Budget friendly fashion finds from my trip to Cincinnati

Photo: Cincinnati trip Photo source: Google images 4 Beelisty cross stitch reads "Dress to Kill, Fight to Win"

“Dress to kill, fight to win,” cross-stitch by Beelisty

I recently took a trip home to Cincinnati for Bestiepalooza. Beelisty‘s BFF the Gayest Gay was in town from Maine, and I came down from Chicago to visit my Butch Bestie. Of course, the four of us had some good queer fun and found some new fashions in unexpected places.

I have next to no expendable income, but I love clothes and accessories, so if I add a piece to my collection, it must be unique, versatile and inexpensive. Lucky for me, everything I ended up taking back from this trip was under $10 and absolutely fabulous.

First, I’ll start with some street fashion. We were eating lunch at an Indian restaurant when I spotted this style. Outerwear outfit inspiration for days.

Photo: Cincinnati trip Photo source: Google images 1 street fashion at Indian restaurant

We started our sartorial exploration at the Gap Clearance Store in Hebron, Ky., one of my favorite places to shop. Different from the traditional outlet stores that offer slight discounts, the clearance store is where all the returns, damages, overstocks and other items not fit for the traditional store are laid to rest. And it’s all marked down, mostly to next to nothing. I’ve gotten so many things for 49 cents or a buck or two. It’s a lot like thirfting: Prices vary based on the brand and availability, and you have to try on everything to make sure there’s no holes or stains, but you can find some real gems for next to nothing.

Another perk: The Gap Clearance Store is a catchall for all of Gap‘s holdings, including Banana Republic, Old Navy (which carries up to size 30!), Athleta and Piperlime, which sells products from many different retailers and designers. That was how I was able to score a Betsey Johnson cocktail ring and Tinley Road gold earrings for $9.99 (the most expensive thing I bought). I also took home an Old Navy redorange coat in a 4x for $5.

Photo: Cincinnati trip Photo source: Google images 3 Gap Clearance Store Betsey Johnson pink rhinestone cat ring

And the Gayest Gay found this slap bracelet that reads “fabulous” in rainbow bubble letters. Best 49 cents anyone has ever spent.

Photo: Cincinnati trip Photo source: Google images 2 gayest gay at Gap Clearance store fabulous gay slap bracelet

We also popped into DSW to check out the clearance rack. My Butch Bestie moonlights as a drag queen, but they needed some shoes fit for royalty with the budget of a pauper. So, we tried on all the shoes with deep discounts and, of course, took photos.

Photo: Cincinnati trip Photo source: Google images 5 DSW Butch Bestie trying on heels
Photo: Cincinnati trip Photo source: Google images 6 DSW Gayest Gay trying on heels
Photo: Cincinnati trip Photo source: Google images 7 DSW me trying on heels

I cannot walk in heels at all. That’s why I’m holding onto the shoe rack while posing. My Butch Bestie eventually settled on these two pairs of glittery heels, totaling about $40.

Photo: Cincinnati trip Photo source: Google images 8 DSW group photo gay shoe bouquet
And I snapped up these beige pointy toe flats with gold stud detail. At 80 percent off, I couldn’t resist.

Photo: Cincinnati trip Photo source: Google images 15 DSW and Gap Clearance Store haul of studded flats, Betsey Johnson cat ring and Tinley Road gold tone earrings

We also took in some drag at The Cabaret, the upstairs theater at Below Zero Lounge. I wore my Sealed With A Kiss Designs vintage inspired Jessica dress paired with my Domino Dollhouse spike headband. I grabbed a flower off the tables in the VIP section and added it to my hair.

Photo: Cincinnati trip Photo source: Google images 9 Below Zero The Cabaret drag show group photo
Photo: Cincinnati trip Photo source: Google images 10 Below Zero The Cabaret drag show selfie
And RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Mystique Summers served up Missy Elliott realness.

Photo: Cincinnati trip Photo source: Google images 11 Below Zero The Cabaret drag show Mystique Summers serving Missy Elliot realness

I also picked up some nail polish with skinny brushes at the drug store for 75 cents each. I’ve been wanting to try some new nail designs, but it’s hard without the right tools. I used these to create the silver, blue and pink chevron pattern below, a nail art ode to Missoni.

Photo: Cincinnati trip Photo source: Google images 16 nail polish with small brushes for nail art from Meijer

Photo: Cincinnati trip Photo source: Google images 17 nail polish with small brushes for nail art from Meijer used to make pink, blue and silver chevron nails

We also spent a lot of time with Beelisty’s cats Geraldine Ferraro and Hilary Clinton. We put a bow tie collar on these fashionable felines and took them on walks around the building on a leash.

Photo: Cincinnati trip Photo source: Google images 13 Beelisty's cats Geraldine in a bow tie crouching

Photo: Cincinnati trip Photo source: Google images 14 Beelisty's cats Geraldine in a bow tie lying on the ground

Photo: Cincinnati trip Photo source: Google images 15 Beelisty's cats Hilary Clinton in a bow tie

Photo: Cincinnati trip Photo source: Google images 15 Beelisty's cats Butch Bestie walks Hilary Clinton on a leash

And before I left, I perused Beelisty’s hand-me-downs, scoring a few new pieces for my wardrobe, including this sweater vest:

Photo: Cincinnati trip Photo source: Google images 18 Beelisty hand me down of navy, red and gray argyle sweater vest

The full set from my Cincinnati trip is on the Plump Pinup Life & Style Facebook page.

Follow me on Instagram for my latest raw photos from the wild.

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