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Dressing Cute on a Budget {In the Closet}

Gray Sweater White Dress Black Tights and Brown Boots {Living Outside the Stacks}
A couple of days ago, the hubs and I were talking to a friend about our shopping habits after the friend asked if he has a problem with how much I spend on clothes. Obviously, this person doesn’t read my blog, because I state quite clearly where my clothes come from. Anyway, the hubs pointed out that much of what I wear comes from thrift stores, discount stores, and the sales racks, so, no, he doesn’t have a problem with my wardrobe. And, even if there was some question, I make my own money, so as long as I’m not shorting the family, the hubs is pretty easy on me about the spending. And the same goes for him.

Gray Sweater White Dress Black Tights and Brown Boots {Living Outside the Stacks}

That being said, I do follow a variety of fashion bloggers and there’s a part of me that wonders how they manage to spend so much money on one blouse. Or a tube of lipstick. Is there a part of me that wishes that I could drop a couple of bills on a skirt or a pair of shoes at will? Yes, let’s be honest here, I’d love to have a cute pair of red bottomed shoes in my closet. But, I also know, that’s not my reality. I have kids and bills, I have to watch what I spend.

Gray Sweater White Dress Black Tights and Brown Boots {Living Outside the Stacks}

So I compromise. I spend when and where I can. I want to prove to women out there that you can look cute on a budget.

Are you a shopper? How do you balance your need for style with your family’s need to eat?

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I have the research skills of a librarian, the preservation skills of an archivist, the organizational skills of a soldier and the domestic skills of a Stepford wife.  I have the research skills of a librarian, the preservation skills of an archivist, the organizational skills of a soldier and the domestic skills of a Stepford wife. Read more from this author


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  • http://www.est1987.net/ Rae

    I’m with you on this one. I am the sole supporter for my family so I’m watching what I spend with a microscope. Now, there are times where I do splurge a bit, but it’s not frequent. What is frequent is how I hit up dollar day at St. Vincent De Paul or get that $5 bag of clothes at the local Christian thrift stores. And thrifting has become such a habit, that it’s the first place I go to find anything. I do plan to purchase a nice pair of Lou’s one day, but until then, I’m looking for every possible bargain I can find.

  • TraciMLittle

    you look adorable! thanks!

    http://www.ordinaryinspirations.blogspot.com/2013/06/fashion-and-christian-woman-do-two-go.html

    • http://livingoutsidethestacks.com/ DaenelT

      Thank you, Traci.

  • http://www.creolewisdom.com/ creole wisdom

    How do they do it? Credit cards. I felt a huge wave of understanding once I started earning a salary and could put two and two together on the blogosphere. As a person who doesn’t finance anything other than an education or car it’s been liberating to remember I’m not leaving a burden for myself.

    I love the way you dress. I think you can find great stuff at a fraction of the cost and still invest in nicer pieces. Sure, I have a pair of Frye boots and premium denim, but almost everything else is dirt cheap.

    I’m glad you married a good man who is respectful of your money :)

    • http://livingoutsidethestacks.com/ DaenelT

      I’m like you, I have a few key pieces that I’ve saved for (Frye Boots are next on my list ~ I fell in love with yours) but I can’t see going into debt for clothes.

      The hubs and I are big on using cash only. If we can’t pay cash we don’t get it. That’s not to say we don’t have credit cards but they’re for emergency use only (water heater blowing, unexpected travel, etc).

  • Kelly @ Kiwi Womens Style

    I’m with you on the thrifting and clearance racks. I think blogging has finally given me the confidence to publically acknowledge my limited budget – because I know there are loads of people out there like me. This is why I love reading your posts – keep up the great work!

    • http://livingoutsidethestacks.com/ DaenelT

      Blogging and doing these weekly link ups has helped me as well. I remember as a kid being ashamed that we shopped at the thrift store or bought stuff second hand, now I look at it as a wise purchase. Many of the pieces I buy still have the tags on them. And those that don’t are in good condition.

  • http://www.dragonflightdreams.com/ Amanda Cobb

    Agreed! I’m a clearance rack stalker, personally. And I love this neutral-mix outfit you’re sporting. :)

    • http://livingoutsidethestacks.com/ DaenelT

      Thank you. Love love love the clearance rack. You find some really cute things.

  • Lyn Moes

    Absolutely! After adding 2 kids to our family in the last 4 yrs has really changed my spending habits!!

    • http://livingoutsidethestacks.com/ DaenelT

      Yes, kids do that. We have 5 kids and 3.5 grandkids. They’re the priority but I still want to look cute. ;-)

  • http://lisabrowndesign.blogspot.com/ LisaBrownDesign

    I hardly ever spend money on clothes… maybe $100 a year… and that’s including accessories, shoes, everything. I’m certainly not a shopper since having children. Something in me just changed. Whenever I do get something, I try to buy online – like that skirt you saw today. And I think I’m going to get a new tank top for it today. Most likely from Kohls… I love that store! :)

    • http://livingoutsidethestacks.com/ DaenelT

      Ohhh that skirt! I absolutely fell in love with it. The color, the “flouncyness”. LOL It was perfect. I haven’t been to our Kohl’s in about 8 months. I need to go take a walk thru.

  • Whitney

    I don’t LIKE spending that much money on items when you there are so many discount stores available to us. You can be fly on a dime, and we can all prove that. They have high end discount stores, I find discounts all the time from Nordstrom. Now I will spend money on shoes especially since I’m getting older and my desire for fashion & comfort compete with one another! Good post!

    • http://livingoutsidethestacks.com/ DaenelT

      Oh, I agree, your feet are important. I do have some quality shoes but I fill them in with discount shoes too. But I have definitely noticed that I lean more towards the more expensive ones as I get older.

  • Antionette Blake

    I love it! Some people don’t realize that you can look good on a budget – way to go sis!

    • http://livingoutsidethestacks.com/ DaenelT

      Thank you. It’s all about having fun and finding what fits and looks good on your body, ya know?

  • a stylish little lady

    and you’ve proven that point very well. i love how your style has evolved into a little bit of this + that to create your unique look. and if you did not disclose where you purchased your items…i would not have been able to tell! as far as fashion bloggers…alot of them receive free clothing in exchange for posting/linking back to the brand. i for one splurge a little more on pieces that are classic/timeless (like a nice leather bag) vs. trendy things.

    • http://livingoutsidethestacks.com/ DaenelT

      Thank you. I would totally raid your closet! I agree there are definitely investment pieces (bags, shoes, jewelry). And I will spend my money on those (cash only though). So it’s few and far between.

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