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Improve Your Style Without Breaking the Bank by Using These Ideas

Have you ever looked at the kinds of clothing items you’d like to buy and then fallen into despair on glimpsing the price tag? It can be pretty dispiriting, that’s for sure. Instead of getting down about it though, you should take action so that you can improve your style without having to pay ridiculous sums of money to do so.

All of the ideas discussed below will help you to gradually improve your sense of style without the need to break the bank, so make the most of what you learn when you read on.

 

Find the Affordable Brands and Collections You Like

Not all brands and fashion collections are equal; you will like some more than others but you’ll also find that some are significantly more expensive than others. You should try to swap some of your more expensive preferences for smarter and more affordable options out there. If you’re not yet sure of everything that’s out there, you don’t even know what you’re missing out on.

 

Search for the Latest Online Discounts and Coupons

One of the very best ways to get the latest clothing items you want without having to splash a lot of cash is to make use of online discounts and coupons. They’re so common and there are plenty of websites that are dedicated to offering things like a new Nike promo code to customers on a daily basis. It would be ridiculous not to make the most of chances to get money off your purchases.

 

Repurpose Old Items to Create Something New

If you have old clothing items that are no longer doing what you want them to or offering you a style that you like, don’t just get rid of them because that’s a waste. Instead, you should try to repurpose them and turn them into something completely new and different to what you had before. This takes a little creativity but if you can pull it off, the results can be great.

 

Scour Through Used Clothing Stores and Vintage Fairs to Find Unusual Items

There are so many vintage hidden gems to be found in used clothing stores and vintage clothing fairs. By scouring through these places, you will undoubtedly happen across cheap items that will allow you to improve your style. Vintage items aren’t brand new, obviously, but they can still improve your style and add a timeless quality to your look.

 

Start Buying Out of Season

Who’s to say you need to buy the latest clothing items in this season’s latest range? Wouldn’t be wiser to wait a little longer for the season to pass? That’s when the prices will begin to drop and you will be able to get your hands on a real bargain rather than having to pay top dollar. You should definitely try to get into the habit of buying clothes out of season.

Improve Your Style Without Breaking the Bank

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Style and fashion are important things to most people these days; everyone wants to look as sharp and up to date as they possibly can but that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank.

*Please note that this post may have affiliate or collaborative links. Any products listed or reviews and opinions are as always of my own and true to how I feel. For PR and media enquiries please email claireoctoberrain@hotmail.com

5 Affordable Work-Out Gear Brands

Despite working in the gym and actively staying fit, I’m not in the Lululemon Club. In fact, I probably would never join that club.

Working out can be expensive. Luckily, working at the gym gives me free gym access but I understand the high cost of a gym membership. So, why should our workout gear be expensive as well?

I’m all about saving money on things I can save and clothes is definitely a big thing I can save on. I’m not big on brand names – as long as it does its thing at an affordable price, you’ve got me!

Sometimes, I feel clothes can influence your workout. For example, I would feel intimidated wearing all Nike gear. I feel as though Nike is the number one brand people think of when they think about workout clothes. Because I’m not training intensely or training professionally, I like my workout stuff to be more casual and “fun”.

Here are a few of my favourite active wear brands at a price where it wouldn’t break your bank 😉

1. MOVE by Ardene

Ardene is a popular teen store in Canada. Known for mostly having accessories, Ardene also carries clothing as well, including active wear. Both of my sports bra are from Ardene and they’re extremely affordable. They’re extremely comfortable and already padded (which is a must for me when I shop for sports bra). On top of a few sports bra from Ardene, I also enjoy their relaxed tees and hoodies. Ardene has a perfect mix of casual cute active wear and also something a bit more “professional” looking to say.

2. Active by Old Navy

Old Navy is so underrated when it comes to active wear. I absolutely LOVE their active wear section. If you’re asking me, Old Navy would be my first go-to place when I’m in search of new workout gears. When it comes to workout bottoms, I like my pants to be just a bit thicker to hide any underwear lines – I sometimes wear normal cotton underwear to the gym which is not seamless in any other active wear pants BUT Old Navy’s (and sometimes I wear seamless). I spent a lot of time looking for the perfect pants to match my criteria and finally found it in Old Navy. A lot of my work out tops are from Old Navy as well. Old Navy carries both fun and vibrant styles to plain black.

3. H&M Sports

I feel like the sportswear in H&M is new… is it? Anyways, I got one pair of pants from H&M Sports and while it looks AMAZING on me (LOL), I feel it’s more of a pair of leggings than actual active wear. I’ve only worn it once to the gym and I felt extremely awkward in it. Now, I recommend H&M Sports for those looking for more of a “serious” look while working out. This sportswear line is much more basic and toned down from the previous brands mentioned above. On top of it, most of their materials are made with spandex and they offer little to few cotton/similar items.

