5 Fashion Tips for a Budget Conscious Shopaholic

5 Fashion Tips for a Budget Conscious Shopaholic

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The weather is finally getting warmer, so those tank tops, shorts, and sundresses I’ve been eyeing can finally find their way into my closet. Despite my excitement about this season’s trends, I’ve been trying to be better about my shopping budget (read: drastically limiting it), so I need to be strategic about my approach to spring and summer shopping trips.

You may not be able to score a bargain as big as Stef’s (check out the shoes above!) but, I’ve tapped some of the greatest fashionistas and competitive shoppers I know for their advice on finding great deals.

Top 5 tips for budget-friendly shopping this season:

1. Track down the savings: Sign up for your favorite shops’ email newsletters to be alerted to the latest sales. If you’re nervous it will tempt you to shop, send them to a secondary email address so you can go in only when you need something.

2. Join the flash sale sites: Love designer looks but hate the stress designer price points put on your budget? Flash sale sites are your best bet. I love visiting them for inspiration on the latest trends before I proceed to Tip # 3 – and have successfully picked up a few pieces from them when the price is really right. Broke Girls’ Guide updates their deal feed daily to sum up the latest sales without forcing you to browse.

3. Look for alternatives: Ever picked something up for full-price at one of your favorite shops, only to see the girl in the office next to you with the exact look from another store? I have too. Stores like Target, JC Penny, Old Navy, Kohls, and more do a great job offering on-trend pieces at very budget-friendly prices. The Budget Babe is my go-to for finding these swaps!

4. Don’t forget thrift stores: Buying second-hand, from a vintage shop, flea market or yard sale, is a great way to make the most of your budget. And since fashion is endlessly ‘borrowing’ from the past, it’s easy to add a retro piece to an outfit and make it look thoroughly modern.

5. Make a list – and stick to it: My friend Kim has seasonal shopping down to an art. At the beginning of every season, she creates a list of the items that catch her eye. Then, she waits – for a great sale or until she loses her desire for it. Say goodbye to impulse shopping!

Bonus Tip: Solve the shipping conundrum! Sometimes online shopping gets tricky when you’re not home to meet the delivery person when you’re package arrives. New services are popping up — like ShopRunner and Amazon’s locker — that have pickup locations where you can send your items. Check to see if they have lockers in your hometown.

As the temperatures continue to creep up, the outlook for my closet and my wallet making it out alive are looking better. Can’t wait to show off my new items!

we heartsters – how do you stay on-trend and on-budget?

Photo: we heart this

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14 thoughts on “5 Fashion Tips for a Budget Conscious Shopaholic”

  1. My budget for clothing/fashion has also, drastically reduced, since having children. I always tell friends who ask me how I find such great scores at the thrift store, “You can’t go in the secondhand shop with anything too specific in mind. Rather, go in, with an open mind, and several ideas”. For example: cotton, flowing, hippie sundresses, little black dress, or bright cardigan, are all excellent places to start. That way you don’t get too overwhelmed and give up after a few minutes, perusing through items that smell like mothballs! Those gray open toe shoes Stef found are phenomenal. Now I want to go thrift shopping! Thanks for the other tips – I never would have thought of making a list at the beg. of each season of pieces to look out for.

  2. Excellent tips! I am not ashamed to say that like 70% of what I wear on a daily basis comes from Target. Last week, I picked up a Prabal Gurung dress on clearance ($29 bucks), plus the perfect pair of chartreuse Gurung ankle sandals that match perfectly with the dress. The designer collabs are wonderful, but much of Target’s regular in-house brands are on-point, too. And you can save so much when things go into clearance mode! Nude suede high-top sneaks with silver studs for ten bucks? I’m in.

    1. Agreed @amity – Target is a GREAT place to stay fashionable without breaking the bank. The designer collabs are kind of driving me nuts though; I want everything!!!

  3. Outstanding tips!! My addition would be that when money is tight and you want to shop for the season just add a few inexpensive accessories to enhance the basics in your wardrobe. If I can’t buy a whole new seasonal wardrobe I find that a new necklace or scarf can really change up what I already have. TJ MAXX is my go to for unique accessories!

  4. Places like Crossroads Exchange and Buffalo Exchange have great prices too – a little more than thrift shops but still really reasonable! And they tend to be pretty discerning about what they take so it’s usually in good shape!

    1. Nice suggestion @heather – I love both Crossroads Exchange and Buffalo Exchange. They have a nice mixture of the pros of thrift stores (vintage clothes as well as gently worn modern pieces) with the perks of retail stores (clean, nicely stocked items, decent dressing rooms, etc).

  5. Great tips @marissa! If it ships via USPS, I am in big trouble. My USPS guy is not that nice and leaves packages like my UPS guy. Peach slips are like death sentences for me…Meaning I have to go to the crowded PO on a saturday and pick up my missed packages :(

    I’m definitely going to try to take advantage of Amazon Locker. I am already a prime member so why not?

    I also love this site Shop It To Me – it will send you your favorite brands (you pick them all yourself from their massive list) daily with any markdowns for items online. it’s pretty cool! hard to explain.

    I also bookmark items I like instead of biting the bullet right away. If your heart doesn’t sing when you see something you like, bookmark it and check back later. You may like it but not love it, and that’s what’s most important.

  6. I believe you really have to try things and on be sure you are going to wear them. If you buy 10 things on sale and they just sit in the closet, it is money wasted. Make judicious decisions and if they need to be altered – get it done right away!

    1. Agree with @gigi – a bargain you don’t wear isn’t a bargain at all. I’m getting better with this. I actually learned this through makeup. I used to pick up 3 high end lip products without even blinking. Only to then think “hey wait, that equals that skincare product that I actually really need…”

    2. @hao9703 – That is a rule I should tattoo to my forehead (or atm card swiping hand). Way too often I buy something without trying it on. And those are the things I end up never wearing – then two years later I’m placing it (with tags) in the yard sale pile.

  7. Excellent suggestions, @marissa – Like @mandabear, I “bookmark” or put aside something I want. If the urge to buy it is still strong a week later, I reconsider. I try never to purchase on impulse. And, @hao9703, I’m finally learning that ten “bargains” just sitting in your closet are not bargains at all. When did you get so smart?

  8. Great deals or bargins are what makes the world a better looking place!
    I work where most items are more expensive than my entire wardrobe! I have yet to buy anything full price tag save, costmetics but whose keeping count! Excellent suggestions indeed, @marissa!

  9. Good tips! Holly’s tip is really good too…I’ve purchased quite a few items on sale, enticed by the discount, but only ended up wearing them a few times because the fit wasn’t that great.

    One of my favorite pairs of shoes were nude leather pointy-toed pumps that I got from a consignment store for $2. They were super comfortable. Consignment stores can be expensive but you can get some pretty good stuff… I got a real Louis Vuitton purse for about $40. I had some store credit for things I’d brought in to have sold, and it was half off.

    Also, be careful with flash sale sites. Double check to make sure you’re actually getting a good deal. I recently saw on Beyond the Rack that they were selling some MAC products for higher than retail!

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