budget wardrobe http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/5039/all en-US Build a Work Wardrobe for Any Job on a Budget http://www.wisebread.com/build-a-work-wardrobe-for-any-job-on-a-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/build-a-work-wardrobe-for-any-job-on-a-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/wardrobe-1935226-small.jpg" alt="wardrobe" title="wardrobe" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="182" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Congratulations on your new job! Finding regular work in the current economy is hard. What else is hard? Building a decent work wardrobe when your first eight paychecks have to be diverted to cover other costs. Luckily, there are a number of ways to create appropriate work ensembles without breaking the bank. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-save-cash-on-new-clothes" target="_blank">12 Ways to Save Cash on New Clothes</a>)</p> <p>Take a cue from my sister-in-law, Missy, who estimates that she's saved $40,000 in clothing costs over her 30-year career as a nurse by wearing her uniform at work instead of street clothes. Yeah, I know. Most people cannot get away with wearing surgical scrubs and white clogs on the job. But wearing a uniform, even one that you create, will save you time and money.</p> <h2>If Your Company Provides Free Clothing, Wear It!</h2> <p>My friend Spence lost 150 pounds. As anyone who has lost or gained a lot of weight can tell you, having to repeatedly buy clothes to fit the New You gets expensive fast. Luckily, Spence works at a record store where the dress code is decidedly casual. Even luckier, Spence's employer provides free store T-shirts and hoodies to his employees as a form of cheap advertising.</p> <p>During his 18-month journey from size XXXL to size L, Spence only had to worry about replacing his pants and his underwear. Every time he went down a size, he just got seven new shirts and a hoodie from work. When Spence finally got to his target weight, he wanted to burn his work T-shirts on a pyre, not out of victory, but because he was so sick of wearing the same thing every day. That said, what made Spence's weight loss especially sweet was that he could afford to buy some really nice shirts for his skinnier self with the money he'd saved by wearing store logo shirts for a year and a half.</p> <p>My doctor's wardrobe hack is a combination of Missy's and Spence's strategies. While many doctors no longer wear the iconic white lab coat at work, my personal physician still wears a lab coat not out of tradition, but out of frugality. Since no one can see that she's wearing inexpensive T-shirts or sweaters under her lab coat, she never has to buy the matching jacket to her dress pants. Patients just assume from her bottom half that she's immaculately dressed from head to toe.</p> <h2>Buy a Few Nice Pieces and Own Your Look</h2> <p>Albert Einstein famously wore the same outfit everyday. So did Steve Jobs.</p> <p>One of my best friends works for a major museum. His job is to procure funding from high wealth individuals and corporations for museum exhibits and programs. Following Einstein's lead, my friend wears a &quot;uniform&quot; to work every day at his arty job. His work wardrobe consists of:</p> <ul> <li>A tuxedo</li> <li>A raincoat</li> <li>Three identical grey suits from Brooks Brothers</li> <li>Seven identical white shirts</li> <li>Two pairs of black shoes</li> <li>Four different black ties</li> </ul> <p>In addition to making the process of getting dressed in the morning completely hassle free, the wealthy people he hobnobs with have no idea how many suits he actually owns, although I don't think anyone would guess that his work wardrobe consists of only eighteen garments.</p> <p>If this minimalist system sounds extreme, ask yourself this: &quot;Who else wears a grey Brooks Brothers suit, a black tie, and a white shirt to work every day?&quot; Yes. That's right. Donald Draper.</p> <h2>Share a Work Wardrobe</h2> <p>There's a group of PR executives I know who are always seen in the background of red carpet photographs wearing the latest fashions. Initially I thought that their sartorial splendor was a perk of their jobs &mdash; that their clients or fashion designers were giving them free clothes. Then one of them let me in on their little secret.&nbsp;In real life, publicists must spend a huge chunk of their salaries on up-to-the-moment work clothes.</p> <p>To reduce their clothing costs, a group of four publicists, who all wear the same size, share clothes. Every three months, the four get together for drinks and pore over fashion magazines. They decide what the signature, &quot;must have&quot; items are for that season, and each of them buys one or two garments or accessories. They take turns wearing the different pieces, so none of them is ever photographed wearing the same thing twice. At the end of every season, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-to-buy-discounted-designer-clothing-online" target="_blank">they sell off the &quot;expired&quot; clothes</a> to recoup some of their wardrobe budget.