• Posts Tagged ‘clothing’

    Ways to Save Money on Sports Shoes

    by  • November 13, 2013 • Tagged: ,  • Comments

    If you’re a sportsperson then taking care of your body will be essential and your shoes will be far more than a fashion statement. There are many different models of sports shoe for each sport. Some are better than others and some are cheaper than others. The trick to buying the perfect sports shoe is to know you’re getting the best quality for the least amount of money.

    The first step to take when shopping for sports sneakers is to determine which kind of sports shoes will work best for you and your specific needs. Different models appeal to different people based on how they feel, how they look and their durability. Some of it is personal taste, others is down to the mechanics of the shoe itself. Once you know what type of sneaker or shoe you’re looking for, you can begin your quest to get it at a bargain price.

    How to Save Money on Sports Shoes

    These tips will help you to purchase good quality sports shoes for a discount price.

    • Look out for sales – the end of season and mid-season sales are the most obvious to look for, but always keep your eyes peeled for any other kind of sale. There could be an end of line sale or even a closing down sale in some stores. If you do manage to spot a sale on some sports shoes that you like, then buying more than one pair is a brilliant way to make the most of the sale. If you save $20 on a pair of sneakers then that’s great, but if you save $60 on three pairs of sneakers then it’s brilliant.
    • Discontinued Models – Fashion demands that not all models are kept on the shelf forever. Discontinued models are marked down way below their counterparts and a definite bargain. Ever noticed how when new models of sneakers come in to a store, the older models (which were all the rage last month) drop in price? This is another window of opportunity to save money on your sneakers.
    • Manufacturer’s outlets – You can buy brand names for discount prices at manufacturer’s outlets. The outlets cut out the middle man which means you can get good quality shoes from top names such as Nike for less than they retail for at traditional stores.
    • Coupons – Coupons are a great way to get a decent discount off the pair of sports shoes that you need. Rather than get coupons for one particular brand, try to look for store coupons such as Finish Line coupons. If you get a coupon for a discount on Nike shoes, then you can’t enjoy a discount on any others. If you get a Finish Line coupon, you can receive a discount for anything that you purchase from finish Line and they sell a huge variety of brands.
    • Look after the ones you’ve Got – Making shoes last as long as possible is the number one way to save money. Being careful when washing sneakers, using old sneakers whenever possible (like practicing on soft surfaces) and swapping and changing shoes often can help to extend the life of a pair of sneakers.

    Sports shoes aren’t the cheapest of shoes out there, and it’s important for sportspeople and athletes to get the best support for their feet that they can. However, it’s not necessary to spend a fortune buying sports shoes to train in. With a little careful shopping, you can save a good amount of money on a decent pair of sports shoes that will keep your feet healthy and allow you to reach for your sports goals.

    Cyber-Monday Pity Shopping

    by  • December 3, 2012 • Tagged: ,  • Comments

    Taylor

    I May Not Have Had Nine Marriages, But I Can Have Some New Clothes

    I have been exceedingly good when it comes to spending and saving in these last few months of 2012. Influx of money from doing more work than anticipated? Into the savings account it goes! Need a new dress for a variety of upcoming occasions because I’ve worn the same two dresses so many times that it’s starting to get awkward? Take advantage of a Cyber Monday discount deal at a rental site for designer dresses, because the last thing I need is a fancy dress taking up permanent residence in my closet. So frugal! So virtuous!

    So of course, while perusing the many, many online deals after the Thanksgiving holiday this year, virtuosity gave way to pity. I deserve something for myself! I cried. All of my sweaters are so old! Everyone else is out having after-work cocktails and fancy dinners while I sit at home and sew up the torn lining of my five-year-old winter coat like a modern-day Dickens character! Wah wah wah! And so on.

    So in the interest of getting my husband to stop telling me to “JUST BUY YOURSELF A NEW SWEATER ALREADY,” and to stop the pity-parade before it got excessive, I took out my credit card and made plans. After finishing up a whirlwind day of work catch-up, I went home, put on the new “Liz and Dick” Lifetime movie (because nothing will make you feel better about yourself more quickly than watching a terrible dramatization of Liz Taylor’s love life) and did some considerable online browsing. Stores were consulted, sales reviewed, and online product descriptions pored over in order to find the best items possible.

