REMINDER: The #1 thing you can do to support the site is share the articles!
by Rori Lynn
It can be hard to look good on a dime, especially if you don’t know where to look for deals or how to revitalize your old duds. But we know it’s important to look your best, especially when the occasion calls for it, whether you’re a lady rogue, a dude rogue, or otherwise roguish human.
What we wear is the first thing we present to the world about ourselves, and it can absolutely send a message. And whether you’re simply heading out to meet friends, or to the Met Gala, you can totally look and feel fly as hell. Wait, can we still use the word “fly” in that context, or did it die in the ’90s?
Ever Thought To Just Ask For A Discount?
Money is an uncomfortable issue for most women. We’re taught throughout our lives that numbers make for poor discussion -- our age, weight, height, salary, or even the number of human skeletons we keep hidden in our closets. We tend to be private about our numbers.
Asking for discounts is no exception. When a sale isn’t involved, women are way less likely to get a good deal on something. Which kind of sucks, because while women may be more reluctant to negotiate a price, those who are prepared to haggle on a large purchase do just as well as men.
Some department stores like Kohl’s keep their coupons on hand at the checkout, so it never hurts to ask. Seriously, the only thing preventing you from getting that sweet-ass discount that’s just sitting on a piece of paper behind the counter is asking for it. Still, even that makes many women enormously uncomfortable, because for generations it’s been pounded into our skulls that price negotiation has always been a man’s game.
“Deal! Wait, did your wife influence your opinion?”
Which is unfortunate, because the truth is women are badasses at haggling when they have the wherewithal to do so. There’s a stereotype that women aren’t good at buying cars, but that’s only because many of them don’t tend to haggle at all. All it takes is that little bit of effort to prepare yourself for negotiation, know what the product is worth, and straight up ask for it. Of course, this doesn’t work in all situations, but do know that nobody’s going to scream at or punch you for asking if they have a coupon on hand.
Invest In A Cheap Razor To Revitalize Fuzzy Clothes
Do you have that one favorite shirt, the one you envision houses a microscopic colony of happy little Teletubbies frolicking about in its nooks and crannies like tiny little anthropomorphic dust mites? Well, that soup you just spilled down the front of it created a lobster bisque tidal wave of awfulness and now they’re fighting for their lives and that creepy sun baby is crying and oh god look what you’ve done.
But for the clothes you haven’t ruined, some of them can get fuzzy, and when that happens we have a tendency to toss them in the donate pile. But truthfully, nobody wants that fuzz-caked garbage. Thrift stores throw out items that look like crap, so you’re not really donating anything. If you don’t want your clothes anymore because they’re pilly and worn, there’s a good chance nobody else does, either. But with a little bit of labor, a lot of that stuff can be salvaged, either for yourself or for that donate pile, the latter of which will actually help people in need of good, quality clothing.
Garbage. All of it.
When your favorite sweater starts to look like a Jim Hensen puppet, it’s not time to toss it -- it’s time to fix it, and you probably have the means to do so right now. Certain clothing can start to look cheap real quick, but you can revitalize those rags by cleaning them up with an inexpensive clothes shaver to remove that unsightly fuzz. Lots of inexpensive and expensive clothes shavers exist on the market, but you don’t even need a special product to do this -- a $1 razor from the dollar store will do the job just fine.
Buy Cheap Clothes And Swap Out For Nicer Buttons
Cheap clothes are a necessity for many of us, though they often lack the personal flair we desire from an outfit. Clothing is, after all, one of the main ways human beings indicate their individuality, but budgeting makes that a harder task. Fortunately, sometimes all that makes a blouse look cheap are the buttons.
You can spice up nearly any outfit by swapping out the buttons for some you’ve chosen yourself. Most tailors will do this for a couple of bucks, and buttons don’t usually cost more than a few bucks per pair; assume you’ll need about 6 - 12, depending on the style of shirt.
Yeah, those work.
Buttons come in awesome styles from shops like Michaels, so the shopping part of the process can be super fun. Thrift and vintage stores will often have piles of old buttons for sale at steep discounts. And, for even more inexpensive buttons, you can just raid your grandma’s sewing kit. Assuming, you know, the “upgrade” doesn’t make you look like a time traveler from from the late 1800s.
