The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Cheap Thrills and Big Ticket Darlings: Broke and Beautiful

Q&A with Fashion blogger Broke and Beautiful

Each week, we're turning to some of our favorite fashion bloggers for tips on when to splurge and when to save. Next up, we're chatting with the lovely Lindsay of Broke & Beautiful!
Q&A with Fashion blogger Broke and Beautiful

I'm an "I like what I like" sort of person, so if I see it in the store and it strikes my fancy, it doesn't matter if it's Target or a 60% off Elizabeth & James sample sale - if I'd willingly give up the price in cash in exchange for cuddling with it, it's going home with me. When I've got extra cash in my pocket, though, I beeline for the clearance racks at my favorite department stores. Lots of brands means lots of selection and lots of discounted clothing!

You likely won't see me rifling through luxury pieces until they're on the floor of a super-mega-blowout sale, and I typically don't (truth: am not willing to) wake up early enough for those.

Every splurge that I find to be uncontrollably appealing (to the point where I'm reaching for the credit card) gets pinned on Pinterest to a board I have called "Things I Can't Have :-(". I could never impulse buy something that was expensive enough to be considered a "splurge" but... I can save it and compulsively check on it daily until it goes on sale...! Obsession is one of my strengths, so I might as well use it to my advantage, right?

There is one department where I'm not willing to sacrifice quality in the name of a low price, though. That would be the lingerie department. I'm talking about bras. As a lady of endowment (sorry if that's TMI), let me be the first to tell you that buying a cheap bra because it's cute and affordable is the worst decision you'll ever make. Don't do it. Regret forever.

Q&A with Fashion blogger Broke and Beautiful

My best splurge probably isn't even that big of a splurge to most people because I am legitimately Broke & Beautiful, but it's still a splurge!

If you're reading Budget Babe, you obviously love to save money, so you'll understand this: I was given cash as a gift. Precious cash! I had all kinds of bills I could pay with it, all kinds of food I could put in my fridge and laundry I could do... but instead, I picked the item at the top of my "Things I Can't Have :(" list: A pair of longed-for wingtip Doc Marten Regina boots. They are tough to find now, so I'm glad I sprung for them, but they were way outside my budget and definitely not on sale. That being said, they are in as good a condition now as they were the day I bought them almost three years ago. Splurge well made!

Scouring clearance sections of clearance stores is one of the most rewarding activities. I was scoping out the clearance selection at one day, and stumbled across a pair of fire-engine red, platform wedges by Jeffrey Campbell. For $13. And free shipping. Yes, please! I snapped them up ASAP and still have them! You can't go wrong with red patent leather wedges, let me tell you.

Q&A with Fashion blogger Broke and Beautiful

Q&A with Fashion blogger Broke and Beautiful

Oof, this one is a heart-wrencher for me. I have a hard time spending over $20 on most things (usually I like everything to be $5), but I sprung for a pair of $80 designer shoes from an online sample sale. They were seriously the coolest shoes, and I was unsettled with my spending, but loved the shoes enough to justify it. When they arrived, they were beautiful and great - except for the excruciating pain they caused every part of my foot. Even just putting them on to take photos was horrible. I had to stop wearing them, but I definitely kept them. I'm too attached to give them away. Unfortunately, that means that every six months or so, I look at them and think, "Well, maybe they feel different now! Yeah, maybe my feet changed or something!" and I try them out for a day only to come home with 8 new blisters and pissed off feet. Shoes can be cruel mistresses.

Other than that, when I was 8 I used my Mom's ebay account to purchase 150 pairs of tights with a rhinestone-eyed tiger going down the leg. That was probably the most regrettable shopping decision I've made, if we're really being honest.

My fall wish list always has a few of the same things on it: knits (for everywhere - here I come, knit leggings!), fantastic over-the-knee socks, super dark jewel tones, darker hair, and great boots.

Outside of my staples, I am looking far and wide for the most perfect, faux-fur trimmed, wool duster. I've been on that quest for years! I think I will definitely have to get my hands on some more low-heeled ankle boots - I have one pair already, but I need more! They're great for a city-dweller like me. I'm excited to see how people keep this immortal neon trend alive throughout the cold months!

Q&A with Fashion blogger Broke and Beautiful

I am pretty shameless when it comes to getting what I want for the cheapest price. I am definitely that girl holding up the checkout line because I'm showing the lightly torn seam or fallen button to the person at the register, trying to convince them to knock a few percentage points off of the price. And I do it in discount/off-price stores. With abandon.

Also, if I had one piece of treasure-finding advice to impart: inside of the circular clothing racks, on the "go-back" racks and on the floor of the clearance section is where you'll find all of the best deals in most clothing stores. Tried & true!

Outfit details: Sheer Utility Shirt, Stripes & a Puff ball, Big Black Boots, Tights, Wild Soul Sunglasses, Neon Orange Oxfords
Love this! I like to splurge on designer jeans...I wear them so much, it's worth the investment. I think purses are also a good thing to splurge on, since you use them every day and can really make an outfit. My thing that I have a hard time splurging on is shoes. I can find inexpensive pairs that are cute, and then if you scuff them or wear them out it's not a big deal.
#1 Karla (Homepage) on 2013-09-16 13:45 (Reply)
I agree with the lingerie part.
Your undergarments are not items you want to buy cheap!

#2 Leslie (Homepage) on 2013-09-16 15:52 (Reply)
Question: where is a good place to purchase good lingerie? What are some good brands to consider? Any shopping tips (online or otherwise)?
#3 Maggie on 2013-09-16 21:16 (Reply)
Hi, Maggie,

I worked for Nordstrom a few seasons ago, and I realized Nordstrom is a fantastic place to get sized properly for bras. The ladies who work in lingerie take extra classes that are not available to the other store employees. They learn all about proper fit for different customers and different occasions. The lingerie ladies really know their stuff, and they are able to help you with fit and style. The fitting is free, and often, you can find good brands on sale.
#3.1 Melanie on 2013-09-17 16:00 (Reply)
Thank you very much for this tip, Melanie. I would have never thought of Nordstrom even though I appreciate their customer service for other things. I'll be sure to keep this in mind for the next time I have an opportunity to go to one. Very much appreciated. :-)
#3.1.1 Maggie on 2013-09-18 01:04 (Reply)
I absolutely second this comment! My best friend works for the flagship Nordstrom and arranged a fitting for me when I was in town visiting. Their staff is so knowledgeable and patient and will work with you for hours to find the best fit. The closest Nordstrom to me now is unfortunately ~3 hours away (the curse of living in small town USA!), but once you've been properly fitted, if you don't want to spend major cash their online sales can't be beat!
#3.1.2 lb on 2013-09-18 14:39 (Reply)
I once scored a pair of Michael Kors wedges for super cheap that just tore my feet up, and I felt the same way, every few months I'd think "maybe they wont hurt this time, maybe I stretched them out enough the last time" Nope! I finally just had to give them to my sister who wears about a half size smaller than me and has skinnier feet. It was a sad day, but at least they have a better home. haha.
#4 Marcy (Homepage) on 2013-09-18 11:02 (Reply)
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