Rock, Style, SAVE: One Fall Accessory I’m Buying (on a Budget) to Maximize My Wardrobe

Since we keep it real and authentic around here, I think it’s time for me to confess. I overspend. A lot. Frivolously. Because I like clothes, shoes, makeup, jewelry, just like any other girl. But quite honestly, the bottom line is, I spend too much money, and it has gotten out of hand as of late. But as ridiculous as it may sound, I do not like wearing the same outfit twice. That’s what gets me into trouble, you see. I think I need to buy new things when in reality, I just need to be better about remixing pieces I already own. In an effort to keep myself honest and authentic on this blog (and in my “real life”), I will be writing a series of posts over the next year I’m titling Rock, Style, SAVE to show you how I stick to a budget, what I will spend on, what I will save on, and where I find the best budget-friendly pieces.

Since much of my wardrobe is now made up of LuLaRoe pieces, I have been keeping an eye on how other women style their LuLaRoe…consultants and customers alike. Pinterest is actually a great source for LuLaRoe styling tips, as is Instagram (search the hashtags #LuLaRoe #howIRoe #simplycomfortable #LuLaRoeNicole and so on), but you already knew that. One accessory keeps popping up over and over again, almost as a “must have” if you’re wearing LuLaRoe dresses and kimonos…and that’s the belt.

A wide belt or a skinny belt helps to define your shape, and girls who are pear-shaped (or have a small natural waist) can really benefit from wearing a belt at the natural waist line. The small part of the body is highlighted, and the fabric below the belt (in a dress or a kimono, for example) can float away from the body naturally. I would call myself mostly pear-shaped (smaller top half, larger bottom half), and I have really fallen in love with the idea of belts again. I actually tried this look out by belting my LuLaRoe Lindsay kimono and tunic tank for a more professional look when I had professional development this summer.

Hold the phone, though. The last time I bought a belt was four years ago! I have a few (like the leopard print one pictured above) that work, but several others are outdated. So in anticipation of my LuLaRoe Carly dresses coming tomorrow, I decided to go belt shopping. My budget for belts was $50. I said $50 so I would be able to have multiples so I didn’t go to the same belt every time. And I’m more interested in what the belt can do for my figure instead of the quality and what not because honestly, I don’t wear belts every day. The silhouette of my look is more important to me than what the belt actually looks like. But that part is important as well…argh. Before I get any more confusing, let’s talk about my belt shopping trip.

What I wore to shop for belts is pictured above. Slowly but surely my LuLaRoe inventory is trickling in, and one of my favorite pieces was this burgundy (with subtle black striping) Classic Tee. Back in April, I wrote THIS POST on LuLaRoe sizing, but at that time, I had not tried the Classic. I have tried on a small, medium, and large, and my favorite is the small because it hugs where I want it to hug and is flowy where I want it to be flowy. I could most likely wear an XS if I wanted a tighter fit, but I really like a looser fit. Now because I am 5’11”, I would not be able to have full coverage if I wanted to wear this tee with leggings, which is OK for me since I love me some distressed denim.

Back to belts.

Here are some tips I followed as I bought my belts today.

1. Buy belts in varying widths. Don’t purchase all skinny belts or all wide belts. Variety is key.
2. Remember that you will most likely size down in these since you are wearing these at your natural waist. The belts that are worn on your natural waist will most likely not fit through your belt loops on the hip area of your jeans. I know it sounds like common sense, but I actually have bought the wrong size before, not considering where I wanted to wear the belt.
3. Buy belts with special details. Since I have an edgy vibe to my style, you will see that I chose some belts with studded detailing. Special details could also include the buckle and the color.
4. Buy at least one or two neutral belts that can be worn with nearly any color in a dress or skirt.
5. Keep it modern and relevant. I will be honest and say I was hanging on to belts that were outdated. Don’t wear your belt from 10 years ago. If it is your belt from 10 years ago, ask yourself what details in the belt make it current. If you can’t think of any, it probably needs to go.

And now for the shopping pictures.

My first stop was Rue 21. It is a trendy but budget-friendly store in the town I live in, and my thought process led me here since I was looking to save some money and get the most I could for $50. I ended up with three medium-width belts: the top one has gold studded detailing, the middle one is black with arrows stamped into it, and the third one is an Aztec print with great fall colors in it, like mustard yellow and orange. I love those colors, though warm colors aren’t always super flattering on me, so the belt is a fun way to bring in those colors.

The top two were $8.99, and the bottom one (Aztec) was…wait for it…$2! With tax, my total was $21.38.

On to Target. I found a skinny belt on clearance for $10.48. It is a taupe/gray with gunmetal studs. Now granted, I would not belt this shirt, but I wanted to try it on for sizing. I bought this one. There is an up-close picture toward the end of this post.

 

Here is the only wide belt I purchased. Funny story about this one. It actually comes with directions! But even so, it was initially a struggle. I have a master’s degree and consider myself to be a fairly intelligent person, but I was SERIOUSLY STRUGGLING to figure this one out. However, it seemed like someone else had tried it on before me and really jacked it up. (Let’s go with that…) My mental toughness kicked in, I stayed the course, and I figured it out! The tassel detailing keeps it current, and the material is a deep taupe that almost feels like suede. I think this would look great with so many colors. I actually went back to see if they had it in black (like I do with pretty much every accessory or article of clothing OR pair of shoes I buy), but no luck in my size. This one was the most expensive at $18.99. I paid full price because I love it so much. Grand total for these two was $29.47, so just cents over my $50 budget, but I used my Target RED debit card, so it probably all evened out, right? 🙂

Let me show you the “no’s” at Target.

I’m calling this one the “classic” belt. It was on clearance for $10.48, but to me, it was a little boring and predictable. And not that I’m the most interesting person in the world, but I do like to keep it interesting and trendy with my accessories. So this one went back.

This one I’m calling the “meh” belt. There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s stretchy and comfortable for a belt. However, when I’m trying to consider what pieces come home with me, I think about my initial reaction. When I saw the tassels belt, I was willing to struggle for it. HA. But for this one, I put it in my basket because I “thought I could make it work.” I wouldn’t be sorry to put this one back and go home, so I knew it wasn’t for me.

Finally, I went to Von Maur to price belts in the juniors’ department and to potentially use the gift card my parents got me for my birthday (thanks, Mom and Dad).

The belt at the top is the skinny belt pictured above bought from Target, and the bottom two came home with me from Von Maur. I was pleasantly surprised that each belt was only $10, so I got both black and camel. So out of my own money, I stayed on budget and got two bonus belts, thanks to a birthday gift.

I’m not blogging about a new concept here. Women have been using belts to accentuate the natural waist for many years. But I have really not done this for a while, and I think it will help me bring new life to some older pieces instead of buying new dresses, skirts, and kimonos to liven up my look. I am willing to purchase budget-friendly belts so I can spend a little more elsewhere in my outfit.

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