Sadly, it seems neither you nor me have seen money magically appear in our bank account since I posted the first list of four things you can do to ensure a retro style on a budget. So let’s have a look at some more things you can do to make it easier to live a lifestyle you enjoy on a budget.
1. Learn to fix things.
No matter if it’s a sadly dangling button, a pair of leggings that are cracking in the seams, or a hair flower that is coming off from its clip… Learn how to fix minor things. Basic life skills to be honest. I have a pair of black jeggings that have had their life span extended by two years because I sloppily mended the wear and tear that appeared along the seams on the inner thighs. Same thing with shoes, if you have a really good pair, look after them. Wear them with socks or some form of protection, take them to the cobbler when they get extremely worn, and wear them sparingly. Extending the lifespan of items you truly love means that you don’t need to replace them very often. Some people take this seriously and learn how to properly mend clothes, replace broken zippers, and fix seemingly anything. I stick to the basics, but it can go a long way. If you can’t do it yourself, it’s often cheaper to replace a zipper than buy a new gala gown.
2. A discussion about underwear.
Good underwear is great for both comfort and style. Not to mention that it can change your entire posture, is something that empowers a lot of people, and can add a luxurious sensation to boring outfits. However, there’s definitely an element of learning on what you should splurge and on which items you should save. Always buy proper steel boned corsets, if you look after them, they can last for years. Skip the plastic shit, save up for one or a few corsets, get properly fitted, break it in, and learn to wear it. Also, there’s no such thing as ‘waist training’, you’re moving your fatty tissue around and redecorating your insides. I love corsets, but they don’t train anything. Anyhow, corsets and bras is something you should spend on. I don’t have the option of buying cheap bras since I have a very unusual size, but even if I did, I’d often opt for the pricer option. Again, get properly fitted and do your research, most people with breasts wear the wrong bra size. You don’t need a vintage bullet bra, but one that doesn’t cut into your armpit or creates the illusion that you have an extra set of breasts is a must. Just like with shoes, each bra should have a purpose if you’re on a budget. A pushup, a balconette, an everyday bra, a strapless bra, and a plunge one is a good solid setup. In general, white bras are the ones that will get discoloured first and thus are the ones you should invest in the least. Always give some thought to the bra-outfit combination as a bra affects your posture and body shape.
So what shouldn’t you spend a lot of money on? Panties and stockings. Stockings break pretty much the moment you put them on and have a very limited lifespan. If you use them on a regular basis, buy cheap ones. The one exception is if you due to allergies have to wear nylon stockings. Like, the real kind. You buy those and hand wash them as if they were your first born. If you do opt for mid-thigh stay ups, buy a good garter belt and buy cheap stay ups. Skip the silicone independent stay up, it will just give you snowman shaped thighs after a few hours. But what about panties? Ok, this is primarily a functional item. It protects your body from your clothes and vice versa. Out of all the things you wear, this is probably the item that has to endure the most. Buy them from stores like H&M and in multipacks. They can still look really good, sexy, and elegant, but you won’t have wasted money on something that won’t look as good in a few months’ time.
3. Wash your hair every second day or even less often.
Ok, before you have a bloody stroke in sheer shock… Firstly, women in the 30’s-40’s didn’t shower every day. Secondly, a lot of hair styles work best on second day hair. Thirdly, by switching to every second day instead of every day, you have cut your shampoo and conditioner consumption in half. If you do it every third day, your cost is now one third of what it was. It is also more gentle on your hair, which means that colours remain vibrant longer and you won’t need to get it cut as often. Naturally, if you have done something messy or sweaty it’s a good idea to shower. But showering doesn’t mean that you always have to wash your hair. Either don’t get it wet or just rinse it with water on those days. In regards to changing the colour of your hair, if you choose one that’s close to your natural hair colour you can go longer between treatments since the roots won’t stand out as much.
4. Beauty DIY
Don’t worry, I won’t suggest you should use your coffee grinds for body scrub. What I mean is, paint your own nails, have a good skin care routine, treat your feet and spoil them when needed. I’m currently considering replacing waxing with laser to get a longer lasting result, but if you’re really short on cash, consider at home methods like shaving or using hair removal creams. Can you trim your own split ends? Pluck your own eyebrows? Does yoga make your muscles feel better than a massage? Consider what sort of beauty services you actually want to spend money on and which ones you can do yourself. Same thing with facial treatments, there’s some really easy to make facial masks that can be used. Do simple DIY and use what you have to avoid spending money on expensive treatments. Just please don’t create your own toothpaste…
5. Clean your closet.
So we all find our favourite items to wear, jewellery to use, and makeup we default to. Wash clothes you no longer wear and sell them, same thing with jewellery. No matter if it’s on Facebook, at markets, or to a second hand store, it’s a good way to earn some of the dollars you spent on the item back. With makeup it’s more difficult, check if any of your friends want to swap it for a different item. Just please sterilise it first. Check for alternative uses. Are you like me and hoard nail polish? Black nail polish can be used on black leather (or similar material) shoes to hide minor scrapes. Clear nail polish can save the night when your stockings are about to rip. They can be used to mark keys, decorate phone/sunglass cases, or update accessories with.
6. Think twice before buying.
Why do you want this item? Would you have bought it for this price if there wasn’t a ‘sales’ label attached to it? Do you need it? Will you use it? Can it be used for all seasons? Do you already have a similar item?
When you go through your closet, note down if you can remember the last time you wore an item. If you can’t remember approximately how long ago you wore something, you probably shouldn’t buy something similar. Think before you buy. When you get dressed, go through your closet. Have you found yourself thinking ‘this would look great with a blue cardigan’ or ‘this would look so much better with pearls’ multiple times? Then those are items it’s probably worth looking for. But yeah, think before you buy. Consider the price. Make an informed decision.