What to Wear + Where | A Little Trick with Lace

Confessions of an Opportunist Shopper

It is safe to say there is not a single full-priced item in my closet. I like to think I am frugal about my purchases but I have to admit that the thrill of the chase of a good deal is probably the more truthful reason why my closet is this way.

But being so committed to a bargain has its drawbacks. Especially, when you are shopping for a specific occasion (such as, your boss' wedding). And attending a work/friend/boss event can pose quite the conundrum too - you want to look good without over-doing it while still feeling beautiful and confident. I did not think I had that in my closet. So, I set out to find something new without having to compromise my budget.

Enter bargain of the year: the $11.95 dress

You may wonder, huh? There are no such dresses unless you are shopping at Goodwill. Well, this is not a Goodwill find (even though I am sure they have just as many treasures). It is Banana Republic, instead. Before you think to yourself that this dress cannot look good for this much money, let me show you: 

So what was the trick that made this possible? Well, first, let's talk about that price tag. The dress was originally a healthy $145. It had been reduced several times and it had reached a Final Sale price of $24.99. And... Banana Republic had one of their amazing sales of 60% off all sale items. And that is how you get to paying $11 for a well crafted classic black dress. Minor snag though?

My frame of 5'8" is the last thing you would call petite... So what is one to do? Well, first, you definitely snag the dress and think about it later. But even as I was trying it on at the store, I thought of this ... what if I lengthened the dress with some lace? That way, I'd accomplish two things: first, that would make the length more appropriate, and second, it would add something to make a plain dress look not-so-plain. Disclaimer here: this tactic will not necessarily work every time. When evaluating whether to go for a petite size instead of regular, you have to be sure the piece hugs you in the right spots...

Back to this beauty of a dress: I had an old Zara skirt that I had hardly ever worn with some pretty lace on it. So without even thinking about it twice, I cut the lace right off and attached it to the bottom of the dress. I sewed it on the inside and you could never tell this was not part of the original design. To complete the outfit, I thought I should go for a more classic shape of a shoe (to play nicely with the rather tight dress) with an interesting pattern and a classic clutch:

So what makes one an opportunistic shopper?

1. Being patient: it may take a bit longer to find a good deal but it will be worth it in the end.

2. Being creative: having some tricks up your sleeve (some examples include this lace trick, using belts, dying with new colors, etc.)

3. Not overlooking the less than perfect items: you never know, maybe a salvageable treasure is right in there!

Posted on February 21, 2015 and filed under What to Wear + Where.