We’ve all been there: you’re in your favorite store and you’ve just found the perfect sweater. It’s the right cut, color, and brand. It’s also way out of your budget. Do not worry budget fashionista, there is hope. Armed with a little bit of ingenuity, it’s easy to look great while still sticking to that budget.
Tip 1: Add Accessories to Classic Pieces
Trendy clothes are exciting, but they can have a negative effect on your bank balance. Rather than wasting money on expensive pieces that are going to be out of style next month, focus on classic wardrobe pieces that will look great for a long time. Not only will you look back at old pictures of yourself with a smile, but you’ll also save money by keeping these high-quality pieces in your closet longer. Add accessories to these pieces to make them pop.
Tip 2: Hit the Thrift Store for Shoes
Women in your hometown are taking great shoes to the thrift store. They have closets full of shoes and will often send expensive pairs to be donated to make room for their collection. All you have to do is jump in and find these high-quality, sometimes designer, shoes just waiting to be picked up!
Tip 3: Upcycle
When the trendy accessories and shoes become a bit stale, or when you need to breathe just a little bit of extra life into those thrift store shoes, it’s time to upcycle!
Get in on the embellished sunglasses trend and turn some plastic trinkets and hot glue into some trendy shades. If you’re really feeling crafty, take some spray paint to your shoes and really have some fun.
Tip 4: Use Those Discounts
Do not forget about the simple art of figuring out who will give you a discount. Students can find dozens of stores willing to give them discounts just for showing their ID, but students aren’t the only people who can get discounts. Seniors, loyalty card members, and email list subscribers are also prime candidates to get nice percentages off of their purchases just because they remember to ask. You can even set up an email account separate from your personal one to use to sign up for coupon offers for the stores you really love.
Tip 5: Raid Your Boyfriend’s Closet
This tip is especially helpful if your boyfriend has a few flannel or button up shirts lying around. Don’t buy an oversized flannel shirt when there is a free one sitting right there. His button up shirt might also look good as a long jacket over your outfit. Don’t be afraid to experiment!
Tip 6: Shop in More Expensive Stores
This may seem counterintuitive but stick with me. Inexpensive stores run very close to their bottom line. Any discounts you see in these locations are likely to be underwhelming and on products you aren’t excited about. If you shop in more expensive locations and stick to the clearance racks, you are far more likely to find higher quality merchandise at even better prices. Higher end locations can afford to practically give away their clearance items, sometimes moving them out before the season is even over so they can make room for the next big thing in fashion.
Bonus Tip: Use Your Checkbook
This little life hack can really save you money in the long run. The cards in your wallet cost you interest, and the companies benefit when you lose track of how much you’re spending. You could even try ordering checks online for a discount on those, too! Using your trusty checkbook to pay for items can help you pay for things without having to add interest—and you’ve always got a record of your purchases handy.
So what are you waiting for? Use these tips to expand your fashion horizons without deflating your bank account!