    At the end of the day, I considered my needs (comfortable, warm sweaters for the weekends up here, as I seem to have forgotten how incredibly cold it gets, and pretty soon my husband will start wearing his own sweaters and I will not be able to steal them anymore), and what I was comfortable spending (not $300 on a cashmere number from one online shop, pretty though it was). I ended up with a cozy looking cable knit from Nordstrom, and I don’t feel an ounce of guilt for it. Is that because when I arrived at our families’ for Thanksgiving I realized I had only packed black turtlenecks, because that is all I own, so it looked like I didn’t change my clothing for four days? In part – but also because I’ve been doing well, and also trying this new thing where I don’t berate myself endlessly for spending money I have to spend. It’s revolutionary!

    How do you handle personal splurges?

    images: AJ Alfieri-Crispin

    How Much is That Long-Distance Relationship Going to Cost You?

    by  • October 18, 2012 • Tagged: , , ,  • Comments

    The following is a guest post from Pauline Paquin, a long time reader who has recently started to blog over at Reach Financial Independence. Born and raised in Paris, France, Pauline blogs about how she has been traveling the world for the past 10 years, while trying to build wealth and achieve financial independence, and how you can follow your dreams and reach your goals too. You can follow Pauline on Twitter @RFIndependence.

    airplane over ocean

    Bye bye, love.

    So here you are, at the airport, crying. He (or she, but in this case, “she” is me, so “he” is a “he”) hugs you goodbye, and you promise that the long-distance relationship will not affect you as a couple. You are stronger than this, after all — nothing can take you apart.

    Spoiler alert: long-distance relationships (LDRs) suck. Once you get your emotionally sobbing self back home and start frantically counting the days until you see each other again, you should also start counting your money. Yep, it is not only going to be hard, it is going to cost you, too.

    The obvious costs of maintaining a long-distance relationship

    Phone

    Whether He moved across the country to go to college or He was that tanned and muscular bartender you met on your last exotic holiday, your phone bill is going to go through the roof. You can look into unlimited phone plans: Some include calls overseas, but most of the time the list of countries is limited. Home phones offer the same kind of service, with unlimited calls to a bigger number of countries, but mainly to other home phones, so that is assuming He has one.

    If you both have a computer and a decent internet connection, which is not a given in many countries, even some where you would assume it is, like Italy for example, you can get a Skype account and call each other for free for hours.

    And download WhatsApp on your smartphone to chat as you please with your loved one.

    Transport

    If you are staying together, it means that you have plans to see each other again. Good. Hopefully, you knew He was leaving a couple of months ago, so you have already stacked on tickets back and forth for the both of you. Not at the same time, obviously. You have thought about everything and synced your calendars to make sure you don’t forget whose turn it is to come over (and to dress nice for the occasion, but we will come to that later).

    Now is the time to get a frequent flyer account, to apply for a credit card that earns you miles as rewards, to ask your family for airline coupons as birthday and Christmas gifts (unless He is not a welcome addition to the family). The sooner you book your tickets, the better, wherever the destination. Six to eight weeks in advance is usually the best time. Didn’t think about it until after He left? Check out last minute offers, and check them both ways, it may be cheaper for one of you to go than the other one.

    As you will be spending a lot of time commuting back and forth, re-organize your life around your traveling schedule. Make good use of the time spent in transit to catch up on your reading, study, or write. As an added bonus, you will have plenty to talk about when you get there.

    Costs you may not have thought about

    Grooming

    You will be in a state of permanent anguish. What is going on over there? Who is He with? There is no way you can reunite wearing your favorite sweat pants or less than perfect hair and body. So yes, while normal couples get into a comfy routine, put on 5 pounds of “love handles” and don’t worry too much about always looking their best, you will be spending your time apart in salons and the gym, eager to see again that ”wow” in His eyes like when He first saw you.

    Crazy splurges on outings and dressing up

    You will see each other less and will probably want to mark the occasion. While in a LDR, you won’t settle for a night of movies on the couch. You will want to eat somewhere special ($$ka-ching$$), maybe have a drink before ($$ka-ching$$), drive around to see His new city ($ka-ching$), and lots of other very expensive activities that cohabiting couples haven’t enjoyed in a while. Of course, you will buy a new dress for the occasion, and maybe some heels too? ($$ka-chiiiiing$$)

    Nights out with friends

    While He was the only one you had eyes for, you probably stopped seeing many friends. Now that He is away, it is time to call the girls and organize a fun night, both to reconnect and forget how lonely you are without Him. Plus tax, plus tips.