4. Forever 21

If you can make it through the mess of Forever 21, then you’ll be greeted with cute, bright and vibrant workout gear. Forever 21 has the most options available when it comes to affordable workout gear. I normally enjoy their jackets, shorts, and workout tops. Forever 21 is a great place for fashionistas looking to stand out in the gym.

5. Winners

I know this isn’t a brand but I love shopping at Winners when my favourite stores fail me. Winners offers brand new items at discounted (up to 60% off) prices. For those seeking to avoid these casual brands and want Adidas or Nike should check our Winners. They have Nike gear from $20! While it’s affordable, like I mentioned above, Nike as a brand intimidates me!

So, for all those feeling unmotivated to hit the gym, check our these stores at your local mall! Purchasing new workout gear tends to motivate a lot of people! And, don’t be afraid to strut in there with style! Many of my co workers are decked out in brand name workout gear but these “no name” brands does just as well!

Bellis Fair (Bellingham, Washington) Haul

As every Vancouvrite knows, heading down the States means a day of shopping for cheap and exclusive goods!

On Wednesday, my friend, Dee, and I went down to Bellingham via Greyhound for a day of shopping!

I haven’t ridden on the Greyhound since the 8th grade and it was to Seattle with my mum. This time around, we chose to do the Greyhound because none of us drive. It’s also my first time traveling with Dee out of the city.

I woke up at 6:15AM and left the house at around 7:15AM. The greyhound bus departs at 8:35AM. Dee woke up at 7AM… surprisingly she got to the station on time but left all her American money at home so I had to cover for until the local currency exchanges opened up.

I completely forgot that Dee was an inexperienced traveler. That being said, she asked a lot of questions (paranoid questions) about border crossing. She even brought along her purse that was filled with combs, make-up, cable and chargers… and while it’s nice to have those, I felt like it was a waste of space in her bag. We’re leaving the city for a day – pack lighter so you’ll be more comfortable!! Her bag looked as though it was about to explode!

The bus ride to Bellingham was relatively short. We arrived at the Greyhound station to realize that we were in the middle of nowhere. Literally, there was no one around, no one walking, not even cars moving. I’ve never been to this part of Bellingham! I mean, all the times I’ve been to Bellingham was by car.

We eventually took a random bus to Downtown where the bus driver was kind enough to tell us which buses to take to where. Our first stop was Goodwills (because we’ve heard so many good things about it!) at Sunset Square. First of all, I didn’t know Bellingham buses did not dispense any tickets aka proof of payment. I also didn’t know buses were THAT small. Also, they don’t even have an automated announcer for all the stops! The bus driver has to shout them out and most of them didn’t bother with EVERY stop.

Oh my lord, thank goodness we encountered our bus driver! He was extremely helpful in getting us to Sunset Square. We also told him that we wanted to go to Bellis Fair later and he said it’s the exact bus, and just come back to this stop. I love helpful drivers!

When we got into Sunset Square and into Goodwills… we were a bit disappointed. I did NOT find anything that was worth purchasing. I’ve seen millions of Goodwills hauls online and thought I’d have better luck here than back at home… but nonetheless, I think Value Village was better for me. The prices were only a SLIGHT cheaper than VV.

We later went to K-Mart which I found out was just another Target-like store. I only purchased two more bags of Spicy Cheetos and a bustier top from Nicki Minaj’s line (ewww). The cashier we had was extremely hilarious though!

 
We then trekked our back to the bus stop to see the same bus driver again. He kindly allowed us to “finish our ride” to Bellis Fair… aka we didn’t have to pay for that bus ride!
When we got to the last stop, the driver asks, “Are you guys from Canada? Because I’ve never seen you around before and you guys look completely lost!” 
And then I realized… holy crap, Bellingham must be a pretty small place if this bus driver says he has never seen us before. I also looked at the map and realized there only one public high school, and one private Catholic school. I also noticed that a lot of people on the bus seem to just know each other, and same with the kids. I love a small town but perhaps… maybe not that small? 
In Bellis Fair, we hit almost every store! I love WetSeal and Charlotte Rousse, and Rue 21! The Forever 21 and H&M were lacking… like surprisingly, we had bigger stores than them which also meant more items, and the prices weren’t that cheaper than Canada. We also hit Target and Kohl’s!
Target’s Up&Up facial scrub; ELF’s eyelid primer, eyeliner and total face brush; Claire’s earring set; Make up remover cloths from Goodwills; Rimmel London Stay Matte Foundation’ Goody’s bobby pins.

