Calgary Journal living editors explore new and used in their hunt for staple fashion items

Some like it new.

Danielle has always been a “retail” shopper and purchases her clothes new. A student who works part-time, she usually tries to save up and splurge on herself from time to time. Danielle only spends the big bucks on staple wardrobe pieces. She also keeps her eyes open for large clearance sales once or twice a year.

Some like it used.

Tiffany hasn’t purchased anything new in years. A full-time student and young mom, she can’t always afford to keep up with every trend that the fashion industry deems essential. But she’s skilled at staying current by sourcing clothes on a budget in Calgary’s consignment and thrift stores.

Honouring the LBD

The little black dress seems to be the wardrobe staple that gets all the praise. It’s that one sought out item that never goes out of style, and is touted as a must have for every woman’s closet. The LBD comes in many different styles, and can be designed to fit to any body type. It can go from sophisticated daytime to a glammed up evening look in just moments — with the right accessorizing of course.

The LBD rose to popularity in the 1920s, when starlets and fashion icons took the basic black dress from drab to iconic. This is one piece worth the investment, as its versatility puts it to good use in almost any situation. Couture and designer dresses sell for anywhere from around $300 to sky’s the limit — depending on the quality of the fabric and the intricacy of the design.

This edition of #Trends2ways focused on finding high quality dresses. As a result, Tiffany’s consignment finds were priced higher than Danielle’s new purchases. The LBD is available new and used for as little as $40. But we also wanted to show that high-end pieces are well worth tracking down in consignment stores, such as Vespucci’s in southwest Calgary.

Danielle’s retail chic

Ritz on a budget

This LBD is a cute and casual option and has quickly become one of my favourites for any occasion. I bought this adorable t-shirt dress from Topshop for about $80. It is extremely comfortable and easy to wear. Made of polyester and elastin, it’s easy to wash. It fits on the smaller side so I recommend going up a size.

Photo by Danielle Harder

This knit dress by Alexander Wang was priced for $378, which is lofty until you consider that similar dresses retail for around $800. The dress itself is gorgeous and is worth the investment because it was in pristine condition and was perfectly seamed. This dress is certainly an investment, but one to see you through many decades of varying trends.

Photo by Danielle Harder

I absolutely adore this LBD from BCBGeneration. This dress was my go-to during wedding season and was so comfortable to wear from day to night. The tiered look is slimming and features lace cutouts and a keyhole back. Lightweight, this 100 per cent polyester dress is machine washable and was $130.

Photo by Danielle Harder

I don’t believe in love at first sight, but fell in love with this stunning black knit Lida Baday turtleneck dress. It felt so comfortable, yet the comfort factor didn’t stop it from looking luxurious. The dress was priced at $248, which again may seem hefty, but when you compare to the retail price of around $700, it becomes a bargain. This is definitely worth checking out if you want a designer LBD on a budget.

Photo by Danielle Harder

Other affordable LBD options are a click away.

Disclaimer: We do not endorse the retail outlets mentioned nor any of their products. We don’t accept freebies, and our opinions are our own.

Thumbnail photo courtesy of Pixabay user: Kaz