Annual Christmas excursions to the rolling hills of Pittsburgh evokes images of plaid, fleece, and Steeler's gear, a not-so-subtle reminder that I am quite the outlier. As I mounted for a new year brimming with goals- both financial and fashion based, I challenged myself to a shopping spree on an extreme budget. I'm not talking ASOS, Nordstrom Rack, or even TJ Maxx. I went straight for the mega discount chain Gabe's, a beacon of super cheap attire founded in West Virginia originally, with chains scattered across small towns in states like Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and Tennessee.
The bright lights of the Mcknight Road's Gabe's store illuminated an array of wardrobe choices I would neither wear nor recommend, heightening the thrill and difficulty of my search for style with major savings. My eyes sharpened with expert laser focus, honing in on pieces I knew I could mix and match for a variety of occasions and looks.
A burnt orange gold brass buttoned pencil skirt paired with a gold silk button down and multi-colored faux fur shrug exuded "rich auntie vibes", sophisticated in color palette, texture, and detail. You would never know that the streamlined, curve hugging and vibrant pencil skirt was only a mere $7.99 - now that's balling on a budget!
A hot pink trench from Chico's discounted from $170 to $16.99 served as a pop of color amongst white wide leg pants from Express, and a simple white blouse. Equal parts practical, comfortable, and stylish, this look exemplified my signature Barbie inspired look for the low, taking me to the office in ease.
High fashion does not always mean a high price tag, as demonstrated in the above debonair cape sleeve jacket trimmed in fur. Throw it over leggings, a jumpsuit, or a dress for warmth and versatility in dapper fashion.
A monochromatic look in a blush palette consisting of a pale pink cowl neck, slick fitting trousers, and Express duster for 1/6th the original price set the tone for simple sophistication. Perfect for a chillier winter Miami day or a warmer winter day up north, running errands, heading to work, or a casual social outing is made chic in textured blush monochrome.
A similarly monochromatic pale pink color scheme in the form of crisscross bell sleeved sweater dress and matching furry vest was next up in my search for style for less. Throw on a pair of cute boots and tights for brunch, a date, or dinner.
A sleek sweater dress with trendy yet tasteful cutouts and golden metallic knit fabric skimmed the body in flattering form. Whether utilized as a layering piece, or worn alone, it's versatility can take you from a casual outing with boots and a layering duster or oversized cardigan or date night in high heels.
Lastly, all black is anything but basic in the above velvet, puffy sleeved blouse adorned with an exaggerated bow, paired with leather ruched pants. Edgy meets elegant as the contrasting fabrics and details come together in polished form for a flexible and chic ensemble.
Hone both your budget and your style as we anticipate the fresh start of a new year. Don't let the volume of options in ultra-value discount stores dissuade you from unleashing your inner fashionista on a budget; style does not need to be compromised, nor does your fashion sense with the proper execution.