    Health costs

    Costs to your health are harder to estimate, but come on, do you really think you can stay up until 4am, which is when He wakes up and wants to talk for an hour? Can anyone go on like that for weeks, ingesting quantities of caffeine the next morning and walking around like a madly in love zombie?

    The lack of sleep can affect your mood, your relations with other people (especially your coworkers), and can cost you a job promotion or worse…your job.

    Maybe it will be time to reassess your LDR and, if it is really worth it, take the plunge and join Him over there?

    Have you ever been in a LDR? Has it worked out for you? For your budget?

    image: The-Lane-Team

    Re-appropriating My Wedding Dress

    by  • September 24, 2012 • Tagged: ,  • Comments

    Sexy wedding dress

    Save money by possibly ruining your wedding dress.

    When my husband and I got married last year, I knew I would have to come to terms with spending unreasonable sums of money on things that would be ridiculous and unavoidable one-use items. Flowers, rented chairs, a veil – these were all things that would be employed for exactly one day, cost lots of money, and then be out of commission. And for the most part, I managed to quell my nagging guilt over spending what I’d deem “stupid” money (maybe with the exception of the rental chairs – I will never get over those).

    But when it came to my dress, I had a hard time dealing with the concept of purchasing an item of clothing whose cost-per-wear would be almost a thousand dollars. I’ve mentioned that I try to stretch my clothing dollar as far as it will go – mending nice boots, cleaning coats, etc. While I’ll spend what some people might see as too much money on an item of clothing, I do so with the intention of making that dollar stretch.

    You don’t have that option with a traditional wedding dress. It’s long, it’s white, and it probably has some complicated detailing that makes it appropriate for exactly one event in your lifetime. It is also often unavoidably expensive. So after the wedding, having thrown it back into its nice packaging, I found myself contemplating what I could do with it. I could save it for my daughter, but the thought of lugging it around from move to move until I hypothetically have a female child who will hypothetically be the same size as I am who will hypothetically wear it one day in her hypothetical wedding was far too distant to appeal to me. I could try to sell it, but I could tell my mother was slightly disappointed that I would consider it (she’s much less frugal/practical/grossly un-emotional than I am), and besides, many of the venues where you can sell your dress already had my make and model several times over. I could clean it and save it for posterity, but the fee for cleaning a wedding dress is absurd, and I would still encounter the “lugging a cumbersome item of clothing around for all time” problem.

    And then, while doing some online shopping for a formal I had to attend with my husband, it occurred to me that I could possibly produce a very nice formal dress without spending much time frustrated online or in a mall. It was hanging in my closet, and would just require a few alterations. My dress is fairly simple – no poof, no tulle, just a sheath-like jersey silk. I’ve seen short, colorful versions of it sold by the same designer online, and I like them. I could hem and dye my wedding dress! It was the perfect plan, which would either turn out great or horribly!

    I found a dressmaker at the recommendation of a friend, after many tailors I called said they wouldn’t touch a wedding dress (despite my assurances that I’m not attached to it, and knew it might not work out). She works out of an incredibly beat-up store front, and seemed game to try it if I was. Five minutes after putting it on for the first time in a year, she’d hacked away at the bottom, left me with some fabric for testing dye, and promised to have it ready in two weeks. I picked it up, shipped it off to the dyer I’d found online with the knowledge that this would either be wonderful or terrible, and waited for the results.

    I’m pleased to report that it worked. I now have an almost-new dress hanging in my closet, ready to be worn to weddings and formal events until I start to form holes in the material. The total cost was $40 for the alterations, and $75 for the dying (this was not something I was willing to attempt on my own, although it might have worked). I’ve therefore dropped slightly less money on this project than I would have on a new dress, and it comes with the satisfaction that I’m getting some use out of an otherwise one-use item (and one that I like very much – that’s why it was purchased in the first place). I also plan to respond to any compliments I receive while wearing it with an incredibly smug, “THANKS, IT’S MY WEDDING DRESS, CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?”

