April Thrifty Favorites

They say high fashion comes at high cost. The message is everywhere: on billboards, runways, and magazines; all of them conduits of the fable that throwing hard earned cash at your favorite designers is a necessity for looking good. When I ditched that frame of thought several years ago, I discovered something absolutely astonishing.

For the first time in my relatively short “fashion conscious” life, I was receiving compliments from students on campus, random people on the bus, and even employees of my favorite high-end stores. They all loved the way I dressed and were not afraid to tell me so.

Needless to say, some could not fathom my refusal to buy any article of clothing or accessories at full price. Others commended me for it.

Of course, this fact remains true to this day. It has become a habit, a way of life. There’s something about the thrill of the hunt and the massive amounts of money saved that has me simply addicted to bargain shopping.

I hope this serves as a fashion springboard and that my trusty tips and outfit ideas can show that you too can benefit from finding thrifty deals.

This month’s “Thrify Favorites” consists of recent deals that could not be bypassed.

Prepare to be amazed.

(Please refer to the photo gallery for accompanying pictures)

Photo #1: While walking around my local Salvation Army one afternoon, I stumbled upon a Ralph Lauren floral, button up shirt. On the hanger, it wasn’t anything extraordinary but when I put it on, I knew it was for me. Paired with my favorite tan cardigan given to me by my mom, the fifty-cent floral top was a must-have.

My black skinny jeans are one of my all-time favorite staples bought at teen fashion retailer Vanity. Thankfully, Vanity’s clearance racks are usually cluttered with steals, so I bought the jeans at around $20.

If you are looking to invest in a good nail polish that actually lasts and looks fresh from day to day, you’ll want to check out Orly brand nail polish. Since the polish is only available through licensed retailers, I stock up on Orly by stopping in at Sally’s Beauty Supply. The brand also ditches harmful chemicals, like formaldehyde and toluene, so it is safe for your nails. I bought these colors for around $3 a bottle.

Knitted purses are quite the rage. I suggest buying a black version, since this goes along with nearly every outfit and remains in style for every season. This Chanel-inspired bag was purchased for $12 at an Orlando flea market.

I’ve always been a fan of wedges, but finding this $10 pair at a Charlotte Russe outlet made my day. They go along perfectly with my red/cream/brown toned floral dresses and tops.

Photo #2: Bohemian is making a comeback for Summer 2011, so I pulled my American Eagle fuzzy vest out of storage (I bought this at $25 when it was originally $50) and paired it with a Eddie Bauer baby doll top I got for $3 at Salvation Army. Layered with a $5 golden necklace from Forever21, the outfit is definitely one of my favorites.

The ring, also purchased at Forever21, was bought at regular price. When you stop to think that $1.50-3.00 for a ring is a typical retail price, you’ll find yourself addicted to accessory shopping at Forever21. If you don’t live in proximity to any of their stores, check out www.forever21.com for amazing deals featured everyday.

Burberry Brit has become one of my favorite perfumes of all time. Maybe it’s because I love the musky vanilla/almond scent, or maybe it’s just because I’m obsessed with former Burberry model Emma Watson. Perhaps a little of both. This one-ounce bottle was purchased from Gordman’s for $30, originally $50 or more.

I bought this denim skirt from Old Navy a long time ago, but that does not mean it is any less fashionable. I usually wear it in the summertime with leggings or pattered tights. Though it has been ages, I believe this skirt rang up for around $10.

Looks can be deceiving. When it comes to carrying designer replica bags, it all comes down to personal choice. Do you or don’t you? I carry this Louis Vuitton replica bag because it looks almost exactly like the original Cabas Mezzo Tote. And, I bought it at an Orlando flea market booth for $18.

Photo #3: Dress Barn has quickly become a go-to shop for me as my style has transformed into teenage rocker chick to vintage/professional-inspired. Thankfully, I picked up this $7 chain and pearl necklace and wear it with any outfit I want to give a glamorous flare to.

Ecstatic could not begin to describe how it felt to come across a vintage Ms. Choice California romper at Salvation Army. The best part was not only that it was exactly my size but also that it rang up for $3. Together with a $15 denim shirt from American Eagle and a $10 reversible belt from Kohl’s, the vintage-inspired look is complete.

These Forever21 ankle boots were purchased for $10 at Plato’s Closet, a trendy, second-hand store. Needless to say, I frequent that retailer in much of my spare time.

My most recent purchase was this $4 purse (still with tags!) from Salvation Army. Not only is it a cute accessory to jazz up any outfit, it is small yet fits all my purse essentials.

Got an outfit or thrifted item you are absolutely crazy about? Confused about the budget fashion mania? Be sure to leave a comment and your questions and comments could be featured in an upcoming article.