</p> <p>Obviously this is the extreme version of closet swapping. Anyone who has ever shared clothes with a sibling or roommate knows this. But, what's interesting about the PR ladies is how organized they are about their clothes. Not only do they not buy anything that's not super-wearable for work personally, but they don't buy anything that's not usable by at least three other people. At any point in time, each of the publicists only has to pay &frac14; of the cost of a designer wardrobe, and store &frac12; the clothes they would otherwise have to store in their homes.</p> <p>To replicate this off the red carpet, host a clothes swapping party at your home every three months and get some new to you clothes for free.</p> <h2>Inherit a Wardrobe</h2> <p>Just as there are always people coming into the job market, there are always people leaving it.</p> <p>When my lawyer left the big firm he was working for to start his own boutique law firm, he donated all of his Armani suits to charity. He didn't want to wear the clothes he'd worn to a job he'd hated. He's hardly the first person to change his clothes when he changed his job. Ask your friends and family and ask your community via freecycle.com for hand-me-down work clothes.</p> <h2>Or Borrow One</h2> <p>When my friend Erin was first hired at an advertising agency, she didn't have the wardrobe to match the company culture. Luckily, her then-pregnant supervisor liked Erin so much that she allowed Erin to borrow her non-maternity work clothes for six months. The supervisor didn't have to muck about with two different sets of clothes while she was pregnant and nursing, and Erin was able to borrow a professional work wardrobe for just the cost of dry cleaning until she was able to save up enough money to buy her own clothes.</p> <h2>Black Is the New Cheap</h2> <p>My friend Hilary, a New York based film producer once told me, &quot;People only notice your accessories when you're wearing black.&quot; Although her shoe/handbag/scarf/jewelry collection costs more than a car, she buys most of her clothes from Target and Banana Republic.</p> <p>Even if you lack Hillary's flair (and budget) for accessorizing, an all-black wardrobe is still a good way to cut clothing costs. Along with not showing dirt, black clothes also hide a multitude of design flaws. Even with poor finishing and uneven stitching, black clothes just look more expensive than their colorful counterparts. Can anyone really tell the difference between the $14 black T-shirt from K-Mart and the $84 one from Barney's? No. The key is to choose black items with simple, classic lines that are cheaper knock-offs of more expensive items.</p> <p>To keep blacks from fading quickly, turn the clothes inside out before washing them in cold water. Then, air dry.</p> <h2>Keep It Clean, Affordably</h2> <p>My cousin's only gripe about being a police officer is that his wool uniforms are expensive to dry clean. For many people, the most expensive part of their <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-ways-to-make-your-clothes-last-longer-without-spending-big" target="_blank">wardrobe is the upkeep</a>, and not the original purchase.</p> <p>If you are on a budget, try to choose clothes that don't have to be washed often, and take steps to keep your work clothes as clean as possible. For example, don't eat spaghetti for lunch. Here are a few more wardrobe maintenance tips.</p> <ul> <li>Did you have play clothes as a child? Get back into that habit. The second you get home from work, change into your &quot;inside pants.&quot; Not only will you probably be more comfortable, but you will save your work clothes hundreds of hours of wear and tear if you don't wear them around the house.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Hang up your clothes! Contrary to popular belief, piling your clothes on home exercise equipment will not keep them wrinkle-free. Shake or brush your clothes out before putting them away. Keeping your clothes free of cat hair, dandruff, and crumbs will help prevent moths from chowing down on your favorite garments. Inspect clothes for stains and spot clean immediately to keep the stains from setting and to deter bug snacking.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Although it's counter-intuitive, if you are sweaty, wear an undershirt or dress shields that will absorb the moisture, so you won't have to clean your jackets and sweaters as often.