Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I've Been Remiss

I'm a regular reader of the blog, the Budget Fashionista. It's a good one, with ideas I've put to use (good call on the Dr. Scholl's pumice creme, BTW).

Anyway, she posted an offer a while back. Request the book, How to Be a Budget Fashionista, by Kathryn Finney, and she'll send it to you. All that's required is a review of the book on your blog. Well, I requested one. And until now, I haven't done my review. Bad girl!!!

I hope to make amends with this post. Nice book! One of the things I especially liked was Step One: Know Your Budget. I'm a financial professional and really, this is important. You don't want to bankrupt yourself to look good. I realize this may seem boring to some, but so many fashion and wardrobe books leave this out even while presenting very expensive options to wear.

Step 2: Know Your Style: I might have placed this section first, but no matter. If you're on a budget, you'd best get the most bang for your buck. So you need to make those clothes work for you! This is where the author brings in the concept of reality dressing. This includes concepts like knowing your measurements, something that all of us sewists (should) know about. But having shopped with a lot of my girlfriends, a lot of them have no clue. Fear, denial, lack of a tape measure? Yes, all of the above. Get. Over. It. No one needs to know but you.

Step 3: Know Your Bargains: I bet you thought this is where she'd start from. This part is full of tips on how to "game" the RTW system. It includes how to shop department stores, outlets, online, even thrift and consignment.

Remember, budget does not necessarily mean cheap, so if you get this book thinking that the content will tell you how to buy $5 Gucci, this is not for you. And the author does advocate buying used sometimes, I know that can be a yuck factor for some. But don't knock it till you've tried it.

One thing the book doesn't have in it is a discussion of sewing your own. But really, is that really budget? I know it can be if you already have a machine, iron, and tools. But isn't this a major gripe of sewists, that people think you sew because you're cheap?? We all know that's not the case. I think sewists can take away tips from this book too even if if "making your own" is not specifically addressed. After all, I can't deny words of wisdom like:

  • Never buy something just because it's on sale.

  • Always buy the best-quality items you can get on sale.

  • Fit is more important than size.

  • Focus on complete outfits.

  • Try EVERYTHING on (well sewers can't do this but our corollary is to make a mock up before committing to good fabric)

  • Always wear good undergarments when shopping. It affects how garments will look on your body.

  • And last, LOVE what you buy (or sew) and only BUY (or sew) what you LOVE.

I think I was already a Budget Fashionista before buying this book, but I enjoyed reading it, and I took away some good tips. So yes, I'd recommend it!

And do go visit the companion site, the Budget Fashionista!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review. I didn't even know this book existed, but it does sound very useful for me and DD.
If you get a minute, please change my blog addy on your template. It's changed from the southern sewa to southernstitch.blogspot.com
Thanks! Mary

Nancy (nanflan) said...

Hi Miz Mary, it's good to hear from you again! I love the sewing room pics on your blog, which I just had to look at when you gave me the new addy!

Kathryn said...

Thanks Mary for the great review