Thursday, May 07, 2009

Recession Challenge: $20 Outfit

The monthly Recession Challenge is back! I was inspired by Sally Jane’s post A Girl, A Thrift Store, & Twenty Bucks. This May, let’s see you put together an outfit for $20 (US).

This doesn’t necessarily mean shopping at a secondhand store. Londyn told me that she has been finding thrift store prices at the department stores lately (and she haunts Macy’s and Dillard’s – not exactly discount merchandisers). In fact, it doesn’t mean shopping at all. If you can put together an outfit made up of items that you spent no more than $20 on, it counts. And there are always free sources of clothing: your friend's castoffs, swapped items, or even something scrounged from the trash.

What does an outfit include? Minimum of a top and bottom (or one piece like jumpsuit or dress) and shoes. If you can squeeze a purse or jewelry out of your $20 allotment, more power to you!

For myself, the challenge will be the shoes. I never seem to find thrift store shoes I like or in my size and even a pair from Payless can blow the entire $20. I suppose a pair of $2 flip-flops would work...but that almost seems like cheating.

As you complete the challenge, either leave me a comment or send me an email. If you blog about your outfit, send me the link. If you’re not a blogger, feel free to send a picture and/or description and I’ll include it in a final round-up. Please note that this isn’t a contest – I’d like everyone to share their results for inspiration, not competition.

Good hunting!

44 comments:

katie said...

ooh! I really want to try this!

Ella said...

I was going to do something so similar! I'll definitely give it a shot. :-)

Kaylyn said...

Im in! Sounds easy to me now, but I'm sure I'll have problems when I actually try to implement it. I'm excited to see the results!

natasha said...
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fashion1psychology said...

This is a great, i already have one in mind. And i look great..

sango said...
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Tamia said...

Ooh, this should be fun! And it gives me a good excuse to hightail it to Goodwill...

ohhoneyno said...

i'm in! in fact, i'm going to try and see if i can do a full work week of $20 and under outfits. there are LOTS of thrifted goodies in my closet...

Kari said...

What an awesome challenge! I will try to play but I'm not sure if I can make it work.

Alas, I am a terrible thrifter. I rarely find anything that works & am not patient enough to thrift often, so when I find something I fit into, I get so excited that I buy it even if it's totally wrong. I've got rid of all of my former thrift finds.

Looks like I'll have to go with my "freebie" (hand-me-down) items for this one. Tricky!

Do gifts (bought new) count, or is that kind of cheating?

Ricky said...
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Laura said...

Definitely want to give this one a try, though I'm not sure how successful I'll be since I have no shoes under $20, that's for darn sure. Might have to go the "cheater" route and get a pair of $2 flip flops!

Kasmira said...

Kari - I'll let you decide! Maybe you could mix something gifted with something bargain shopped?

Candycane said...

Sounds a great idea, I too am not sure about the shoes bit - can they be expensive but gifted??

Jess said...

Man, I am shamed. I don't even know if I could do a $50 challenge! I just need to shop more often so I can find better deals, right? :)

Confession: I have never thrifted. Ever. Not even for a Halloween costume. Maybe I should start- I could use some interesting new accessories!

Struggler said...

I am affectionately code-naming this the
Dudley Moore challenge !
Not at all sure I can pull this off, but I'm looking forward to seeing what all you creative wonderwomen achieve!

Dapple said...

This will be fun to watch! Sadly, the shoes will keep me out of the running. At a size 7EE shoes that cheap simply do not exist. My entire little toe hangs over cheap flip flops and regular wide width shoes leave me think Cinderella's step sisters! Shame though, since i always see the cutest shoes in thrift and consignment shops!

KL said...

Funny, I often mentally tabulate my outfit cost because the frequent examples in the magazines always cause me to think how I could do that SOOOOO much cheaper.

Shoes are the big downfall for me as well because I'm not a big shoe thrifter...but I have come up with an outfit I plan to wear this weekend.

And I found a few in my wardroberemix photos from the past year that meet the bill:
CasualWorkGoing Out

hannahdrewdash said...

This is a good challenge for me,too. In 1984 I thrifted a wool and fur skirt suit for $3.10 that I still wear today. I wear it with a $5 garage sale handbag. My problem will be the shoes. I wear 10AA.

Hannahdrewdash

Deborah-lee said...

This sounds like a load of fun.

What a shame though, I'll have to steal shoes or something to particpate!! *LOL*

It's got colder hear and all I want to do is wear my boots.

The only consession is that $20 US is a lot more in Aussie dollars. Woohoo.. for once it counts in my favour!

Deborah-lee said...

