Although we took these pictures back in late-September, it feels like a thousand years ago. I am tempted to play your grandma here and say they were simpler times, when you could leave the house freely and have a nice walk under the autumn sun. That’s how odd things have gone.
At the time of writing, we’re not allowed to leave the house except for essential reasons which can make blogging and content creation a challenge, and although I do know that means nothing in the big scheme of things, it means a lot to me. The positive side here is Sebastian and I anticipated a second lockdown at the end of the Summer and we started creating batch content, which is the reason you are able to read me here once a week (plus, the reason why I keep updating my Instagram page regularly) and why many of my photos are a bit older. Case on point, the ones in this post.
But getting straight to the point, the week before we shot these pictures, I was spending some spare time browsing through one of my favourite online fashion forums when I encountered a thread where people were discussing the average cost of clothing these days, and more especifically, how expensive it is to dress on a stylish way.
Although it might sound fair enough initially, the problem with that premise is most users identified dressing decently with couture brands. Hence, they wrongly assumed that style is all about an expensive price tag. And I think that’s a huge mistake.
It is true that most couture brands produce high-quality clothing but it’s no longer the monopoly of these companies. These days, you can find attractive prices under different shapes: high street stores, vintage shops, and even second-hand couture markets if that’s your jam.
Since most people will think it’s easier said than done, I thought I would take the plunge and finding a nice outfit for less than your average price tag.
A chic outfit under a hundred pounds? Challenge accepted!
So first things first: the moment I decided to try this, I knew shopping resposibly was the main angle to me. I didn’t feel like going outside and shopping for new clothes on some random fast fashion place and then forgetting about them forever. Don’t get me wrong, I am not judging other bloggers for doing that, but I don’t feel comfortable about it. Hence, the first thing I did was thinking about the outfit in terms of my actual wardrobe gaps and using the chance to fill some of them. For me, shopping sensibly is a must.
I keep a document on my laptop containing a shopping list with specific pieces I need to get at some point (things like, let’s say, a good-quality camel coat or a long-lasting neutral bag). So, I opened the list and after determining what was next, I made a bit of shopping research… AND BINGO! I found the exact brown mid-length pleated skirt I had been looking for a while on the final summer sales. I ordered it online and crossed the item from my list. As for the price? I paid only twelve pounds for it. Win-win situation, people.
For the next piece of my outfit and keeping up with the sustainable principle, I wanted to use an item from my existing wardrobe. One of the most interesting points about sustainability is elongating the useful lifespan of your clothes by taking proper care of them. And guys? I am sucker for that.
After checking my closet extensively, I chose this off-white Zara turtle neck from last season. It is perfect for autumn weather and it looks great. The original price was about fifteen pounds at the time I bought it and, although it’s not available anymore, I found a nice alternative for you here. Let’s go with the next piece!
This is probably my favourite part of the outfit (a.k.a. SHOES). In the last year or so, I have become a total convert (and by that what I truly mean is I’ve been possesed by an evil spirit who will push me to buy the most gorgeous pair I can find, day or night…). I used to be quite practical —and a bit boring, if we are being honest here— when it comes to shoes but not anymore. Right now, I feel like filling the gaps on my shoe collection and I’ve been having some fun by doing so. And speaking of that, I got obsessed with the Gadly Court Shoes by Dorothy Perkins last Summer, which made me buy them in tan as well as in yellow. What can I say? I am no saint. But the point is, these lovely pumps were in my closet already. Total cost? Seventeen pounds. I know, CRAZY.
As for the accessories, I wore this cute vintage carved ivory box from my collection. It was a gift from Sebastian but the price in the antiques shop was about fifty pounds, which is a steal. The belt was another lucky find at ASOS (I got it for five pounds in the final sales too). I am not including the sunglasses here since they were another present my husband purchased for me at Chloé for a special ocassion (I am truly sorry because it’s a bit like cheating, really. We all know you can find inexpensive sunglasses out there without any hussle, though…)
But it’s time to do the maths!
Skirt | H&M Value: 12 GBP
Sweater | Zara (old) Value: 15 GBP
Belt | Asos Value: 5GBP
Bag | Vintage Value: 50 GBP
Shoes | Dorothy Perkins Value: 17 GBP
TOTAL COST | 99 GBP
Final thoughts: I did dressed up for less than a hundred pounds (leaving out the designer sunglasses, obviously) which is great, all things considered. I would say it is totally possible to dress on a classy way as long as you carefully curate your pieces and take care of your exisiting clothes. To me, planning this outfit did not feel hard. I simply had to be witty with my choices and give it some thought.
So tell me, what do you think about style on a budget? Are you into sensible shopping too?