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Also, washing in cold water and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/line-drying-your-laundry-frugal-or-foolish" target="_blank">air-drying clothes</a> will extend the life of all your garments, regardless of the color. (Lint is the evidence that your dryer is eating your clothing.)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Invest in a heavy iron and learn how to iron your own clothes. It's not that hard. And if you talk on the phone with a friend or watch TV while you do it, ironing isn't as terrible as everyone makes it out to be.</li> </ul> <p><em>What is your best trick for building a cheap work wardrobe?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-a-work-wardrobe-for-any-job-on-a-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-places-to-find-inexpensive-accessories">10 Places to Find Inexpensive Accessories</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-to-buy-discounted-designer-clothing-online">Where to Buy Discounted Designer Clothing Online</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-ways-to-make-your-clothes-last-longer-without-spending-big">16 Ways to Make Your Clothes Last Longer Without Spending Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-recycle-and-reuse-old-t-shirts">15 Ways to Recycle and Reuse Old T-shirts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-denim-expert-reveals-why-you-only-need-3-pairs-of-jeans">A Denim Expert Reveals Why You Only Need 3 Pairs of Jeans</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Style budget wardrobe designer clothing work clothes Mon, 29 Apr 2013 10:24:33 +0000 Max Wong 973635 at http://www.wisebread.com No-Sew Ways to Update Your Wardrobe http://www.wisebread.com/no-sew-ways-to-update-your-wardrobe <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/no-sew-ways-to-update-your-wardrobe" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/stencil.jpg" alt="Man stenciling on shirts" title="Man stenciling on shirts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are many ways to update old articles of clothing that don&rsquo;t involve sewing machines. For those of us who can&rsquo;t tell a bobbin from our backsides, here are some easy, cheap ideas for bringing your old clothes back to life.</p> <p>First, a couple of quick notes about the methods here &mdash; you shouldn&rsquo;t try any of these out on an otherwise respectable piece of clothing that you like and wear all the time, and you certainly shouldn't attempt on very expensive clothing. If you&rsquo;ve never bleached or shredded a pair of jeans before, you might want to have a couple of practice rounds on a pair of jeans that are otherwise unwearable or destined for the dust bin. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/twenty-five-things-to-do-with-old-jeans">25 Things to Do With Old Jeans</a>)</p> <p>Another quick note &mdash; some of the alterations in this article can make clothing harder to care for or require more delicate laundering methods. If you don&rsquo;t have the patience for such things, then you probably don&rsquo;t want to spend time shredding your t-shirt into a fine mesh.</p> <p>Lastly, many of these DIY pieces are trendy and/or eye-catching, so if your style is more classic and conservative, they might not be up your fashion alley. It never hurts to give it a try, though.</p> <h2>Crop</h2> <p>Turning a <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdrgcIqcanA">t-shirt into a crop-top</a> or making jeans into cutoff shorts are such easy tasks that we&rsquo;ve all done them before (probably in 1985, but hey, the 80s are back in fashion). The benefit to DIY cropping is that it&rsquo;s cheap and eco-friendly. Why pay for a pair of cut-off shorts when you can turn an <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxMFq8xp2Ts">old pair of jeans into shorts</a> for free?</p> <p>If you don&rsquo;t have any jeans that you wish to sacrifice, but you <em>really</em> want a pair of cut-off shorts, head to your local Goodwill where you&rsquo;ll find jeans for under $10 that can be cut as short as you like. If you&rsquo;re lucky, you might come across a pair of high-waisted jeans, which are apparently all the rage this season among serious fashionistas.</p> <p>There are <a href="http://diyfashion.about.com/od/nosewprojects/NoSew_DIY_Fashion_Projects.htm">tons of things</a> you can make using various cropping methods &mdash; want some <a href="http://diyfashion.about.com/od/diyaccessories/ss/SleeveGloves.htm">fingerless gloves</a>? <a href="http://www.5min.com/Video/Make-Legwarmers--Warm-Hat-Out-of-a-Sweater-88792608">Leg warmers</a>?