Posted by: Brian | March 18, 2010

Staying Stylish and Under Budget

Back in high school and through college, I worked in retail stores and every season the store would conduct a roll-out. A roll-out is when the new merchandise gets displayed in the windows and the store is rearranged according to what is in style. It was a real pain in the ass for the employees because the work had to be completed after the store closed but before the store opened the next day. After doing a couple of these roll-outs at J.Crew, I had a revelation.
Use the mannequins to create a new stylish look for cheap. Retail companies pay people hundreds of thousands of dollars to design and create new outfits and wardrobes specifically for display in the stores. I realized that when I was putting these mannequins together complete with $200 jeans, $150 sweaters, and $90 t-shirts, that I could get the same look for a quarter of the price. The idea here is not to try to exactly duplicate the new look but to take style concepts from the new look.
Just a few weeks ago, I was shopping for some new jeans and t-shirts. I went into Banana Republic (great store for ideas for business casual guys) and J.Crew (everything fits me well and I like the classic looks) to get some ideas. Apparently the new look is loose or slim fit, dark jeans paired with a graphic t-shirt of contrasting color, and a neutral shaded zip-up sweatshirt hoodie or jacket. I took this “new look” and went to Kohl’s and Old Navy to see if I could replicate the “new look”. In about 30 minutes, I managed to find items on the clearance rack and on the shelves that gave me exactly the same look for a fraction of the price. In all, I got a pair of jeans ($15 – Old Navy), graphic t-shirt ($5 – Old Navy), long sleeve thermal knit top ($15 – Kohl’s), and a dark gray zip-up hoodie ($15 – Old Navy) for a total of $50, which is half the price of a pair of jeans at most designer stores.
Next time you are out shopping for a new outfit, check out the high end stores and take their looks with you, then go shop at the lower end stores, like Old Navy, Kohl’s, and Target. Hope this helps in gearing up for the summer months!
Here is another article on fashion and being frugal. Click Here.

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