Take Your Cheap Shoes To A Cobbler
“Take your shoes to the cobbler” sounds so old-timey I should be saying it while adjusting my monocle and bodice, but cobblers still exist. Well, monocles and bodices still exist, too, though they’re moderately less plentiful than cobblers. For real though, they’re all over the place, and they’re usually super affordable.
Let’s consider buying heels. Always go neutral, and make them last by taking them to a cobbler when the soles give out. Call it chicken soup for the sole (heh). The cost of replacing a rubber sole can be as low as $10, which may sound silly when the shoes cost you $25 on sale, but consider that $15 you save. That can make a huge difference when you’re on a budget. $15 is like, a whole meal, or all of the ramen noodles or 20 monitor lizards or whatever.
To be fair, the lizards seem like the more badass option.
Cobbling leather shoes can cost up to $40, but given the cost of a nice pair of leather shoes, it’s well worth the upkeep. Cobbling places often have sales, too, as it is, unfortunately, a dying art form (my own cobbler just went out of business). They may not be as plentiful in the future, so it’s probably best to take advantage of their services now before they fade away, like those kids you don’t remember from Back to the Future.
Shop Liquidations On Facebook From People Trapped In Pyramid Schemes
We all know someone from high school who got trapped in one of those “annoy the crap out of your friends” multi-level-marketing schemes. Are you feeling a Tupperware-Avon-Candle party tonight? I didn’t think so.
The cool thing is, you can unblock Stephanie and have a blast, because there’s a good chance she’s going to be offloading that over-priced clothing at a steep discount soon enough ... within a few months, probably. Wait until they go out of business and then just buy everything.
All joking aside, one of the best ways to get inexpensive things like pants or leggings is to shop going out of business sales on Facebook. Search “GOOB” and the article of clothing you are looking for, and tons of options pop up for getting nearly anything you want. Want cheaper LuLaRoe pants? There are entire groups waiting for going out of business sales from people caught in such schemes. Hell, it even works for things like Tupperware. Trust me, some poor soul named Becky is having to unload everything, because she bought it all on some “deluxe seller package” without realizing she couldn’t sell manure to a farmer.
“I know I technically need it, but I … I’m cool.”
Look, I know this sounds like taking advantage of someone’s poor decision-making and misfortune, but keep in mind that every single thing you don’t buy is a dollar she won’t recoup. So don’t feel too bad when Becky’s house of Tupperware collapses or when Stephanie gets wise to the scheme. It’s not like you sold it to them and then bought it back on the cheap.
Stockings, Socks, And Leggings Can Be Bought From Discount Department Stores
Leggings and stockings are a necessity for many professional women that often break down way too fast. To be clear, I mean the leggings break down, not the women.
These things can be expensive, and often get runs or break apart far too quickly given the cost. The price of leggings is all over the map, with your average Target line running $10-20, and more expensive brands like Lululemon costing well over $100 for some dumbass reason. They’re still made of spandex, right? What, are they lined with threads of Unobtanium?
When all you want is a pair of plain, black leggings, tights, or pantyhose, a $5-10 pair of leggings from a local discount store work just fine. They may not be built as well, but they do the job on a budget. In some cases you can even get brand names super cheap. It’s all about shopping at the right places.
Maybe here? Probably not.
Most budget stores like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Burlington, and outlet stores, even dollar stores, often have these items. While they’re not of super high quality, they look great for a single wear. At a few bucks per pair, you really can’t beat the price. Personally, I find those items to be best left semi-disposable when you’re on a tight budget -- you’re only ever going to wear pantyhose once or twice before they inevitably get ruined, so why bother with something ridiculously expensive? It’s not like people are going to ask what brand of pantyhose you’re wearing.
Or you can see if Stephanie has any in stock -- LuLaRoe leggings are quite cheap on those going out of business sales on Facebook. And besides, Stephanie needs some help, girl ... she still owes Becky for $15,678.65 worth of makeup she couldn’t sell. And she never did get that pink Cadillac.
Like this article? Check out “How To Dress Like James Bond, On A Budget” and “4 DIY Ways To Get Your Home Entertainment On The Cheap”.
Want to write for The Modern Rogue? You can! Just sign up for our writers’ workshop.