Style Is Not A Price Tag

YSW: Shopping Tips 101

Before going to college, I spent a couple of years in business school studying retailing, where I graduate with an ‘ ‘associate’s degree in fashion merchandising.

While in school, I learned how to determine quality fabrics, names of diverse silhouettes, and the history of certain garments.

I thought I wanted a career as a fashion buyer who would visit New York and enjoy the glamorous life. When I found out this was not the case, I had a sudden career transformation.

On Sale

A sale isn’t a good sale unless you can wear the garment. When someone tells you could save 25%, let them know you can save 100% by not buying anything at all if you are not going to wear the garment with at least 3 other items in your wardrobe.


Nothing says quality like a garment made from the best fabric. I can detect good fabric pulling up to the loading dock of a store. It is one of the first things I notice about the garment.

During my studies, I had to engage in the boring task of counting the number of threads in fiber then I had to name each thread and memorize them all. Through this activity, I learned that the higher the thread count, the better the fabric.

To this very day, I can detect good fabric when I see it on the rack in any store. Even though I shop resale and thrift, I seldom compromise when it comes to the quality of the fabric that I select. Fabric is the foundation for quality clothing.

Just because you want to save money ‘doesn’t mean you should fall short on the quality; if you do, then you have not made any investment.

Select fabrics that are seasonal. You can purchase a great wool garment that can take you throughout most of the year. No need to put everything away simply because the season has changed. Good lightweight wool travels throughout most of the year, mainly September to June.

Is there a garment in your closet that works for you all year round?  Separate them so as the seasons change.


And then there is the fit. I ‘don’t care how much you pay for a garment if it ‘doesn’t fit… you must quit.  You must stop squeezing into clothes that ‘don’t flatter your figure.

Every well-dressed woman appreciates the value of a proper fit.

My mother calls the ill-fitted garments, “Pullies” because she says women are constantly pulling on the dresses when they ride up.

Cost vs. Value

Your best garments should be an investment. Working in the big department store sales taught me the importance of the value of clothes. When the new designer clothing arrived, they were displayed elegantly on the super thin mannequin awaiting to be purchased at ridiculously high prices. At the end of the season, those same clothes that ‘didn’t sell would end up either thrown over the racks or lying on the floor.

Were these clothes any less valuable? Not really. They just were no longer valuable to the stores that were already in the next season and the next trend. For this reason, I have become an avid consignment shopper where I let other people pay full price, and I go to pick-up the gently used garments.


I have never really been interested in color analysis. I stick with colors I like regardless of what may be my best tones and hues. I am one of those people who just love wearing black.

My basic wardrobe consists of black, grey, and other earth tones. I possess a few bright pieces that I use to accessorize what I consider as my working wardrobe.

Keep it Simple Sisters

Keep it simple and classic. Trends are for the trendy. Build a wardrobe around basic items. You can throw in the trends, or vintage and costume jewelry to accent what you already have.

But when it comes to a workable wardrobe, the classics should remain your staples. Classics have longevity; you don’t have to worry about replacing them.

Many people say, “You get what you pay for.” When you buy good garments at a great price…you get more than what you pay for.

My favorite thrift shop is Thriftique in Lawrenceville in Pittsburgh

YSW Self-care Tip:

In today’s uncertain times, we have to be more budget-conscious regardless of how well you might be doing. Your clothes do not define you, so know your true worth and appreciate your true value. 


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