</p> <h2>Shred/Slash</h2> <p>If your t-shirt already has holes in it, you might as well <a href="http://honestlywtf.com/diy/shredding-diy-2/">shred it</a> and turn it into a punk rock item of hotness. Threadbanger offers a tutorial for <a href="http://www.threadbanger.com/secretlife/episode/SLB_20100805/t-shirt-reconstruction-how-to-resize-your-shirt-and-how-to-give-it-a-braiding-effect-secret-life-of-a-bio-nerd">creating a built-in fabric braid</a> diagonally across a t-shirt (start the video at 3:15 to see the shredding and braiding; the first part of the video deals with re-sizing a too-big t-shirt).</p> <p>Shredded t-shirts go well with undershirts, and Generation T shows you how to <a href="http://www.generation-t.com/t-shirt-projects/i-love-to-create-slashed-peekaboo-t-shirt/">shred a shirt</a> and combine with a painted undershirt for a peekaboo look that&rsquo;s rocks without necessitating a nip-slip.</p> <p>For a t-shirt that is finely shredded, you&rsquo;ll want to <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFkQgc6sERs&amp;feature=related">view the tutorial from Salina Bear</a>. It&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/massive-list-of-things-to-do-while-watching-tv">work you can do while watching TV</a>, because it takes forever. If you are planning on attending a Poison Concert, Heavy Mental teaches you how to <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsesXTShep8&amp;feature=related">create a laddered t-shirt</a>. You can even <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjPSdWrPfq4&amp;feature=fvwrel">braid a totally shredded t-shirt</a> if you are interested in showing more skin than you ever thought possible while still technically being clothed.</p> <h2>Bleach/Color</h2> <p>Bleaching is one of those fantastic DIY options that waxes and wanes with clothing trends, but it&rsquo;s back now in abundance.</p> <p>You can bleach portions of a garment or an entire item of clothing. I find denim rather hard to bleach evenly, and have had better luck painting bleach onto clothing in specific patterns and designs. Many people swear by washing your dyed clothing in vinegar afterward to set the dye (I&rsquo;ve heard the same tip for preserving bright hair color, as well).</p> <h4>Ombre</h4> <p>If you&rsquo;ve never heard of the term &ldquo;ombre&rdquo; before (or have, but never knew what it meant), here&rsquo;s a quick definition: Ombre, French for &ldquo;shadow,&rdquo; also refers to a style of fabric coloration in which one color fades gradually into another. Any color gradient is possible, although ombre seems to imply a darker color seeping into (or out of) a lighter one.</p> <p>Here&rsquo;s a photo of <a href="http://www.denimology.com/2009/08/sienna_miller_in_j_brand_ombre_jeans.php">Sienna Miller in ombre jeans</a>. See? You&rsquo;ve seen the style before. Here&rsquo;s a gorgeous example of a <a href="http://www.etsy.com/listing/77367099/uye-surana-collection-cecilia-free-flow?ref=v1_other_2">dress with an ombre</a> dip-dye effect from Etsy.</p> <p>You can <a href="http://voguishdoodles.blogspot.com/2011/06/diy-doodle-it-yourself-ombre-denim.html">get the ombre look</a> from <a href="http://www.whowhatwear.com/website/full-article/do-it-yourself-dipdye-jeans/">dark clothing using bleach</a> or <a href="http://www.michaelkors.com/store/catalog/prod.jhtml?itemId=prod9520034&amp;parentId=cat17101">dip-dye a lighter item of clothing</a> using cloth dye, like Rit. I achieved a blue ombre t-shirt by lowering the upper half of a shirt into a bucket of Rit dye and leaving it there overnight &mdash; the color gradually seeped up another few inches on the shirt, leaving a nice gradient blue color that faded into white at the bottom of the shirt.</p> <h4>All Over Color</h4> <p>Trends in denim color change every few years &mdash; back in 2001, no one would have dreamed of wearing acid-washed jeans, but in 2011, they are back with a vengeance. Dark denim is still popular, as are black and gray washes. If you have a pair of jeans or a jacket that you want to update, you can do so simply and cheaply with <a href="http://www.ehow.com/how_4412325_redye-jeans.html">fabric dye like RIT</a>.</p> <p>If you are looking to age a pair of too-new jeans, the jeaniouses (see what I did there?) at Threadheads have a tutorial for <a href="http://www.howcast.com/videos/1064-How-To-Dye-Jeans-With-Coffee">adding a vintage, distressed look to your denim</a> that involves using coffee grounds and a cheese grater. You could also use <a href="http://www.ihanna.nu/blog/2010/09/tea-dying-fabrics/">tea staining for a vintage fabric look</a> &mdash; it&rsquo;s a trick often used by quilters to give new material a more burnished appearance.</p> <h4>Tie-Dye</h4> <p>A favorite project for many a disillusioned teenager, tie-dye is an age old art that can be completed in any number of patterns. Watch this <a href="http://honestlywtf.com/diy/diy-bleach-tie-dye/">super-easy tie-dye bleach tutorial </a>from Serious WTF that turns a simple black shirt into an awesome article of style.