Decided to start working out!
During our time at the mall, we also went to get massages: both from a massage parlor and the massage chairs in the mall… ugh, how I would love to go back for another massage!

On the way back, it was even worst! A few people had to get interrogated at the border so our bus got delayed… and this French couple beside us kept on making out on the bus… nasty.

Nonetheless, I loved everything I got and managed to keep my shopping trip under $100 USD! My cousin thought that was waaaaay too less to spend in the states but I personally felt happy, haha.

I think I might go back there sometime in August for the back to school and summer ending sales!

A Bittersweet Tuesday

Seriously, who does not enjoy receiving mail? Even if it’s my credit card statements, I still love getting mail! This morning, I was greeted by three packages from my latest eBay purchases! I’m actually surprised how all three (different sellers) arrived at the same day – eBay shipments (from China) never happens like that!

 

Remember the blue shirt that I thought I’d loooove?! Well… let’s downgrade that ‘love’ to ‘like’. First initial thought was – I don’t remember this being a long sleeved shirt. I was pretty upset so I sent a message the eBay seller and asked for a refund because the shirt didn’t match the description. She apologized and gave me a refund. On top of the shirt not matching the description, the embellishments were a bit loose and there were loose threads hanging everywhere. 

However, when I threw it into the laundry basket to have it washed, I reexamined the shirt again and found out that there’s a little fabric that hooks onto the beads on around the elbow – just like the photos in the description! I thought… holy crap, I’m stupid. I pretty much complained about a top that was NEVER wrong to begin with!  Sooo… essentially, I got this top for free!

 

 

Yesssssssssssss, my infamous kitty bag finally came in! It’s exactly what the description said, and the quality (the one thing that I worried about) is AMAZING! I’m happy about the size, the quality, and the detailing! I honestly can’t wait to start using this for school!

Finally, I got myself a metal tongue bar. The ball didn’t screw on properly so I eventually asked for a refund. I think I’m just going to buy another one from a jewelry store in the mall.

And, finally, to end Tuesday, I actually ended up dropping off everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) that The Boy ever given me. All the gifts, movie stubs, everything.

So, it was a bittersweet Tuesday; I got my new items and I ended up giving up and getting rid of everything from The Boy.

Closet Cleanout for Spring Cleaning!

It’s well past the start of Spring, but I finally got around to cleaning out my closet. I would like to say I don’t have much of an attachment to clothes, but I found myself giving items “another chance”. Eventually, I nailed it down and gotten rid of things I don’t even know why I even have or purchased.

The horrors of my closet:

Donation Pile

I got this top from a thrift store for about $7. The first thought I had was… wow, great clubbing top! But man, those embellishments are annoying as hell! They’re uncomfortable when my arms are touching the top, they’re uncomfortable when they accidentally tug on a thread, etc. etc. I guess I was picturing a ’70s clubbing vibe when I purchased this shirt. Didn’t even worn it out to any parties because it was just so annoying. I mean, I think I look good in it but it’s just too annoying for me to wear out for several hours.

Keeping It Pile

This floral button up shirt is from H&M, and my aunt got it for me back in China and sent it over. I think I’ve worn it just once but when I tried it on again, I sort of liked it… I don’t know why I decided to keep it since I’ve only worn it once, but I think it’s probably due to the colours and the fact that I lack conservative clothes for professional events/workplaces.

Keeping It Pile

My initial thoughts were to donate this item. I’ve had it for a while, perhaps since 9th or 10th grade? I haven’t worn it since high school. Back then, I’ll wear it with a grey tank top underneath but since I decided to try it with nothing underneath and just buttoned it up, I thought this could work out.

Donation Pile

If you remember this gem, you’re golden! I can’t believe I still have this in my closet. I remember seeing this top in a thrift store and thought “Holy crap, this top is old…” but yet, I still have one in my closet. I knew instantly to donate it. It fits wonder, slightly tighter than before, but the thought of wearing it made me feel extremely old and cheap.

Donation Pile

I got this top from ESPIRT in China. I was indifferent about it, but the store mannequin paired the blazer with this top which is why I ended up buying this top… does anyone else do that? Buy one piece but then see a mannequin pairing your loved item with another one and it looks so good you buy the paired item too? Anyways, I’ve worn it a few times overseas but since coming back to Canada with it, it hasn’t left my closet. Whenever I wear it, I also look and feel pregnant.

