Shopping On A Budget: “The Rule of 5”

Prints Separates_Full Body

[Photo credit: Shot by Kelley]

The skirt and top pictured is from H&M. I only spent approximately $28.00 on the separates total! (Purse and shoes sold separately.) Not only do I love the pieces together but they work great independently. So while it looks like I got only one outfit, the separates actually make a few different ensembles. Mixing and matching is ideal for diversifying your closet. It also allows you to get the most out of your wardrobe in the transition from Winter to Spring. Most importantly, it can be a boost to your bank account.

Shopping with possibilities in mind is key. A cute outfit is great but how can you reuse the pieces in different ways? Are you likely to wear the outfit outside of the purchased pairing? Can it be used for your work and weekend collections collaboratively? When I consider buying a new item I like to challenge myself with the question: “How can I use this piece with 5 different things already in my closet? If I find myself unable to come up with other options, I usually don’t buy the item(s) in question. I like to call it “The Rule of 5”.

This strategy has really helped over the years and taken me from impulse buyer to careful shopper. Though I’m not 100% converted…I still have my “gotta have it now” moments every now and then 😉 … it has definitely been a huge boost to my self-discipline and budget.

Below is an example of how I would use “The Rule of 5” to come up with a few possibilities for the skirt and top pictured:

Shirt paired with…

Looks for the office:

Weekend and girls night out attire:

Skirt paired with…

Looks for the office:

  • White button down shirt and black heels with a bold handbag
  • Bodysuit with a black blazer and bold black accessories
  • Lace top with statement heels

Weekend and girls night out attire:

Note that the items above are (typically) basic staples that many women may already own. I’m typically able to think of what I already have off the top of my head while in the store. Though if you find yourself unable to remember what you have while out shopping, take a picture of the item in question. You can always look at the picture when you get home and compare with what is in your closet. This also prevents impulse buying.

Happy [Budget Conscious] Shopping!

Prints Separates_Details With Purse

[Outfit details: Top and skirt (H&M); Handbag (Target); Heels (Forever21); Watch (NY&Co); Necklace (Fashion Trend LA) ]



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