</p> <h2>Spray Paint</h2> <p>Using either regular spray paint or specialized fabric paint, you can use your clothes as a canvas for an amazing array of freehand or stenciled designs. Check out the <a href="http://www.generation-t.com/t-shirt-projects/i-love-to-create-spray-4-ways/">stenciled cotton dresses</a> from among the crafty T-shirt projects from Generation T. If you have a pattern that you can paint and press onto fabric, you can create funky, wrinkled variations of that <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lj0NN0Q-qP8">pattern using regular spray paint</a>, almost like screen printing, as shown in this tutorial by Fashion Enemy.</p> <p>Spray paint is also a fantastic way to update metal jewelry like cheap dangly earrings or brass bangles.</p> <h2>Paint/Draw</h2> <p>Color blocking is a huge trend right now, along with ombre pieces, so it&rsquo;s hard to go wrong in adding big blasts of color to pieces in your wardrobe. One of my favorite examples is the color blocking performed by the brilliant creators of Honestly WTF, who <a href="http://honestlywtf.com/diy/diy-color-block-moccasins/">painted a pair of moccasins</a> with pastel colors. You don&rsquo;t have to stop at simple colors, of course &mdash; you can draw or <a href="http://store.derangeddesigns.com/nosewdiy.html">paint any design</a> on a shoe, shirt, skirt, bag, or anything with enough space to accommodate your style. One of my craftier friends bought a pair of beige canvas shoes at WalMart and added a significant cool factor by coloring the straps with markers in colorful abstract geometric shapes. I honestly thought she had bought a pair of designer shoes until she clued me in.</p> <h2>Fabric-ate</h2> <p>OK, so it does involve a needle and threat of sorts, but it&rsquo;s not really &ldquo;sewing&rdquo; per se. To add interesting texture and dimension to a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-recycle-and-reuse-old-t-shirts">t-shirt</a>, pair of jeans, or any article of boring clothing, buy a skein of soft-but-interesting yarn and thread it through a garment in a pattern. You can do the same with small (or even large) strips of different colored fabric by making small slices in your clothing with an X-Acto knife or scissors and threading the fabric through. Secure the ends of the fabric strips or yarn using small stitches (a needle and thread).</p> <p><em>What kinds of DIY projects do you use to update old clothing items? Share your tips in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/no-sew-ways-to-update-your-wardrobe">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-gifts-you-can-make-today">25 Gifts You Can Make Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/19-ways-to-reuse-old-towels">19 Ways to Reuse Old Towels</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/45-other-things-to-do-on-super-bowl-sunday">45 Other Things to Do on Super Bowl Sunday</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-own-coupons-20-great-free-gift-ideas">20 Great, Free Gift Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-an-easter-basket-for-a-grown-man">How to Make an Easter Basket for a Grown Man</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Lifestyle arts and crafts budget wardrobe clothing update wardrobe Mon, 18 Jul 2011 10:24:22 +0000 Andrea Karim 619528 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Places to Find Inexpensive Accessories http://www.wisebread.com/10-places-to-find-inexpensive-accessories <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-places-to-find-inexpensive-accessories" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/jewelry.jpg" alt="Woman holding jewelry" title="Woman holding jewelry" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I'm picky with accessories. At the moment I have three pairs of earrings, a handful of necklaces, and a few purses that I really like. Perhaps because I don't buy new accessories that often, I find that when I do go shopping, I'm often floored by the prices. ($200 for a purse? A <em>purse</em>? As far as I'm concerned, if I'm spending $200 for a purse, it should convert into a bulletproof vest or have a tiny refrigerator inside to keep sandwiches cold.)</p> <p>Unsurprisingly, when I do buy accessories, I always try to get a good deal. Here are ten of my favorite places to find inexpensive baubles, bangles, and bags.</p> <h3>1. T.J. Maxx</h3> <p>90% of the purses I've used over the last 10 years &mdash; including a sleek Nine West computer bag, a wacky-but-adorable ruffled purse, and a gorgeous grass-green leather satchel &mdash; have come from <a href="http://www.tjmaxx.com/">T.J. Maxx</a>. The store offers a variety of designer clothing and accessories, high-quality home goods, and more at deep discounts. Ross and Daffy's both offer a similar selection, but T.J. Maxx remains my favorite name-brand discount store.