Oh, quick question. What about a belt that came with another outfit?
Would that count as a freebie?

If you make something, eg, a necklace, do you count that as a free since you didn't buy it... or do you count the cost of making it?
(I feel a desparate need to cheat!!)

Charlotte Sometimes said...

I worked in a charity shop for 2 years so I should be able to pull this off.

Cat said...

I'm in! Shoes will DEFINITELY be the challenge.

Cat said...

Question regarding shoes: Do gifts count? I've received several brand new pairs of shoes from my mother, but I know they're more than $20.

KL said...

My first outfit deliberately planned to meet the $20 limit can be found here. I was actually able to include a purse, earrings and a necklace. Not likely to happen again!

theprettyyear.com said...

Great challenge-- I'm in! Most of my outfits are less than $50 and virtually all under $100, so I was sure if I went back in my blog, I'd find one under $20. No dice. I've got a bunch of $5-10 dresses, this skirt was $2.50, and these pants were $6... This complete outfit was just $38.50, but nothing under $20. I think my bigger issue is shoes! I've gotten great deals, but the cheapest pair I can think of off the top of my head is this one for $12. I'll do my best!

theprettyyear.com said...

Oops! I meant this pair.

Deborah-lee said...

I'm done!

I actually haven't worn my outfit yet. It's almost winter here so I'm not ready for a spring outfit.

I would have needed a lot more than $20 to include a coat and a pair of tights! *LOL*

Deborah-lee said...

Oops the direct link is http://deborah-lee.blogspot.com/2009/05/recession-challenge-20-outfit.html

I also forgot to say that I took the same dress and did different accessories/shoes with it to create two different looks under $20

Otherwise my blog is http://deborah-lee.blogspot.com :) Thanks for setting up this challenge Kasmira!

Kasmira said...

Anything you didn't pay for (gift or scrounged for the garbage) is free!

Kasmira said...

And if you made a piece of your outfit, just try to estimate the cost of materials.

Struggler said...

OK, this was painfully, painfully hard and I feel guilty at using a 'bought-with-a-gift-card' item.
But here it is:
http://stylestruggler.blogspot.com/2009/05/struggling-with-20-challenge.html
I'll enjoy seeing how others got on!

Missy said...

Here's my outfit, I actually managed to do it for under 10.00(including the shoes)
http://imafashionprincess.blogspot.com/2009/05/recession-challange.html

Tina said...

I am going to try to make it an entire week. Wish me luck!

Here is my Monday outfit http://tminustplus.blogspot.com/2009/05/thanks-for-all-stuff-grandma.html

Would you prefer that I email you the pictures rather than just posting the links here?

Your Frugal Friend, Niki said...

Fab idea! I love it!

:)

Charlotte Sometimes said...

Hiya, pop over and have a look at my recession busting outfits. Tomorrow I will wear a completely FREE outfit!

http://wardrobeadventures.blogspot.com/

Your Frugal Friend, Niki said...

This is a cool, cool idea. I am enjoying all the links.

:)

KL said...

Another outfit that meets the challenge. I'm planning to wear another one today and then have challenged myself to come up with an outfit that cost less than $20 without using freebies or thrift finds. We'll see how that goes.

ohhoneyno said...

i left a comment in your latest post, but i figure i should put it here too, so it's easier to keep everyone's entries together! a week of $20 or less outfits is here:

http://ohhoneyno.wordpress.com/2009/05/15/the-20-outfit-challenge/

:)

KL said...

One more outfit for the challenge.

KL said...

I have put all my Recession Challenge outfits in a set on my flickr account. I will add any more I do, but I'm ready to use more of my clothes. I did manage one outfit without using any thrifted or free clothing or shoes.

Thanks for coming up with the challenge idea and thanks to everyone who provided inspiration and encouragement with their outfits!

hypertigur said...

I'm a real frugal shopper so most of my outfits are in that range or just a tad bit higher(average is about 30 including accessories, unless I'm wearing a charm bracelet or long necklace heh). Here's the one that like the most recently, check it out:

http://emilys-box-of-fun.blogspot.com/2009/05/orangey-goodness.html

Tho I am cheating in a way. My outfits aren't as complex and nice as yours and it's hot, so not jacket necessary.

webmaster said...
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hannahdrewdash said...

I know it is late, but I am still trying. I am still looking for 10AA shoes. I have to special order most of my shoes. They all cost more than $50. The usual price is about $90 and NEVER on sale or at thrift stores. This is a good challenge for me. I WILL not give up. I shall send photos or post on my blog when I find those $ 11.90 or less shoes.

theprettyyear said...

I finally did it! Whew, that was tougher than I thought it would be!