Keeping It Pile

I have only worn this once or twice since purchasing it back in 2011…! I love Hello Kitty and the only reason why I picked this HK top was to match the $60 min. for free shipping from F21. I decided to keep it because I love HK but also because I just don’t know how to feel about this top yet. It’s baggy, slightly comfy, and yeah, I don’t know what else to say about it. I thought it could be a “fashion” top, but it turns out to just be a very lightweight pullover sweater. I can myself just throwing this on top of a tank top or bikini top when the sun goes down in the summer.

Donation Pile

Thank God that I did not purchase this top. Have you seen this top before? This is the type of fashionable top that is fashionable in… China (and nowhere else, people)! My aunt (like always) bought this top in both black (pictured above) and purple. They claimed it’s from an actual Chanel top but… let’s be real. I donated the purple one years ago and decided to give the black one a second try, but I just never wore it out. I’d feel embarrassed wearing a top like this out knowing it’s fake and really flashy.

Donation Pile

I remember thrifting this too for about $5. I purchased it because I needed more sweaters and while I do love the fit and there’s nothing wrong with it, I just fell out of love with this top. I’ve only worn it once since purchasing it back in 2013.

Keeping it Pile

I have only worn this once since 2011 and the one time I wore it, I felt like a boy. Like the HK top, I remember grabbing this because I needed at least $60 for free shipping. I wanted to throw it away because of that sole feeling of it making me feel like a boy. But when I tried it on again… I sort of liked it. It comes with a lightweight hood which I’m not a fan of but overall, I like the top. I’ll give it a second go.

Keeping It Pile

 I got this back in China and it was one of the rare shirts that had correct English (praise the designer that went to school!). I wore it constantly back in China but since bringing it back to Canada, I haven’t worn it since. I like it, it’s lightweight, cute and really spring/summer like. I decided to keep it for a second chance and if I don’t wear it this year, I’ll be sure to get rid of it come next spring.

Keeping It Pile

Another case of picking it solely for the purpose of free shipping. When I first saw this on the website, I instantly pictured myself throwing this on top of my bikini on the beach. I wore this out once (not as a bikini cover up) and felt okay about it. It’s like a poncho, pretty much, so if I keep my arms down, it’ll look alright but once I raise my arm up… gahhhh, it looks horrible. I decided to keep it because I didn’t give it any chance when I bought it.

And so, I managed to get rid of 10 items (some not pictured) in this year’s closet cleanout. My dad just got back from vacation and he purchased a shit ton of new clothes for me so hopefully they match my taste!

I ended up keeping 6 of the original items I was considering donating. Not bad, considering I’ve only got 6 items to “try to love again”. Looking back at some of the stuff I’m donating makes me feel like I wasted money or clothes I’ve pictured myself in, but never wore it. That should be a new shopping wake up call!

#2014BloggerChallenge – A few #OOTDs

This year in Vancouver, we’re lucky. This Spring has been much much much warmer than usual and not that many rainfalls. For once, I can wear my leather jacket without a hoodie and still keep warm (did I mention not even zipped up?!). Today, I decided to just wear a light spring floral scarf and by the end of the day, I was sweating.

I’m loving the warmer weather, especially after freezing my butt off for the past few months!

In no particular order, here’s what I wore for the past couple of days:
*Excuse the dirty mirror – I swear I’ll get around to cleaning it this weekend!

This cute kitty cat shirt is actually part of The Weeknd‘s Kissland Tour (2013) merchandise. I was lucky enough to grab the last Small in this… and let me tell you something about artist merchandises – their sizes are HUGE. I guess it’s because they print them on male shirts but nonetheless, small is still rather big for me so I prefer to pair it with leggings.

Okay, so… I forgot to take a picture of the actual outfit. But, from the little bits in the corner, I was wearing a pink hoodie on top of my Canucks shirt. I paired it up with leggings and flats… does anyone else wear flats with flats socks?! I think it’s disgusting to not wear socks with flats… I mean, you swear socks with boots/runners/etc so why not with flats?

I had my first “professional” job fair – you know, for an actual career rather than just a regular part time job. I had to look professional so I opted for business casual – blazer, dress top, and skinny pants. Yes, you will never catch me with flare pants or whatever. Just no. Skinny or it ain’t happening.
(Which reminds me, I really need to update my closet to have more business (casual) attire).

This is my most recent one. I don’t have much to say about this look aside from I think it looks a bit preppy. Did I mention I got those jeans for $10 and the top for $5-7? It’s a bargain outfit!

Since the warmer weather is here, I’ve been wearing a lot of leggings/stockings and no more layering with hoodies.

What’s your spring style this year?