&nbsp;(See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tips-for-scoring-discount-designer-handbags">5 Tips for Scoring Discount Designer Handbags</a>)</p> <h3>2. Etsy</h3> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-and-trading-on-etsy">Etsy</a> is an online marketplace where thousands of artists and craftspeople offer unique handmade items for sale. The wide variety of vendors means there's also a wide variety of prices for accessories ranging from jewelry to handbags to belts and even shoes. Plus, you can feel good knowing that your purchase is going directly to a small businessperson.</p> <h3>3. Claire's</h3> <p>I know that this mall staple targets the teeny-bopper set, but <a href="http://www.claires.com/">Clarie's</a> can be a great store to hit when you're looking for a necklace to match a specific outfit, or when you'd like to try a new trend without investing a lot of cash. While you're at the mall, Forever 21 is also a great store to check out.</p> <h3>4. Vintage, Thrift, and Consignment Shops</h3> <p>Some of my favorite pieces are gently used items I picked up at thrift, vintage, and consignment stores, including a pristine purse that features a needlepoint portrait of a spaniel on the front. In general, a vintage store is great for finding good-quality, but older and more expensive items. Thrift stores, meanwhile, can be kind of a crapshoot, but also tend to yield yield cheaper and newer items. Right in between those two are consignment shops, which sell up-to-date, gently used clothing and accessories.</p> <h3>5. Overstock.com</h3> <p><a href="http://www.overstock.com/">Overstock</a> is kind of like an online T.J. Maxx &mdash; a place where you can find discount name-brand items ranging from low-end to high-end (Gucci, anyone?). Overstock also frequently offers special sales and coupons to people on their mailing list.</p> <h3>6. A Craft Store</h3> <p>Can't find what you want for a reasonable price? Make it yourself! Obviously, this won't work for everything &mdash; I'm not suggesting that you go buy an anvil and soldering iron and teach yourself the art of fine silversmithing &mdash; but if you've had your eye on a cowl scarf, beaded necklace, or peacock-feather earrings, your new accessory could just be a few craft supplies and an online tutorial away.</p> <h3>7. Friends and Family</h3> <p>Several of my accessories are &quot;hand-me-ups&quot; &mdash; accessories that my younger sister was getting rid of. I've also gotten some great items by doing <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-potluck-parties-that-help-you-share-the-wealth">clothing swaps</a> with friends. Accessory swaps can be even better than clothing swaps, because you don't need to worry about gathering friends who are all approximately the same size.</p> <h3>8. Your Closet</h3> <p>One of my friends is currently participating in the <a href="http://kendieveryday.blogspot.com/p/30-for-30-remixes.html">30 for 30 Challenge</a>, where participants buy nothing new for 30 days, but instead challenge themselves to remix their existing wardrobe. Technically you are allowed to buy new accessories (just not clothing) during the 30 for 30 Challenge, but I think the philosophy of looking for new ways to wear existing items is great. If you have a belt that you normally wear around your hips, see how it would look around your waist. Try wearing a favorite neck scarf as a headband. And make sure to clean out your drawers and shelves &mdash; even if you don't find something old that you want to wear in a new way, you might find something you can sell or trade for a new-to-you accessory.</p> <h3>9. The Clearance Bin</h3> <p>End-of-season clearances can be great places to stock up on items for next year. Just make sure to buy things you really like and avoid anything that looks too trendy &mdash; it's no funny to squirrel away a beach bag or winter gloves if you're going to take them out the next year and decide you hate them.</p> <h3>10. Anywhere...with Caveats</h3> <p>I am a firm believer that if you truly love something and you'll continue to wear it, it's better to invest the money in high-quality goods that will last than to buy something cheap that you'll have to replace. I have a pair of red Frye boots that I purchased a few years ago. I've already had them resoled once, and they continue to be one of my favorite pieces of my wardrobe &mdash; totally worth it.</p> <p><em>Where do you get your accessories? Are there any great places that I missed on this list?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-places-to-find-inexpensive-accessories">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. 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