Okay so any money saving book or blog is going to tell you to shop at second hand stores. But I want to warn you about some of these places, they can be very expensive at times. and not at all worth the money. I have a few rules for thrift shops. Never buy anything at a thrift shop that you can afford to buy new. No use buying a t-shirt from Kmart (Basic Editions) at the Salvation Army for $5 bucks when you can get it for $6 brandy new and in the size and color you really want. Only buy the stuff you couldn't otherwise afford in thrift shops. Look at the labels. I am particularly fond of buying stuff from SAKS FIFTH AVENUE and other fine stores. I find their clothes to be of excellent quality and superior workmanship. When it comes to coats. I gravitate to the men's department. Men's clothing is better made and has more luxurious details than women's wear. In addition they get inside pockets which I like because I can leave my purse at home.
When it comes to dressing well, Men have another advantage over women: the uniform. Men are practically dressed the moment they open their closets. They have to wear a suit which eliminates much distraction and a plain shirt. The only bit of self expression allowed is in the selection of a tie. They can dress with their eyes shut. This is marvelous.
Years ago I decided to invent my own female version of the suit. I call it the sheath. You pick a neutral base color like black. Buy interchangeable tops and bottoms in your base color. I have a collection of black sweaters, slacks and skirts which I mix and match throughout the week. Then all I have to do is pick an accent color. I throw on a sweater or a jacket in a bright color. Add some jewelry and a scarf and I'm done. Nothing could be easier on a busy morning. I always look good because all of the problems have been worked out in advance.Whenever I buy another piece of clothing, I work out how it is going to be worn immediately. I don't want to get caught trying things on before going to work. Who has time for this. I have a 2 hour plus commute. Better to get it over with ahead of time and just know what to do without thinking. I leave for work while it's still dark and my husband is still sleeping .
For the summer I change my base color to white or navy blue. I still use my accent color, but I am even less subdued and generally go for hot pink and bright orange. Summer is time for color gone wild. I decorate my home in much then same way as well. Choosing neutral bases and finishes like cream and throwing colorful accents all around. The restriction actually gives a lot of freedom because you're not limited to being all matchy matchy.