    Have you managed to re-appropriate any items you thought were for one-use only? Would you ever attempt something like this with your wedding dress?

    image: glaizawood

    Moving, and Its Casualties

    by  • July 31, 2012 • Tagged: ,  • Comments

    Garbage by Editor B, on Flickr

    This is Basically What My Closet Looked Like

    You rarely realize how much crap you’ve accumulated in any period of time until you have to pack up and relocate said crap. While I pride myself on keeping an immaculate house and all of my possessions in their tidy, perfect, obsessive-compulsive places, I recently discovered that I am, in fact, a secret hoarder.

    The housing in which my husband and I currently reside (for one more day) will be undergoing renovations this coming year, and as a result, we’re being relocated to other housing. This isn’t too much of an inconvenience, and when we heard the news, I decided to view it as an opportunity to purge what “small” quantity of stuff I had held onto unnecessarily from our previous move. I’ve always thought of myself as fairly unsentimental when it comes to personal possessions – I can easily dispose of magazines once my newest issue arrives; I’m fairly good at consigning and donating clothes I haven’t worn in a year, etc. And I had, I thought, been keeping this up over the last few years.

    Until recently. While going through my clothes, I marvelled at the quantity of items I really hadn’t worn in ages. This velvet blazer, bought on sale at J.Crew that I thought I’d wear all fall and winter long? I’ve worn it maybe twice in five years. (This means it had an alarmingly high cost-per-wear, which I generally try to keep as low as possible.) These ill-fitting turtlenecks that I bought at the Gap and which ended up stretching out after one use? Off to consignment.

    On and on it went, and that was only the clothing. Last night I turned my attention to a box into which I’d been jamming anything of sentimental value. What if I wanted to hold onto it? What if in thirty years all I missed in this world was that postcard from a college friend that I threw away? This had been my justification for years of what basically amounts to organized hoarding. So last night I tackled it head on. One hour later, surrounded by a pile of things I didn’t even realize I’d kept since high school and college, and towards which I felt no emotional attachment, I got a garbage bag and asked my husband to help me load everything in.

    “So we’re basically throwing away your entire dorm room.”

    “Correct!”

    The monetary loss from these items which I no longer need to tote with me through each and every move was small – postcards I’d collected, photos of friends I have on my computer. But it made me realize just how easy it can be to purchase things I think I’ll need and use forever (blazers, sweaters, decorative items) when in fact, I’ll just be tossing them with my next move. If I’m trying to be more conscious about my spending on clothing, then I’ll be doing this doubly so with everything else in my life. We may be gaining more space in our move, but I’d like to be more careful about what I carelessly collect and keep.

    Have you ever been surprised by how much you own, and how much of it you really don’t need?

    image: Editor B

    The Cost of Having Nice Things

    by  • May 17, 2012 • Tagged: , ,  • Comments

    Shoe Repair

    Expensive, But Necessary

    May has inadvertently turned into a month of “Getting Things Done.” While I would ordinarily begin doing a type of spring cleaning (although let’s be real, I’m obsessive compulsive and every week is spring cleaning week in my apartment), the fact that we are being moved out of our apartment (for renovation purposes) has had a compounding effect on the number of spring-related errands I’ve been running and, as a result, my bank account.

    This past weekend, for instance, I had a list to complete. It’s finally getting warm up here, so I decided I could take my coats in to be dry-cleaned. My boots won’t be worn for another few months, so now is a great moment to take them to a cobbler and repair all the damage I’ve done as a result of wearing them essentially daily in horrible weather. I have a couple of summery dresses that I’ll need for upcoming weddings that fit me not-quite-right in a few areas, and I’ve been putting off doing anything about them for a while. So boots and coats in hand (and arms and bag), I went off to drop everything in its respective location.

    First up, the coats. It will cost $20 per item for them to be cleaned. That’s a bit of a hit to the wallet, but unavoidable considering how many things I’ve spilled on myself/sat in while wearing these coats. They’re good, sturdy items, and I’d like to keep them for a while, so a cleaning once or twice a year to get the stale, dried beer off of them (thanks to a clumsy moment in a bar) is worth it.

