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The Frugal Fashionista, an Oxymoron?- Part of the Frugal Not Frumpy Series

I must admit I am having a bit of an identity crisis. I used to work as a stylist, so I used to live fashion then I got tired of the constant need for the new and the very large strain on my finances.  This was about three years ago then I started The Lean Times and got even more excited by being a frugalista instead of a fashionista.

Now we are at the beginning of the Autumn/Winter season where there are so many beautiful things to buy but I cannot let myself go wild in good conscience.  I decided that a game plan is in order if I am going not look like the lovely lady on the top of the page.

I have stuck to pretty much the same plan since I started working in fashion in NYC (a tough place).  I plan my colour palette as explained in Know Your Palette.  My colour scheme has not changed much in years.  I think of it as if it isn’t broke don’t fix it. When you stay committed to a palette, it is easier to mix and match  from year to year.

There a few items that I think it is vital to buy the best you can possibly afford –

1. A good winter coat – That is if you live in a place like the UK or the East Coast of America because you will be wearing it daily for several months.You can buy a great timeless one in one of the re-occuring trends such as military or vintage, or a just a well made fabulously fitting one, if you take care of it, it can last years. I have been wearing the same Costume National coat for over nine years.  Yes, I do sometimes feel ill at having to wear it again but that feeling soon dissipates once I put it on, am warm and still stylish.

2. Boots – Another item you will be wearing a lot in the dark, cold winter months.  Spend money on a simply chic pair that will go with most of your wardrobe.  If you feel the need for a trendier pair in like leopard, hit the high street as you probably won’t want to keep them next year.

3. Handbag – bags have turned into the barometer of being in the know, get one good one , which you can grab at a good consignment shop for a fraction of the retail price.  Your bag doesn’t have to be this season, in my opinion the bags in the past few years are better than the one now but make it a good bag.

I think this fashion season is a great one, especially if you have a womanly figure as I do.  I will be shopping in charity shops in expensive areas, markets and the high street.  Since I still work in fashion I do need to keep up appearances but I will still be sporting my ancient (in fashion terms) Costume National coat.

What is your fashion game plan? Leave me a comment with your wisdom.

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