Weekend Score

It’s getting close to the end of January and stores are filling their clearance racks in the hopes that we’ll help empty the store and make room for new product. Gap is having an extra 50% off sale promo this weekend and I scored two needed tops for less than $13. One is a basic long sleeve tee, and the other I was a bit more excited about finding:

This sweater was hanging on a rack, randomly mixed with other tops. It wasn’t my size and what’s more, it was a Tall (I’m 5’3), but I didn’t see any others so I took it to the fitting room to try on. It was a bit loose and long, and turned out to be a perfectly flattering, mid-thigh length for this shortie. I plan on layering it over leggings or skinny jeans for a casual look. For approximately $7.50 (from an original price of $39.95), I scored a dress/oversized sweater/tunic! What have you scored this weekend?


Hello, I’m new here and I like nice things…

It’s one of the frustrations of living a nobby life on a budget. I love nice things. I enjoy looking at them, touching them in stores, sometimes buying them (if they go on sale for an affordable price), but most of all I can appreciate the quality and craftsmanship that go into beautiful clothes, shoes and accessories. Unfortunately most of those things priced out of my budget range. I know that they are worth their price and that, if I had the income, I would more than likely purchase my fair share of pretty and nice things. But I can’t and I don’t, so I entertain myself with looking at the blogs and Instagram accounts of people who can and do. Can I afford what they model on their blogs? No. Can I still look nice, polished, and, in a word, put-together? Yes. Just because I don’t have the same amount of money to buy pretty and expensive things doesn’t mean I can’t have them (or at least a similar look). It simply means that I have to work harder and spend smarter than people who don’t have to think about such boring things as not overspending and sticking to a budget. Can shopping within limits be fun? Will you be rewarded for all the extra work you have to do to cull deals on luxury items? Can you travel on a budget, skimping on prices but not on luxury comfort? Yes, yes, yes! This week I’ll be sharing my methods for shopping for expensive things without breaking the bank, little tricks and tidbits I’ve learned from years of practice and observation. Who knows, you may even learn to have as much fun with it as I do…

Until next time… Cheers!

Shopping Cheaply (without looking it), part I

One of the biggest challenges of living on a budget is dressing well and having well-crafted clothing/style options without overspending. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that it’s more challenging than simply shopping sales, and simpler than cutting coupons. In other words, it can be done with a little work and know-how, and you can look like you stepped out of Neiman Marcus without ever actually stepping foot in the store. Over the years I’ve developed and honed my philosophy and methods for keeping my wardrobe up to date, with styles that mix affordable brands and expensive designers, inexpensively.

It is important first to differentiate between buying cheap and looking cheap. It is critical to know how to shop within your budget without it showing in your clothing choices. Just because you can’t afford nice doesn’t mean you can’t find and wear it. You just have to be more patient and vigilant than people who have the means to buy what they want when they want it.

1. Know what’s out there. Shop a variety of stores when you have time. Look, try it on, but don’t buy. Just keep a mental note of certain things you like and then bide your time until they hit the sale/clearance rack.

2. If you practice the above then you can approach a sale or the clearance section without feeling overwhelmed. If you’ve had your eye on a certain item, go for that item. Browse if other things catch your eye, but be careful not to overbuy just because it’s a deal. Purposeful shopping is essential to money saving!

3. To keep your clothing fresh and up to date, know what’s coming next in fashion. It doesn’t take much to observe what’s coming down the runways. You have the advantage that what will be popular isn’t popular yet and now is your chance to capitalize on that. For example, a couple of years ago I noticed ankle boots beginning to show up here and there. I bought a pair of gray suede boots on clearance from Target for about $11. Not only was I ready for the trend, but by being aware and looking for it early I was even able to extend the amount of wear I got from them by starting on it sooner than everyone else. They look very similar to these from Madewell, which retail for quite a bit more than what I paid.

4. Know what looks good. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it’s worth the money. You want to buy items that look expensive and belie their real value. This is why I shop higher-end stores and haunt their sale sections. It’s always good to have something that’s well-crafted to pull a style together, whether it’s a piece of jewelry, a scarf, a statement shoe or just a nice pair of pants to off-set that Target t-shirt. That said, expensive clothing is not essential if you have an eye and can pick pieces elsewhere that are similar to designer clothing. It is also easy to duplicate a certain look if you have a clear idea of what styles and cuts are promoted in high-end clothing. Look for similar styles when shopping elsewhere.

to be continued…

an introduction

The Nobby Life is a blog meant to inspire people like me who enjoy the well-lived life but are on a budget. The word nobby means chic, smart, and I like to think of myself as someone who enjoys chic things smartly. In other words, I enjoy nice things and I like getting them at a bargain. Most blogs about travel and fashion are authored by people who already have the means to splurge on the products they promote. I enjoy peeking into such blogs and vicariously experiencing their glamorous content, but personally, it is something that I can’t relate to thanks to my budgetary restrictions – and I suspect I’m not alone. I have often perused blogs in the hopes of finding someone who could show me how to travel, live, and shop well, but within my means. This blog is for anyone who seeks inspiration for finding the beautiful, luxurious life without breaking their bank account in the process. Cheers to the budget! And welcome to my world…