    Next, I marched to the cobbler. I had three pairs of shoes with me: a nice pair of black leather boots that I’ve worn away after a year of scraping my heels (a terrible habit, I know); brown Timberland boots that are one of my greatest joys, and whose lining has been super-glued by me I don’t know how many times; and a pair of dainty, pointed heels that I consistently scrape against staircases as I go up them (I can’t avoid this, no matter how diligent I try to be). The total came to $75 for repairs and shining. The cobbler tried to talk me into replacing the heels on the brown boots as well, but they’re not terribly worn down and I’m fairly certain I can get another year out of them before incurring that $40 cost. It’s expensive, but do you know what’s more expensive? Replacing really nice boots. So down went the credit card in my attempt to keep my nice things nice.

    There are net positives to this kind of seasonal overhaul. I went through my wardrobe and found a number of clothing items to consign locally, which should mean a nice-sized check in my future. I’ve gotten to reassess what I own, and take care of items that need it so that they look like new (because nothing helps with spending than getting a pair of repaired/cleaned boots and clothing to make you feel like you have something new when you don’t). It’s money I don’t mind spending.

    What kind of costs are involved with your clothing upkeep? Does a big event like a move prompt you to take care of neglected items?

    image: David Harris

    Putting a Stop To Spending

    by  • May 8, 2012 • Tagged: , ,  • Comments

    Clothing

    I Do Not Have to Own All the Clothes

    While I generally think of myself as someone incapable of mindless spending, over the past few months I realize that I’ve been putting more money towards a variety of purchases than I would have liked. This has something to do with my current occupation – as I’ve written before, my current (and relatively new) job requires that I dress much more nicely than I’ve previously needed to, and as a result I’ve found myself spending money on clothing, if not quite willy-nilly, then close to it. Yes, there were the justifiable expenses – five identical black turtlenecks from Ann Taylor for winter work attire (I lack creativity, get cold easily, and spill food on myself with such frequency that these have already paid for themselves several times over); black boots from L.L. Bean that are real leather, great for the office, and even better for going out in my freezing cold New England city when I’m meeting friends for dinner or drinks; a few very much on-sale dresses that I can wear for the upcoming onslaught of weddings. But then there were the little things that I could “justify” if I tried, and which, added up, made me uncomfortable with where my spending was going. I may be trying to buy only things that I love and that will serve me well in many capacities for a long time, but that doesn’t mean I have to own all of those things at once.

    What finally made me reassess my spending was a Lilly Pulitzer dress I’d had my eye on for a while. This purchase was partly inspired by my lifelong quest to transform myself into someone who at least has the wardrobe, if not the life, of an old-money WASP, and partly by my desire for a cute beach cover-up for the summer. For those of you familiar with Lilly Pulitzer, I can assure you that it was on the low, low end of that clothing line’s cost spectrum. But after I bought it, I thought to myself, “Did I really need this now? Was this something I should have considered a bit more before making the purchase?” I worried that I had purchased it when I did out of a momentary desire to own a Lilly Pulitzer dress, as well as the lure of free-shipping. These motivators, while understandable, should not be my reasoning for making a big purchase.

    Spawned by my discomfort, I considered my closet. I feel that over the past few years I’ve made good choices – I’ve bought things that I like, that I really wear, and that will look good for some time. I try not to make frivolous or impulsive purchases. But the fact that I’d bought a few more unnecessary items than my closet needed – and that I’d done so somewhat thoughtlessly – prompted a decision. I won’t be buying any clothes for a few months. I could be less of a coward about this, and say, “I WILL SPEND NO MONEY ON CLOTHES FOR FIVE MONTHS,” but I worry that a rule like that will just breed a self-resentment that will end up in a cranky moment in J.Crew, feeling sorry for myself and pulling out my credit card for something unspeakably useless and expensive. So instead, I’ll be doing my best to be much more thoughtful. When I try to justify that purchase of a dress for a friend’s wedding, I’ll remember that I already have more than enough from which to choose. When I covet that pretty new J.Crew bracelet (sometimes I think J.Crew should pay me for all of the times I mention them on this website), I’ll remember that I have plenty of pretty bracelets that I don’t wear enough as it is. It isn’t about denying myself – it’s about considering what I have.

    Have you ever put yourself on a spending hiatus?

    image: _e.t.