Saturday, December 10, 2011

My $10 Holiday Outfit

My husband started working at a new company this past January, and as it turns out they hold a pretty fancy Christmas party for their employees and spouses. I haven't had to get really dressed up for the holidays in a number of years, so I was scrambling to put together an outfit that would be suitable for this occasion without spending a lot (since we've already busted our clothing budget for this year!)

I didn't even have a pair of high heels that fit me, since my feet stretched out and gained a size after I had my younger son (the fact that he's now twelve years old gives you an idea how often I get really dressed up - nope, not even a wedding in our family in all that time!)

Thankfully, Value Village saved the day by having a 50% Off Day at the end of November. We decided to go to the store that's located in a more affluent neighbourhood as I figured I'd have better luck finding "fancy" clothes there.

I got *really* lucky and found a pair of black patent leather Rockport heels that fit me perfectly for just $6.50. I also found a black and silver top to pair with the black velvet skirt I already own for another $3.00. I added my "good" pair of dressy silver earrings to finish off the outfit.

Total cost to put this outfit together: $9.50.

The party was on Thursday night (and it was really quite fabulous!). No, I certainly didn't win the "best dressed" award, but I certainly didn't come close to winning the fashion booby prize, either (ladies, please don't wear strapless, low cut dresses to a WORK Christmas party!!). There was actually a pretty wide mix of styles and levels of dressiness at the party, so I blended in pretty well :)

You may or may not like my holiday style, but that's not really the point. With a little creativity and resourcefulness, I think it's possible to put together whatever look you're going for, very inexpensively.

For many of us, holiday outfits are worn so infrequently that I just don't think they're worth spending a lot of money on. In fact, I may just try holding a holiday clothing swap with a few friends next season, so I have something new to wear to next year's party!

How do you do "holiday fashion" on a small budget?


  1. Karen, that's a fabulous outfit! It all goes so well together—how lucky that you found just what you needed!

  2. I think you look great! Excellent snag on the shoes, BTW. They will last a long time!

  3. My husband's company has its fancy dinner in spring, so I've got a few months to plan. I don't have any fancy shoes either (I do have a skirt and top I can re-imagine, though I've worn them both before) so that will be first on the list. I do so love wearing my "fancy" jewelry, which consists of earrings I bought when I lived in Austria and a pearl necklace my husband gave me when I was pregnant. Those things don't see the light of day too often, so it's fun to put them on. You look great, by the way! Let's hear it for long black skirts! They've always been my favorite, no matter what the season. That top looks like a stretchy one from "Chico's" which are comfy but inexplicably pricey!

  4. Thanks for the compliments, ladies :)

    It *is* nice to get the "good" jewelry out once in a while. And I do love my long black skirt - it looks good and it's comfy, too! I've had it so long I don't even remember where I got it, lol. I'm pretty sure the top I found is a fairly expensive one - I didn't recognize the brand, but it had one of those higher-quality labels that are usually found in more expensive clothing. The material also has a certain feel to it that makes me think it's fairly good quality. Definitely worth the $3 anyway :) And I think that's probably the first time I've been out all night in high heels and *not* had aching feet afterward - they are quite comfortable so I was very pleased about that!!

  5. Awesome! Love those Rockports. I have flats, because I dress up about as often as you do. You could also check out VV on the first half price day after the holidays for a stretch (comfort factor) black velvet top to match your skirt and make it work as a dress too. Maybe even a cardigan you could wear open over another top or button to wear alone. Well, not entirely alone... nobody needs a booby prize! You really only need one or two pieces to turn your outfit into enough for any number of evenings, and I'm going to bet you could end up with an entire wardrobe of classic "evening worthy" pieces for less than $15 total. My local church thrift shop sells silk chiffon scarves and all kinds of belts for $.25-$.50 each. I have done a metalic print silk scarf tied like a man's tie, but with the knot where a pendant might sit, with an otherwise monochromatic, nondressy outfit, and it cost less than jewellery. A lot of silk scarves are given as expensive gifts to people who don't use them, or don't like the colours or patterns, so dozens of unused high end ones end up in thrift shops. I have so many I use them as hairbands.

  6. Thanks for sharing those great ideas - you're definitely much more fashion savvy than I am :)


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