The fashion industry is perceived as a thriving and lucrative industry. You have seen those Instagram influencers with their svelte physique and enviable wardrobe collection, and everything about their lives seems to be perfect, right up to their perfectly manicured French tips.
It has become even more convenient to purchase things for these social media icons. Everything is made available online, and it has become a matter of scrolling through your feeds to see your next purchase. But have you ever had your card declined after checking out those oh-so-fashionable heels you bought off of Asos? Do you feel like your life has suddenly turned into Rebecca Bloomwood from Confessions of a Shopaholic where you find yourself up to your eyeballs in debt, yet have a closet full of stuff that you purchased on a whim?
You are not alone in this seemingly endless fashion debt trap. According to a study by accountancy firm Wilkins Kennedy, 1,560 women under the age of 24 declared themselves bankrupt in 2009 compared with 1,250 men. The study added that these young women who spend irresponsibly had spent their way into a hellhole, unable to pay off their bills and not to check with their mortgage lender first to pay off their mortgage.
“The growing availability of credit has meant that for those who are status-conscious and who want to exhibit the trappings of success, designer clothes and jewelry seem misleadingly achievable,” said Wilkins Kennedy director Anthony Cork.
High street fashion is tempting for many, especially since easy credit seems to be thrown out a lot. With ballooning interest rates, it is no wonder that these spendaholics would default on their payments. Advertising and marketing campaigns are key factors in why the designer debt problem has become so rampant.
The Wall Street Journal reported that luxury brands like Gucci and Louis Vuitton spent over $1 billion in digital campaigns back in 2016. Add their social media presence, and it is no wonder that it becomes so easy to live with a perspective that spending money on fashion is a necessity. With these in mind, can you still be fashionable and have a good credit score? The truth is you can be chic and not look cheap. Here are some ways to get more even when you spend less.
Brands B, C and even D are your Friends
The makeup industry, much like the fashion industry is no stranger to high street fashion. Beauty gurus on every social media platforms seem to have nothing but praises for many luxury brands like Chanel and Dior. But do you really need that $510 moisturizing cream?
It’s time to be creative and shop around for products that work for you. Read the labels and see if there’s anything on the market which can give you the same results but for less. For example, a NYX Micro Brow pencil costs less than one by Anastasia Beverly Hills but will also keep your brows “on fleek.”
Chances are you can find one of a kind finds at your local thrift store. If you don’t mind scouring through racks, which may be dusty or clutter filled, then this is for you. Not only is it cheaper to shop in thrift shops, but you can score vintage finds at a fraction of the cost. Who knows, you may even find some vintage luxury items.
Work with what you have
People tend to accumulate a lot of unnecessary items in their closet that are often never used. Whether these are the products of impulse buys or something gifted, it’s lying at the very back of your closet, and it is just another waste of space. Take into account what you have in your closet and sort them into piles: keep, throw or donate. What’s more, you can sell what’s in your throw pile and put them towards building up your 401K.
Shop for the classics
There’s one reason why the classics never die; they are timeless. A good rule of thumb is always to keep classic pieces in your closet over trendy finds. Trends and fads can be fleeting, and classic cuts and shapes often outlast them over time. For example, the staple little black dress can be worn in many ways and embellished with a few accessories. Timeless pieces such as dark skinny jeans, a white top and white sneakers can be worn so many ways and can translate into different outfits that you will love for years to come.
Look for sales
You don’t have to buy everything that’s shiny and new and on that rack. It’s all a matter of asking yourself, do I really need this? How many times do I see myself wearing this? If you have a good answer to these questions, leave it on the rack and return for it after a week. Chances are, you won’t feel the want as much anymore.
A bonus is that you can check the item out when it’s up for sale which saves you a lot of money. Now the question is: can you be fashionable and in debt? The answer is that it’s all a matter of choice. You can choose to be creative and get more value for your hard-earned cash. Who says that you can’t have your cake and eat it too?