Looks aren’t everything, but it can’t hurt to present a good image, especially when you’re in the dating scene. Before you go on that first magical date, you need to be ready for it, financially and physically. It’s easy to look fabulous when you have an equally fabulous budget to work with. If you’re not that lucky, or just want a new outfit for the date, consider these cost-effective tips.
Nifty and Thrifty
Take a tip from Seattle hip-hop duo Macklemore & Lewis, whose ode to second-hand style, “Thrift Shop” recently reached one million downloads. The Macklemore part of the twosome, born Ben Haggerty, tells USA Today of his last great thrift-shop bargain, “It’s a kind of bootleg-Chanel warm-up jacket that’s black, gold and white. I would definitely venture to stay that it was owned by a large woman at some point.”
Get creative and think layers. Maybe that shirt you like has a stain on the sleeve, but it has a great collar for wearing under a sweater.
You can snag a designer label at an off-the-rack price. Naturally, you’ll want to examine garments closely for stains, rips or missing buttons and make sure zippers work easily. Check washing instructions. That $3 silk blouse might be a steal, but if you have to dry clean it repeatedly, that adds to the real price.
You might not be in the market for a warm-up jacket, but you can find bargains on sweaters, shoes and the like at online auction sites such as eBay, although you’re buying them sight unseen. You can ask the seller questions, like “Can you send me a picture of the item?” or “Do the pants fit more like Abercrombie or like Old Navy?” before you hit the “buy” button to make sure you score big with a small price tag.
You want to be stable, independent and strong when you meet Mr. or Ms. Right. And you may think there are no options for you to get a car, but there are! If you find yourself with bad credit, look at car loans for bad credit, Kelly Blue Book for true value information and certified used car dealerships or private parties to get the most for your dollar. Be sure to have the vehicle checked out by a 3rd party mechanic before signing the line that is dotted or you could end up spending more than you bargained for in the long run.
Hit up the jewelry spots on eBay, Goodwill and other consignment stores. There are hidden gems that may finish the outfit with that perfect necklace or ring. Consider jewelry the same way you would clothing. Check for hard-to-open fasteners and broken clasps. You don’t want that 14K gold necklace falling into your soup on that first date.
Now, choosing the outfit, that’s up to you. Wear something you’ll feel comfortable in all night long and wear what complements the date. If you’re going rock climbing, wear that cute black dress, or that suit, on a different, more fancy date.