Fashion on a Budget: Get Great Deals on Stylish Clothes

A short while ago, I put together a list of ten pairs of shoes worth splurging on. Now it’s time to talk about the other side of the coin – being fashionable on a budget. Saving money on every day fashionable clothes and accessories allows you to look fashionable, feel confident but still save money for those special treats you’d like to pick up for yourself. The ten tips on this list will help you get budget friendly fashions at great prices regardless of what you’re looking for.

image source: diyfashion.about.com

10. Learn to sew.

Learning how to sew is a great way to save money because you can really expand your search for great deals on stylish clothes. By learning to sew, you can consider clothes that don’t quite fit right or that have small rips or tears. A great way to find a terrific deal is to look specifically for clothes that have been damaged. If the damage is small and is something you can fix on your own, the item is definitely worth picking up. You can also let in or take out clothes that may be a little bit too big or a little bit too small. Be careful though. Not everything will be able to be fixed. Don’t buy something that’s damaged or ill fitting unless you’re positive you can fix it.

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09: Look for the potential in budget items.

The clearance rack at your local department store – or even higher end boutiques – is a great way to find excellent deals on stylish clothes but don’t be too picky about a good deal. If the price is right, it might be worth picking up, even if it needs a little work. Maybe a sweater that’s on sale would look good under something else you own. Really look at each item. If there’s a way you can dress it up or pair it with something you already on, I’d say it’s worth buying. This is a great rule for accessories as well. If you look at an accessory and it feels a little boring, try to think about the rest of your jewelry collection. Could you wear it with something else you own? Maybe there’s an outfit in your closet that is screaming for a simple touch with a little muted jewelry. Suddenly that boring accessory is the missing piece to the perfect outfit puzzle.

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08: Shop sales but shop smart.

Fliers are annoying and who really pays attention to ads they see on the internet, in stores or on television? You don’t? Well you should. Sales are obviously a great way to save money and you’d be surprised what you can find but you have to be smart about. Get in on the sale early. Show up as early as you can and try to be one of the first people through the door. The best stuff on sale usually disappears pretty quickly. If you get there before the crowds you have the best chance of finding what you’re looking for.

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07. Join mailing lists.

I can’t even tell you how many great deals I’ve gotten on all sorts of fashionable things. From shoes and accessories to jeans and dresses, bargains are out there and they want you to know about them. Joining mailing lists gives you a direct line of communication. Not all mailing lists are created equal though. Read the description. Big department stores and fashionable boutiques often send out notices of upcoming sales and sometimes offer coupons that are only available via mailing list. My favorite mailing list score? Two pairs of shoes for the price of one at my absolute favorite shoe store. I got an amazing pair of stilettos and a pair of knee high boots I’d been drooling over for months for under $50 – shipping included. Now that is a deal.

Peacock necklace available via ishineaccessories.com

06. Don’t be afraid of online shopping.

There are a lot of scams online but there are also a lot of great opportunities as well. First and foremost, I’d recommend setting up a PayPal account for yourself. That way you don’t have to worry about plugging your credit card number into websites you’re not sure if you can trust. Word of warning, if you join a shopping site (I am a member of many), your password for that site should be completely different than your password for PayPal. I learned this one the hard way. Look for trusted sites like eBay, Amazon.com and even smaller sites that have a good reputation. I’m a big fan of Shine Accessories. They sell fabulous jewelry at a price anyone can afford. I shop with them on a regular basis. If you love nice jewelry but aren’t quite so sure about the whole online shopping thing, they’re a great place to start. Check them out by clicking here. The gorgeous colorful peacock necklace in the photo above will cost you €10.90 plus shipping (unless you order over a certain amount and qualify for free shipping in which case you don’t need to worry about paying for shipping) and will be my very next purchase.

