Fashion is ever-changing, much like the weather...especially in the southern United States.
Living in the South means living with the fact that in August, 12:00 noon could see temps of 101 with 93% humidity, and 9:00 PM on the same day could see 68 with thunderstorms/tornadoes abound. For those of us who love Spring (and who doesn't?), a typical week in March could meet you with an ice storm that cripples your entire city with temps of -12, then bouncing up to sunny skies and mid 50s temperatures one week later. The short story here is that living in the southern US is basically living the plot of The Day After Tomorrow. Such bipolar weather means building an ecclectic wardrobe that can fit any drastic situation the weather may hurl at you, and being very, very prepared for any and all scenarios.
Another concern of mine while building an ecclectic any-and-all-weatherproof wardrobe is cost. I've never believed that to look good, one must take the words of the rapper Future literally and do unspeakable acts to some commas. As such, I try to be as frugal as possible with my clothing purchases, and I feel I've amassed a wardrobe that is both respectable in style, as well as in price.
Today, we'll go through some examples of how to conquer some of that crazy, erratic weather, while lending some helpful tips on how not to break the bank in doing so.
For me, layering is my favorite aspect of fashion. It gives you the opportunity to put together into one outfit multiple pieces of clothing that could each serve as a staple piece individually. As such, fall/winter are absolutely my favorite time of the year. However, temperatures that merit layering aren't always commonplace in the South. So, meet my most staple piece of clothing in my entire wardrobe: your basic Levi's denim jacket. Levi's has been one of the largest denim distributors for over a century, and owning one of their flagship denim jackets is basically a pre-requisite for living in Nashville, TN. I can rock this jacket on any given spring or summer day and never be too hot as denim is a very breathable fabric. I often wear this jacket paired with a bright, vibrant tie to brighten up the office and match the bright, vibrant sunny weather; or I can choose to match it with a thick shawl sweater and a flannel button-up to help combat the cold on days when icicles are hanging from every surface. It is literally a say-all/end-all piece for me, and I never cease to be amazed the number of outfits that pair perfectly with a good denim jacket. I thrifted mine, but they can also be found in basically any general retailer in the country for around $60, which is a mere price to pay considering this piece will hold up for decades and will give you an endless amount of options.
Another of my favorite pieces is an interesting tie. I am an avid thrift shopper, and I truly believe this is the only way to purchase ties. If you visit your local Goodwill only once a month, there will no doubt be an endless supply of colorful, interesting, well-crafted ties that are begging to be paired with an endless amount outfits, and most of them can be purchased for $3 or less. I've seen high-end fashion retailers sell ties for $100 or more, and every time I see this, I'm in disbelief. Here are a few different options of some thrifted ties that I've gotten endless compliments on, as proof that expensive ≠ worthy of wear.
Of course, summer weather in Nashville this year has been especially brutal, and I have discovered my affinity for going tie-less with a blazer. To stay stylish while battling high, high temps, I prefer to match up some of my short-sleeve shirts with fun prints paired underneath a thrifted blazer. FYI: Thrifting a good-condition blazer will never cost more than $40, and getting it tailored shouldn't cost more than $100 at the absolute most, and you still come out far, far cheaper than buying one from most retailers.
Hopefully, these tips will help you out with some weather-related issues, and even moreso, will help you balance your wardrobe to align even better with your budget!
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