How to dress glamorous while keeping your spending to minimum: Part 1

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Based on some interesting questions I have been receiving lately, I thought of sharing with you lovelies a few secrets behind my style. More precisely, how to dress glamorous while keeping your spending to minimum. Which items deserve to be invested in and which can save your dollars considerably.

1. Shoes. Invest. Invest. Invest. Great shoes will make you feel and look great. Think Cinderella: you wear a gold shoe and all of a sudden a sack you’re wearing is a beautiful dress. It’s truly amazing how a great pair of heels or booties can change the entire perception of your look. Check out Endless for some amazing shoes at the best prices.

2. Bags. The second most important item on this list. A great bag will always enhance your look. Moreover, one great bag will last years! After relentlessly using my Tods tote for 8 years I finally sold it on eBay. It still looked great! You can’t do that with a fake leather no name bag, most likely it will fall apart after 2 months (proven!). If you can’t afford a designer bag, there are many great mid range brands that make stylish bags at reasonable prices. For example, Marc by Marc Jacobs.  eBay or opshopping can be another great option.

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3. Accessories. If you haven’t already, think about the style and color of jewellery that will suit you and your wardrobe best. Silver or gold, chunky or delicate, minimal or flamboyant? After making those decisions, find and invest in 2-3 pieces (earrings, bracelet & necklace) that will go together well. The other jewellery can be inexpensive, say from our beloved Diva or Colette.

4. Jeans. Invest in 1 pair of classic skinnies or straight leg jeans. The rest can be cheapies from Zara or ASOS. Especially those that are ‘on trend’. To throw away $200 for a pair that you won’t wear next season? Don’t think so… You’d better be saving those dollars for something else (read: bag).

5. Clothes. In general, save! Go as cheap as you can. Opshopping, extracting from the back of your wadrobe, revamping or simply purchasing from inexpensive chain stores or alternatively ASOSSpeaking of which….

6. Online shopping. Often I find prices are lower (up to %50) online compare to retailers here in Australia. For example, these Paige denim jeans in mint colour cost over $2oo in DJs but in Shopbop… only $169. Check out Norsdom, Bloomingsdale and Revolve Clothing – some offer free shipping to Australia. Plus they have regular sales and that’s when you should be buying your investment bags and shoes.

7. Great hair and accurate nails… tsss… I’m jumping a ahead of myself. More about this  in part 2 of this series which will be devoted to beauty.

What your shopping and style secrets, lovelies? Which pieces would you consider are worth investing in? We would love to know…




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Comments 14


Thank you for taking time to leave a comment! However, the comments section has been playing up recently. It's only working if you leave your name & email. Thanks for understanding, Maria xx

  1. Great post Maria! I agree with everything you said, and I am pleased that I do, because if I do the same things as a style icon I will get there eventually, right? xxx

  2. Tudo Sobre Moda April 5, 2012

    Great tips!

  3. Maria Bastida April 5, 2012

    really interesting post!! and the shoes are stunning!!! :D

  4. aelie April 5, 2012

    great post, so many people don’t realise it doesn’t have to be that expensive to have nice things and be stylish x

  5. E-von April 5, 2012

    I liked reading this post very much! It is true, you don’t need a lot of money to look stylish, you just have to be creative. It is more difficult when you have children and your family to spend on. Plus I didn’t know Bloomingdales did Free Shipping! Rejoice! hehe

  6. Amalia April 5, 2012

    Totally agree with your statement on bags! I’d have to put sunglasses on my list though :)

  7. Absolute Amy April 5, 2012

    Maria, you are so on the money! (Ha, ha!) I have been a big believer in ‘investment’ wardrobe staples and then adding fun, affordable clothes into the mix. For example I love my J Brand jeans, but have been getting a heap of wear out of my Emerson cobalt blue and red skinny jeans this season. I love my LV bag and Burberry trench that I will wear with Zara t-shirts. It’s all about mixing it up, and having fabulous nails and hair to finish everything off. I can’t wait for Part 2 of this post!
    Amy xxxx

  8. Marina April 6, 2012

    Maria!! Hi gorgeous it’s been so very long since I last visited you and WOW doll you’re looking better than ever!! Motherhood suits well doll.!!

    Ok now on the post!! amazing tips and thanks for sharing.

    <3 Marina

  9. Nick April 6, 2012

    Much of this also applies to mens. I like to calculate ‘price per wear’… and when it comes to shoes, ties, watches, pens and cuff links price per wear is relatively low.

    Nice post.

  10. Antonia-Ivana April 7, 2012

    I totally agree with you that you should invest in bags, good pairs of jeas and shoes. I’m currently saving some money for divine shoes.

  11. the style crusader April 8, 2012

    Love this post! It’s so smart to really think about what items you want to invest in – I think it really just depends on what your style is and what will be most useful for your lifestyle.

    Personally, I’d rather invest in good clothes since I’m not that into wearing different trendy things all the time (I know some people LOVE having a new dress to wear out each weekend – in which case I totally agree, blowing loads of money on one each week would just be crazy). For me, it’s important to have quality well made comfy basics that will wear well and wash well. A nice white T-shirt, the perfect pair of jeans, an amazing leather jacket… I think it’s important to have the best staples you can afford and then build from there.

    As you said, having one pair of REALLY amazing shoes (that feel/look awesome) is WAY better than having ten pairs that are just ok. It’s hard to remember this as you can buy cheaper things more often and it gives you a fast thrill… but it’s the quality items I have that I love the most and wear every single season.

    Love love love this post. Can’t wait to see part 2. xx

  12. The Dainty Doll's House April 9, 2012

    very informative, enjoyed this!! x

  13. SassandSpice April 9, 2012

    I’m really liking your tips and the wonderful space you have here! I have to confess that I invest the most in bags and only have a few pair of investment shoes (thinking they will get worn down easier than bags) but a pair like the ones in your picture would surely make any outfit pop!

  14. Maria April 12, 2012

    OMG!! Lovely Boots!!! I want them!!! Need them!!
    XOXO, Maria from SS