Thrifty Wife, Hearty Life | Budget Evening Wear

Last Saturday, as many of you are already aware, my husband and I attended “The Butterfly Awards” – an award ceremony for those connected to infant loss and an event that was strictly “black tie” !!
WP_20151010_14_46_23_ProI have been excited for the dress code for quite some time and wondered what the heck I was going to wear for it?! I do love to dress up, love to be a little glam and to feel all posho, but the one problem was that I do not own Evening wear and had no idea where I could get something lovely and modest too for on a budget – You see, I haven’t been to a ball or such event since before we had kids (not that any of those dresses are still around or would even fit me now with my mummy curves) and so literally had nothing appropriate, not even a suitable dress to up-cycle.

Like I said, I knew I wanted long, elegant, modest on top, possible sparkles and of course BUDGET FRIENDLY – as a result of my frugality, I am here this week showing you how I ticked all of those boxes and looked like Royalty for just a measly £3.50!!!!
Hearty LifeSo Yes, you read that right – the outfit I wore cost me £3.50 – yes really…3 pounds and fifty pennies! Not really breaking the bank is it? A big mac meal costs more and this can be worn again.

I knew from the start that I wouldn’t buy anything expensive and wanted to, if I was spending money, to buy something I was sure to wear again, so I went on a search with my friend around the charity shops (of course) the week before (last minute) with the thought that they might have nice dresses out as we approach the party season.

The 1st shop was the Salvation Army and also known for being super bargainous…as I went to buy a necklace Id found for £1, a gorgeous blue vintage top caught my eye – it was heavily beaded, modest and sparkly…it was perfection with the added bonus it was my size and only £3.50. As I looked at It, hoping I had a reason to wear it, I figured it would look good over a simple Navy maxi dress (jersey) that I already owned, then I thought “oooooo if I add some heels and do my hair…BOOOM evening wear on a budget” and as its a top, I will most definitely wear it again with Skinny jeans/trousers or skirts for a party or posh dinner do. More than sufficient reasons to part with the cash and so made the purchase, and I am actually in love with it!
WP_20151007_15_12_30_Pro I was surprised at how amazing it actually did look together, how many people complimented me and how comfy I was for the night. I paired it with some already owned silver heels and was off!
This has to have been the bargain of the year (so far) and with my sister in laws boyf taking 10 minutes to do an amazing halo braid, a pair of sparkly earrings for good measure, well I simply looked the business with very little expense!
budget eveningWhat charity shop finds have you had recently that saved you a tonne of cash? Dare you  or can you do evening wear on a budget this Christmas? 


  1. Anna Conway
    October 16, 2015 / 8:09 am

    I once got a mamas and papas pliko pushchair for £5!! Had been used once and I used it for 3 more kids 🙂 I love charity shops!

    • October 16, 2015 / 11:54 am

      Oh my that is a bargain – check you! I wish I found stuff that useful haha x

  2. October 16, 2015 / 1:53 pm

    Mary, you look amazing! When I saw these photos on instagram I would never have known that wasn’t a proper ball gown, I cannot believe it was only £3.50! What a great find, I want to come charity shop hunting with you 🙂 xx

  3. October 16, 2015 / 2:28 pm

    wow! I love a bargain but I’m not sure I’ve ever gotten one that good! It makes me want to hit the charity shops! You look lovely!

  4. October 16, 2015 / 6:43 pm

    I LOVE all your thrifty posts Mary. You looked absolutely stunning for the ball, and I didn’t realise it was a top over a dress. Charity Shopping is just ace as you never know what you are going to find. Hubby got 2 pairs of Adidas running shoes a while ago for £4.00 each. Brand new and when I looked online they were worth £80 a pair !!!! xx

  5. Esther
    October 17, 2015 / 2:18 pm

    You looked lovely Mary. Congratulations on the well deserved nomination – your blog is brilliant and very inspirational. Would love to get our girls together sometime for a play date xx

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