in my size that doesn't look like it belongs on a 60yro tbh.

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I agree second hand shops are great!

I'd suggest too learning some basics of sewing so that you can alter the clothing you pick up and customize it to your liking, that helps a lot. So if nothing else you can just pick up clothing for cheap (less expensive too than just buying fabric) and then completely make it into something else.

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I thrift all the time I also like taobao because it's cheap

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Posted (edited)

I used to shop in second hand stores out of necessity...until eventually I found I could actually forge a style out of it.  I literally need to be kept away from thrift stores because it's almost impossible for me to walk into them without walking away with a whole bunch of clothes that I don't really need...but my gosh do I love them!

Also, over here (Melbourne suburbs), there are a lot of Asian-run clothing shops that have awesome clothes at a very reasonable price.  When you're petite, you find that they stock clothes that actually fit...but they also know their demographic and stock larger sizes too.

Oh, and I've found Asian-run "junk stores" to be the best place to find accessories.  I've been collecting floppy straw hats of various colors for years now.  I often get colored scarfs to wrap around the hats if I want to make a big statement!  I also have a very small head, so I've found a plethora of extremely cute kids beanies at these kinds of shops.

They're also pretty good places to find headbands and costume jewelry...but you find that certain brands are better than others (especially things with fake pearls).

Oh, and I like wearing those solid-color flip-flops (either from "junk stores" or Chemist Warehouse) that match my outfits...but the kind that DON'T go between your toes.  I match them to a dress or a top (like, if I'm wearing a black skirt or something), but wear them with those super-short ankle socks...even though it's meant to be a total fashion faux pas.

Pffft!  Rules are made to be broken!

Actually, Chemist Warehouse is really good for all kinds of shoes.  I also like their off-brand ugg boots.  I have both black ones and some brightly colored ones that I wear over either black tights or leggings (with a dress or skirt), especially in winter.  They're not the best quality, but for the price you get more than your money's worth.  Oh, and the colored one really "pop", and can brighten up a black outfit if you accessorize with the same color.  Plus they're comfy and warm.

eBay isn't bad either.  I had been looking for a pair of black knee-high, hook-and-eye lace-up boots, for aaaages!  I used to have a pair from my cousin that were too big, which I eventually gave away to a friend.  After searching for untold months, I finally found a second hand pair (the ONLY ones that fit the description of what I wanted), and they happened to be my size!  I was so excited!  They were in very good shape and cost 50 bucks plus a very reasonable shipping fee.  They fit perfectly, and are very comfortable to walk in too!

eBay is a pretty good place to find cheap accessories from China as well.  Because I'm in Australia, the shipping is usually free, and I'm typically paying 1 Australian dollar, for what is marked up three-fold in a "junk store".  The only problem is that you have to wait a while because of the shipping time.

Anyhow, I have quite a "quirky" style...but it's very inexpensive.

Oh!  One last thing!

If you have a sewing machine, and some basic sewing skills, then if you have a thrift store, or hand-me-down garment that is too big, or the wrong cut, you can totally change it!

I have a really lovely gray A-shaped wool skirt with pockets, lining, and pleats in the front (ending just above the knee)...but originally it was a massive rounded long skirt meant to be worn around the waist instead of the hips.

The alterations to totally transform this skirt actually weren't that difficult, and were done on a normal Janome sewing machine (not an over-locker), using the "over-locking-stitch" and a "back-stitch" settings.

Another alteration are darts.

Darts are a super easy way to give shape to a garment, even if you only have a machine that can straight-stitch.  You can even do them without a sewing machine if you can manage a simple back-stitch by hand.

Hemlines are easy too.  Obviously an over-locking machine is ideal, but a machine with an over-locking stitch, then ironing up the hem and finishing with a straight or back-stitch is fine.  If you only have a straight-stitch machine, then doubling over the material and ironing in the hemline then stitching along the top should work.  If you have to work by hand, you can prevent fraying by using something like a blanket stitch, then iron up the hemline, and just hold it in place with a simple running stitch.

Those are just a few examples...but you can probably find more sewing tips online.

Alterations are WAY easier than making something from scratch.

Hope this is helpful to someone.

Edited by El Diablo
Adding some sewing stuff.
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I don't know if y'all have these where you live, but some of my favorite shops are discount clothing stores (lookup Ross, TJ Maxx, and Marshall's?) Most of it is irregular overstock from department stores, but they're all supposed to be within the last season. Sometimes you have to "dig" to find some gems, but when you do it's worth it-I once got a pair of Steve Madden heels for only twenty USD for my wedding.

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How are the prices of tailors in Aus? Not sure about there but here all bigger women get their clothes custom made by a tailor. The fabric is the most expensive part, the tailor herself will be quite cheap. Show them what you want and they'll make it so long as you provide the fabric.

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How are the prices of tailors in Aus? Not sure about there but here all bigger women get their clothes custom made by a tailor. The fabric is the most expensive part, the tailor herself will be quite cheap. Show them what you want and they'll make it so long as you provide the fabric.

 

I can't answer this for sure, since I've even made a few garments from scratch...but I suspect that it may be a combination of the intricacy of the pattern, and also the typical workmanship of the tailor in question.

I had a friend who did textiles manufacture and merchandising at VCA (Victorian College for the Arts)...and she gave me a shirt she had made on one of their professional machines.  It was literally indistinguishable from something you would buy in a store; Perhaps even better!

She later went on to make custom corsets (since many people in our group wanted them)...and while her prices weren't cheap, she designed them to be properly reinforced, used high quality materials, and absolutely refused to use cheap plastic boning (which tends to bulge and distort the shape of the corset when worn).  Her customers were always extremely happy with her work.

Given all this, I would recommend looking on Facebook for local tailors, and asking customers about the type of garments they made, how satisfied they were with the outcome, and the cost.

You kind of have to weigh up whether the cheapest tailor is going to be able to do what you need them to do, especially if it's something tricky like a jacket with lining, or anything else where a certain skill set and precision is crucial.

I mean, if you pay for a bunch of fabric and end up with a garment where the cloth was cut askew, shows obvious marks of shoddy workmanship, etc., then you're going to feel ripped off, even if they didn't charge you much for their labor.

I'm sorry that I don't really know about how much tailors charge...but perhaps this may help you find one that can cater to your needs at the best possible price.

Edited by El Diablo
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How are the prices of tailors in Aus? Not sure about there but here all bigger women get their clothes custom made by a tailor. The fabric is the most expensive part, the tailor herself will be quite cheap. Show them what you want and they'll make it so long as you provide the fabric.

 

I'm not sure! My mother refuses to get stuff tailored here because she thinks the prices are outrageous but she is a tight ass. So they might be kind of reasonable. Personally my style is just generic tumblr/instagram stuff so having it tailor made seems kind of silly.

Thank you everyone else for your suggestions and advice! Keep them coming if you have any more suggestions.

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What I do is thrift for good quality designer clothing most of the year and I usually do my non-thrifting once a year at stores like Blue notes and urban outfitters.

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newtown in sydney is a good place to look in terms of vintage for all sizes and they also have independent boutiques

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Posted (edited)

I'd check for outlet stores (better yet outlet malls) in your area. I've gotten a ton of cheap clothes from the sale sections of outlet stores, even brand name stuff.

Edited by foxing
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