Believe it or not, Facebook is also a great place to look for deals. Facebook is home to one of my favorite clothing stores, from auction sites run locally through Facebook to stores women have started out of their homes that buy and sell second hand clothing, I do a lot of my shopping via Facebook. Pay attention to what your friends are doing. Do a search for your hometown. You never know what you may find and it’s definitely worth checking out. A few months back, I bought a gorgeous brand name bomber jacket via good old Facebook. It has become one of my favorite articles of clothing and I paid a grand total of $2 for it. Pretty good deal, I would say.

image © Dana Rothstein/Dreamstime.com

05. Shop out of season.

Clothing is really a supply and demand market. If you shop when clothes are in season, you are shopping in a seller’s market which basically means, the price is almost always going to work in the seller’s favor. The tables are turned when you shop out of season. We’d call this a buyer’s market because pricing definitely favors the buyer. Buy winter wear just after winter weather is over and store it for the following year. You’ll get amazing prices and if you don’t choose items that are super trendy, they should still be in fashion by the time next season comes. The same goes for summer clothing. Start looking for your summer clothing when the weather starts to cool down. You’ll get far better results. Using myself as an example again, I just hit up a great end of season sale and bought four sundresses, six pairs of shorts, six tank tops and two bathing suits. The cost? Less than $50. I chose classic but always fashionable styles so by the time the warm weather is upon us again I’ll be ready. Just a tip for buying so far in advance. Choose items that are a little too big. It’s much easier to take a dress or pair of shorts in that it is to let a dress or pair of shorts out and you never know what could happen in a year.

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04. Form a shopping group with budget minded friends.

Get together with a few friends who like fashion and are always on the lookout for good deals and start bargain hunting together. More eyes looking out for sales means a better chance of finding a great bargain. A shopping group is also a great way to make out of town bargains worthwhile. There are often great sales outside of your immediate area you may want to take advantage of but when factoring in the cost of gas and a hotel (if necessary) and potential savings go out the window. A shopping group can change that. Have everyone chip in for gas and a hotel. Have everyone bring a few light road trip snacks so you don’t have to buy food. You’ll all save money on the expense of getting to the sale, giving you more money for shopping.

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03. Don’t waste money on things you might wear.

While it’s important to be able to see the potential in bargain clothing, it’s also important to be honest with yourself. When I started bargain hunting, I bought fan more than I needed or had any use for. The problem? I wound up wasting a lot of money on things I didn’t need. If you’re not going to wear something, don’t buy it – no matter how cheap it is. Buying things you don’t need or won’t wear is wasting money even if it’s a good deal. Do you have anything to wear the item with? Are you buying something you can wear the item with? Can you see yourself wearing it? Do you have somewhere to wear it? If the answers to those questions are no, don’t buy it. I have a killer little red dress in my closet that is still in the box it came with because, cute as it is, I have yet to find anywhere to wear it. Waste. Of. Money.

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02: Don’t be a slave to brand names.

. Brand names are great but entirely unimportant when it really comes right down to it. If someone gets on your back for wearing a knockoff, they’re petty, shallow and probably jealous they look better in the knockoff than they would look in the real deal. Let’s say you’re looking at two dresses that are nearly identical. We’ll keep it simple and say they’re classic little black dresses. One is from a designer label, the other is just your basic off the rack label. Both are gorgeous and look great one you. The designer label is significantly more expensive than the almost the same no-label dress. Why would you spend a ton more money to get basically the same dress just because it’s has a certain label attached. It’s completely illogical. Don’t let the label make the statement. Make the statement yourself and save the cash you didn’t spend for a pair of shoes or some jewelry to go with the dress.

image source: chicagofashionresource.com

01: Be a trend setter instead of a trend follower.

Being stylish doesn’t mean being trendy. Trust me on this one. There are a lot of trends that are just absolutely ridiculous. Buy what you like. Buy what you feel good in. Forget about trends. If you look good and feel good you’re ahead of the game. Find your own style and run with it. Trends come and go, ladies. Remember back in the day when soothers were in style? Doesn’t it seem a little ridiculous to imagine someone other than a baby walking about with a soother on a necklace? Yes, trends come and go. You know what never goes out of style though? Confidence. Having your own style and the guts to wear your style proudly shows you have confidence in who you are and don’t need trends to tell you.

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