I am a diagnosed shopaholic! But
isn’t every girl?!
In today’s society where our
lives are dictated by social media it is easy to get lost trying to keep up
with the Joneses. Bloggers and Instagram stars are always effortless. It seems
like they are the world’s millionaires if you could quantify it in handbags,
clothes and shoes. As a blogger the pressure to keep up appearances can also be
the quickest way to bankruptcy. After all, the road to hell is paved with good
Social media and especially
bloggers influence our style so much we sometimes follow blindly without paying
mind to how much damage it is doing to our banks and our self esteem. If you
think I am making this up, look around you and count how many people are on the
Nouba Millebaci wagon, me included! This is after every single person had sworn
by Ruby Woo and some still do but my point is that it is fleeting. I realized
this when most of my conversations with my friends started with “I need…” and
that every single day I had a growing list of needs that I could not even keep
track of. If you look at some of these things you quite possibly already have
half of them in your possession but forgot about it.
Today I will cover a list of what
bloggers do that you are probably not doing and how you SHOULD make the same
work for you.
A while back an article ran on
Ghafla about how bloggers thrive on borrowed clothes. While this is not
entirely false what the author failed to bring out clearly was the fact that
blogs are a media through which brands can reach their target market. And like
the advertisements on TV some brands utilize the forum provided by a blogger to
reach new clients. That said it is not uncommon that a blogger will style items
from certain stores or wear clothes to an event from specific stores only to
return them. In a world where fashion drives the economy this is the norm, all
those red carpet gowns are sent by designers to stars but returned right after
to the owner who then sells it to a buyer willing to pay full price. This is
important not only to the seller who makes money but more importantly to a
buyer because they are able to visualize how to wear it. So when your fave
blogger is posting different looks from different stores what you are doing
really is learning how to make such a piece work for you. You do not need to
buy the same item from the same store. Do not go buying the exact piece rather
look for a similar style but only if it suits you.
Not only are clothes trending but trending
with them is gadgets which are considered sleek and suave. Some lucky bloggers
get to be the guinea pigs so you do not have to buy a phone that is not useless.
They are able to test features that are considered attractive for the market and
tell you whether or not the advertisement is true. I am yet to see a bad
Bloggers do not always wear
borrowed clothes or shoes. Think about it if you only post daily items that are
to be returned, what is it that we actually wear? Usually when you find a
vendor or shop with good items people will ask you where you bought it from. I
always share my contacts and tell the person to mention that they got it from
me. Once you have established a rapport with a seller often they will sell to
you at a subsidized price. Sometimes they will even throw a few items in for free.
You have a network of friends and family I’m sure, this should not be hard to
practice. This is something I have been doing for a long time so much so my
friends and I all get our eyebrows trimmed by the same guy!
Beware thrift shopping IS indeed
the fastest way to poverty. I will prove my case, as lead shopaholic I have
recently come into my own space which means grocery shopping. Being the way I
am however, means that even when I am at the market buying tomatoes I always
return home with one or two unplanned items. So far I found a pair of
high-waist jeans at Ksh. 50, matching sweatshirts for my brother and I, a
few dresses, two bags and some other little things. I really should not be
looking at these things but really with second hand items sometimes it usually
is a unique piece. I am currently obsessed with home décor; I just can’t seem
to keep my hand off the cookie jar!
I have done a post before on what
to look for while thrift shopping you can read it here. But this has sustained
some of our blogs from the very beginning and will keep doing so for a very
long time. Look at Joy Kendi she is literally the queen!
I mentioned earlier that we
usually have an endless list of needs, I literally laugh at one of my close
friends because every day she just has something she has to have! Firstly, you
need to differentiate between what you NEED and what you WANT! If you are a
true shopaholic which I do not doubt that you are you will come up with an
excuse for why you need something. I know because I practice. Even small things
like a resolution to keep track of your spending for someone like me will turn
into frenzy. I will go in to buy a notebook and end up with an entire basket of
stationery, true story!
Back to the point, shop your
closet and your friend’s closet and your sibling’s closet. Most times, especially
in fashion trends are cyclic; this basically means that trends often come back
in style. My dad was so excited when my brother wanted to buy a pair of high
top Converse a few Christmases back. He even recounted the story of how he
saved to get his first pair. Playing in my dad’s old trunk my sister and I
discovered a pair of aviator sunglasses when we were younger. What we call acid
wash jeans today, my aunties called stone wash. The next time you’re upcountry
please insist on going through old trunks.
If you do not have access to
these of course, then your sibling or your friend’s closet is the next best
thing. Last year I challenged myself to cut down on the shopping and work with
whatever was already in my closet. Hunting my sister’s closet is like shopping
in a high end shop her clothes are amazing and always in great condition, when
our styles agree that is. Some pieces I could never be caught dead in. I also
recommend you shop your own closet by organizing and rediscovering pieces that
are hidden all the way back. I am still this year wearing clothes that I have
been wearing throughout last year. I refuse to need things that I already have.
There is always a phrase ‘gifted’
on most of our posts. For bloggers who are lucky enough to have friends, family
or spouses that travel; they often benefit from gifts that are downright
enviable. Sometimes our friends just see something that reminds them of you and
get it for you, just because. I know this because my dad was once a frequent
jetsetter and being his favorite (you can confirm with my siblings) I have
always gotten possibly the most stylish items. What my sister has never known
is that before he would leave I always strongly hint that he looks at
particular items like blazers or shoes if I want shoes at the time. My dad
unlike most men can at least catch a hint and I could say he started me off on
this long road to shopaholic rehab, I am not going though!
You cannot of course live and
expect everyone to gift you all time. I am saying this because I have now
outgrown this favour and my sister is always adding things she buys for me to a
debt account that I apparently have with her *tongue in cheek. If you are able
instead of expecting gifts ask your friends who travel to kindly bring back a
few things for you that you pay for. Some items will always be cheaper abroad
or if expensive, their quality worth every penny spent.
You would think this is the most
obvious! Bloggers have a day job. I will repeat again slowly, bloggers have day
jobs! If you look carefully, they keep crazy schedules and work very hard. They
exercise a lot of discipline and time management, something even I am
struggling with. Quite likely that is what sustains their wardrobes and
lifestyles in general. This is not me telling you to make money so that you can
spend it all on clothes, shoes and bags. I am just pointing out the fact that
some of these bloggers are successful in their fields and even travel for work.
They therefore are afforded more opportunity in terms of access and finances.
I do understand you might still
be in school or struggling to make ends meet with your meager allowance but
sometimes you need to think out of the box. Most people have talents that they
are sitting on, that could be your way out of a style rut, utilize. Once you
start doing something you love it stops being a job and is actually a paying
hobby. Remember to save for a rainy day, and a rainy day does not mean that
tempting Woolworths sale at the end of each season. When is it by the way I
have been meaning to find out?
While you are reading all our
blogs please remember that most bloggers only give you ideas, you should not immediately
run out and buy every single thing on them and copy paste it to your body. Use the site as an inspiration for your
personal style, think of it like a canvas that you use to get ideas. If you pay
close attention most bloggers do not follow trends usually they are within the
confines of their personal style. Learn to stay true to your style, use the
tips you find helpful and most of all stay chic on a budget!
Let me know if this post was
helpful and what you will be implementing. I would also want to know other tips
from you that have helped you stay within budgets.