On one hand, I would like to think I’m a frugal spender. I love vintage shopping; my favorite pieces were thrifted for under $1; and I’m not a label snob. But on the other hand, I have never met a Chanel bag I didn’t want to immediately own. So, how do you live in the best of both worlds — budgeting, saving and still dress according to this season’s trend report? Below are 10 tips I live by that are guaranteed to help you put a couple of extra bucks into your savings account (or your future purse fund… either way, we don’t judge.)
Do your research
Before you swipe your card, do your research. Is there a major holiday coming up? Because that means there will be a sale. Is it sold somewhere cheaper, like a major retail store, or can you get a new or loyal customer discount? Or does a different brand make a very similar item for a better price? Take a few extra minutes before purchasing something and see if you can save some money.
Resale, rent & repeat
These are the words to live by, and it can be done with the click of a button. There are countless resale websites like The RealReal, Vestiaire Collective, ThredUp, Poshmark, Depop, Rebag and Tradesy where you can buy and sell your clothing. Looking for that piece that got away from last season and sold out? It might be on your Poshmark app for a fraction of the price.
Now, let’s talk about the new world of renting. Places like Rent the Runway have completely changed the game for special-event or even ready-to-wear dressing. You are able to rent a dress at a hugely discounted price, wear it, return it and bam — no more one-time-use dresses taking up valuable closet space.
Buy trend items from fast-fashion websites & stores
Do not shell out a small fortune on a trend item that will most likely be out of style within a year. Instead, buy these items at the trend-focused fast-fashion stores for significantly less money. You’ll save money on the purchase, and if you end up not liking the trend or don’t wear it the following season, no worries. This is also a great way to try out new trends like cropped jeans, off-the-shoulder tops or loafer slides, and if you do like the item, you can later invest in a more expensive pair down the road.
Low-price-point layering pieces
Don’t spend hundreds of dollars on a layering piece, like a turtleneck or basic tee. You can buy these at many retailers for a great price or stock up on one in every color from a fast-fashion store. They are easy to replace if needed, and you can use that money on more special items you want in your closet, like a cool coat, shoes or designer sunnies.
Skip the one-night stands
As in… don’t buy an item you’re only going to wear one night and never wear again. We know you’re a busy lady with multiple wedding seasons, vacations, events and a much-needed date night. Instead of buying for the event, buy for the investment. Are you realistically going to wear this dress again and can you style it for the office or a weekend use as well? If not, we suggest renting a dress, borrowing from a friend or buying something a little simpler that you can wear over and over again.
Clearance is music to my ears. At the end of every season, the clothes go on major discount, and you can find items for basically pennies (OK, maybe not pennies, but it sure feels like it!). Even though you’ll be purchasing items in advance, like bikinis in December or coats in May, your wallet will be thanking you when that season rolls around. Prices are always the most expensive going into the season and will gradually be discounted throughout the season, ending with a big clearance sale to get rid of merchandise. These clearance sales will allow you to stock up on items now and save later.
Shop in the men’s section
In case you didn’t know, men’s clothing is cheaper. We hate them for this too, but why not reap the benefits? Their basic tees are cheap and can have that perfectly oversize feel you’re looking for. You can create true boyfriend jeans, and don’t even get me started on sweaters. Pro tip: I normally buy my white and black tees in the men’s bulk packs, like Hanes, Jockey or Calvin Klein. They’re cheaper and last me way longer since I can rotate them out. Plus, the fabric is typically more durable than the almost see-through white tee for $85.
Become besties with your tailor
Sometimes, when you shop in the sale section or consignment/resale, the item might not be in your size, but it’s… The. Only. One. Snag it up and get it tailored. The tailor’s bill plus your purchase price will still be cheaper than buying it at the beginning of the season.
Thrift, consignment, swap meets, & flea markets are your friends
Now, we totally hear you; secondhand is not for everyone. Personally, I love it, and that was the only way I could afford to shop during high school and college, but it takes some courage, a dry cleaner and an open mind. I have found vintage, originals of the retro “trend” items like fanny packs, oversize sunnies, belts, high-waisted jeans and so much more.
Start shopping at the back of the store
When you walk into a store, walk to the back of the store, start with the sale items, and then work your way forward. You might find very similar styles in the sale area that were recut for a newer style in a different color. The stores are set up so you stop and shop at the front displays, the items that are big sellers, etc., but to save a little money, start with the sale items and then go from there. You might be pleasantly surprised at how much you find and save.
Originally posted on StyleCaster.