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Hi! Someone sent me a note today in response to my site updates and passed along a little request. She asked if I could share a roundup once a month of pieces that are under $300.

“The economy is taking a toll on many of us, and rather than stepping back entirely, I’d love to see what you’re finding that best suit this season of financial challenges 🤍🤍🤍 just food for thought! thanks so much, Ashley!!”

First, I really appreciate hearing from you and sending ideas my way, please don’t hesitate! I was going to share her note on stories and respond so everyone could read, but felt this might be better suited for a quick post. When I write about these kinds of things on here, I hope you can look at it as friends sitting down to dinner and just being real and honest with each other. I would never want to offend or upset anyone! So, maybe keep that in mind, as I know the topic of fashion consumption can be a slippery slope.

It’s actually been something on my mind so I’m excited to open up on my perspective with this topic.

Firstly, sharing a wider range of price points is a huge goal of mine in 2023. As you might have read, I had a hectic year and a lot of what I shared was my bigger work partnerships (Net-A-Porter and Mytheresa) where the selection is considered luxury and price points are higher. Having more time in my weekdays now will give me the opportunity to share similar items at different price points. I also have help now! So I think overall you will be seeing more variety.

I also have a couple of thoughts for when I do share items with a tall order price tag. So, in my twenties, I could not afford a Toteme coat. If you’re a twenty something and killing it at work and have done so—that’s amazing! Plain and simple, that just wasn’t in my cards with a much smaller salary while working at a startup. I have always been obsessed with fashion and was apparently born with eyes bigger than my bank. This goes for homewares, too. Literally I could walk into a marble yard and immediately lock eyes on the slab I want and it will end up being the most expensive thing in the room. Blessing and a curse? That said! When I wasn’t in a place to fork over a rent check for a jacket, I would train my eye to find something similar. I still do this!

Quick tip: Start a secret Pinterest board (or public, I am apparently private AF with my internet hoarding and notepad jots) and save DREAM pieces. Only the ones you know you 100% want. Pinterest algorithm is insane and that is one way you could definitely find something else… or… you continue to see it on that board and you start throwing feelers out on eBay, Vestaire, Depop, etc. I swear to you, some of my most FAVORITE things I bought in my late twenties when I constantly stalked eBay and would one day strike gold! One example, I wanted this studded Isabel Marant denim jacket that was out of stock for awhile, nowhere to be found. For months I would check those secondhand spots and one day I saw it on eBay. I marked my calendar to bid, and as an eBay rookie, I lost out on the jacket at the last second. I ended up finding another one on Depop a few weeks later, for even cheaper! I swear, this jacket will never lose my grips because of what I went through to get her. It honestly makes it that much more rewarding in my opinion.

*Shameless plug / proud mom moment: my Studio members are literal experts at finding similar items for less or second hand options. Always see things popping up on our forum, they really impress me TBH / equally make me feel ridiculous sometimes for paying full price.

Also, I kind of consider myself as fashion quality control! Over the years when I do closet clean outs, I kept donating pieces from Zara and Mango, etc. I have had a very small closet space the last couple of homes, and so that’s helped me to really hone into what I love. Nicer, quality, and secondhand designer pieces I’ve collected over the years. When you do shop at fast fashion spots, just check fabric… sometimes you can win.

Okay, I digress-ish. Second thought about the scary price tags I share sometimes. This is where I am really breaking it down for you. I know that many of you get the gist of my job, but for those who haven’t thought about it much, this might ease your mind?

In working with brands, they will occasionally gift you pieces. For instance. I work with a retailer, where part of my fee is a gift card baked in each month. I take a lower rate and they supplement that with the gifting budget. That way, I can feature products for our agreed upon posts. I know this is probably obvious, but I think a reminder never hurts! I never want to make anyone feel bad or like they have to have all these things to fit in or feel good. I am here to share beautiful pieces that I believe in! Take my closet with a grain of salt.

My last rambling. I know I am super lucky to have these work perks, I never take them for granted. As a girl who grew up with not a lot of money and quite honestly lived paycheck to paycheck through my early twenties, it’s a dream to collect such beautiful, lifelong things. As silly (materialistic) as it sounds, the little girl in me who lived for my mom’s Vogue catalog arrivals always hoped for a closet like the one I have now.

I truly believe in collecting and investing when you can, and being creative with your own personal budget.

Lots of fun fashion frivolity to be had this coming year… $300 and under coming right up xo

thoughts, ideas, questions...

Love everything about this Ashley — your thoughts on more mindful consumerism, your reminder about the perks of your job, and your commitment to showing a range of price points going forward to cater to all your readers. Amazing, and very appreciated. X

So happy to hear it! Thank you for reading—and happy holidays!

Thank you for this honest and refreshing post. Sometimes I feel like I’m in an endless rabbit hole of consumerism that makes me feel an intense mixture of anxiety and guilt. Your understanding of your readers reminds us of why we come to this wonderful and safe space! Thank you for sharing your inspiring content and also keeping it real! Xo

I love this post! Hearing your perspective, background, personal experience is so helpful for those of us who can’t (or won’t) spend a lot of money on our wardrobes but still want to look classic, pulled together, etc. You’re the best!

Aw thank you, Shar! Appreciate it. Happy holidays!

Thank you for this post! I’ve worked at eBay for 8 years and have followed you for longer and am such a big fan of saving up for dream pieces and scoring them for a fraction of the cost. Thank you for always being an eBay supporter. 🙂

xoxo