Good morning to you! The sun is shining! It’s been a hot week in my city and I am FAR from complaining. I went camping over the Canada Day long weekend with boo butt in the mountains and it was BEAUTIFUL…can’t wait to go again! Biking and sitting my the fire was definitely the highlight of the weekend. Anyways, if you follow me on Instagram (click here to follow if you don’t) you’ll have seen this outfit prior and I’m finally posting about it!
The Story of the Trousers
These b-e-a-utiful trousers are by New York-based designer Sies Marjan. I eyed them for literally over six months until I could afford them. Of course, there was only one left and I had to get six inches altered off the waist, but I love them! They were originally priced for just over $1200, I think like $1274 + tax. Then they were marked down to $1000, then $800, $600, and then they were sold out….BUT, someone must have returned them because they appeared one day for only $99.95. BAM. Yes, I saved around $1100 on these luxury pants, minus the $8 it cost to get them altered to fit me. This isn’t the first time I’ve saved this much on a collection piece, but this method of watching and waiting takes a TON of patience.
This outfit is glamorous, yet it contains no shine or shimmer, in fact it’s basically matte. The faux fur scarf sitting on my shoulder adds an intriguing detail to the look, as well as some much needed texture. While normally the necklace I’m wearing is a statement necklace, with this top, it’s subtle, so it doesn’t clash with the scarf.
I added the scarf because you know when you seen an outfit and it just feels like there’s just something missing. For times like this, there are two ways to fix any flat outfit:
- Accessorize (jewelry, scarf, purse, etc.)
- Add another layer (a blazer, vest, tying something around your waist, etc.).
These are 100% wool wide-legged, camel colored trousers. I love the detailing on the front pockets with the button on each side and I love the string tied in the middle. These pants probably wouldn’t have caught my interest had they not had these details. My usual self, when it comes to dress pants, mainly wears fitted around the butt/upper legs with a wide leg at the bottom, but when I saw these, I didn’t care that it was pretty much a loose fitting straight leg from top to bottom, I loved the uniqueness of it. They actually reminded me of something my favorite designer, Jacquemus, might have designed, which is who I thought of when I first saw them.
They are from the Sies Marjan Fall/Winter 2016 Collection and you can see that they are a little more fitted on my body type than the model (below) where they appear more baggy.
This retailer I found online is still selling these pants, if you’re looking for them! I totally recommend this designer for other ready-to-wear collection pieces. I’ve checked out all of his collections and they are so gorgeous and different! Full outfit details at the end of this post.
For years I’ve been saying this: MONEY DOES NOT LIMIT YOUR WARDROBE…
Sure, it determines how fast you attain items, but limit: not at all. I wanted to add some quick tips to this post about shopping luxury on a budget:
Buying On A Budget (No, You Don’t Need To Shop At Forever 21)
Before you think there’s a magical formula, the main ingredient is patience and knowing your limit. People often say that if they’re on a budget they can’t shop for higher end items. They blindly choose to buy $25 dollar jeans regular price at Walmart or H&M, when on the other end of the mall, there are an $80 pair of DKNY jeans for 70% off in the markdown section (hello, that’s makes them $24). I know this requires more searching, and if you’re happy with cheaper clothing, great. I do own some random things here and there from Wal-Mart and a ton of things from F21 and H&M (sometimes you can find things that actually do last and are comparable to higher-priced items, again this requires knowing what’s out there), but I don’t limit myself to those places. Price/brand doesn’t always equal quality, but FIND the items where it does and get your moneys worth. OPEN YOUR EYES PEOPLE.
Now Onto My Smart Shopping Tips (The Mini Version)
I call this the mini version because I have a HUGE, essay-length article I’ve been working on that discusses: my wardrobe story, quality clothing, fast fashion, donating, reselling, recycling clothing, saving money, having more to wear, and when it’s okay to buy cheap (hint: when the durability is there).
I can honestly say when it comes to clothing, it’s probably the LEAST wasteful and most environmentally friendly aspect of my material belongings…ex. when a shirt or pair of sweat pants is too worn out, it becomes recycled cut into a cleaning rags (also saving money/waste on paper towels) until that’s worn to shreds then it’s garbage. Anyways, Ashley, we get it, move along…
The Tips (Finally)
If you can afford full-priced designer items, go for it. Shoot, I would and I plan to! These tips are aimed at people in my current boat… entry level job, side part-time jobs, bills, rent, and not much left for extra spending. This is how we can grow our dream wardrobe while we’re not making our dream dollaz (yet). These tips apply to online shopping as well (I grew up in a small town, I know what it’s like to have nothing but a Wal-Mart and a Marks Work Warehouse!). Remember what I said earlier, the key to shopping smart is patience.
- When it comes to wanting to buy new designer items at affordable prices, it all comes down to knowing where to find what you are looking for and to get to know a stores markdown patterns (this is pretty easy if you visit the store for a number of months)
- Most people know summer clothing is marked down in the fall and while this is a more common practice of the method, markdowns happen ALL THE TIME
- Designer items are not like fast fashion, they turnover slowly because, hello, it’s NOT fast fashion
- Huge department stores and big companies that carry designer items such as La Maison Simons, The Bay, Nordstrom, Macys, are the best places to find markdowns (I actually don’t hunt for huge deals at local boutiques because their profits are the owner’s income — support the community and don’t cheap out!)
- Markdowns usually happen individually, for each design or designer (unlike a seasonal sale where ALL winter vests are 50% off)
- Once you’ve got the above down, and you’ve found an item you’d absolutely love…start keeping an eye on it. No magical formula, no quick scheme, no having to know people. While the item is still original price, you can wait it out a few months or even until they’re down to one or two left, before checking on it but keep it in the back of your mind (don’t obsess, this is unhealthy lol). Once it’s been marked down twice or three times, I’d start keeping an eye on it maybe every two or three weeks because the price will continue to decrease until someone buys it and you don’t want to miss your window of opportunity. BUT: don’t let it control your schedule, remember, it’s just a material thing.
- Purchase the item at the price you can afford, waiting too long to see how low it can go can make you lose the item completely to another customer… this is about me helping you buy quality designer clothing at prices you can afford not getting greedy
This method is no secret, but many people don’t realize or even check to see that designer items can become non-designer prices. Your bank account won’t suffer and you still get to have your dream wardrobe fair and square.
Full Outfit Details
Faux Fur Scarf – La Maison Simons
Antique Silver Pendant Necklace – Jewel Sofia Design
Backless Black Bodysuit – Winners
Trousers – Sies Marjan
Heels – Aldo
Watch – Fossil
Lipstick – Notion by Colourpop
Photos snapped by my girl Andrea Willson.