Fat Closets and Empty Wallets

When you’re poor like me, you really have to become a master at tricking people so that they don’t know you live in a one-bedroom apartment with three other people and you frequently eat ramen for dinner. This is especially true at work, where no one really cares that your car insurance is making you consider roller-blading to work.

However, the great part about fashion is that you can be whoever you want to be, and it’s also exceptionally easy to make people think that you’re rich. The simplest way to do this is to have designer stuff that you didn’t pay anything for. What a walk in the park, right? Well, it actually can be. Follow my steps below so you can be better at bargain hunting than you are at your job.

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1. Before buying anything, check out RetailMeNot.com. This site collects coupon codes from across the Internet so especially before making an online purchase, browse RetailMeNot so you can possibly score some free shipping or something. Granted, I have never scored a truly great deal from this site, however it never hurts to get a few bucks off.

2. Get on eBay. Literally there is nothing better. Remember that time you went garage sale hunting and came home with a designer purse those grandparents didn’t even realize was worth more than $5? Yeah that’s kind of what eBay is like. If you are looking for a specific item, like a pair of shoes or a watch, take a look on eBay once every few days and see what they’re going for. Skeeved out by used stuff? You can buy it new and it’s exactly the same. But less money.

3. Do not be afraid of outlet malls. Yes, it is true that oftentimes, outlet and factory stores will deliberately make lesser quality items for their less monetarily blessed patrons. However, this stuff is still really freakin’ nice and is a fraction of the price. Go ahead. Explore the malls.

4. Find a favorite thrift store. Once again, remember that time you bought the $5 designer purse from somebody’s grandmother’s yard sale? OK that is exactly what thrift stores are like. I once bought a pair of barely worn Uggs for $2. If you’ve got some time, scour those racks and you can probably score some good finds. Last week I got a vintage Banana Republic leather vest for $15.

5. Groupon it. Some of us go to Groupon for some sick restaurant coupons, however we often forget that Groupon also features retail coupons with just as awesome values. Before you hit the mall this weekend, check it out and see what you can grab.

6. Compare your prices to Amazon.com prices. eBay tends to be cheaper than Amazon, but not always. Always check out Amazon as well before purchasing something in-store – you can usually get it cheaper online, plus there is more availability in terms of colors and sizes and you don’t even have to leave your home.

7. Get creative with your clothes. When you do make a large, expensive purchase, choose a timeless item that you can wear with tons of different outfits. Often, it’s only one nice item you need to pull together a bunch of not-so-great pieces. And the less clothes the better – only purchase items that you can’t wait to put on, not stuff you are so-so about.

8. Get in with vintage. Everyone is all about vintage these days… instead of buying something that is fake old for money, why not raid your mom’s closet? Like it or not, she’s got one of those leather skirts you’ve been eyeing from the 80’s. Eww.

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