Ladies, let’s face it. The dilemma of dressing cute and not slipping into crippling poverty is a fine line to walk. I once heard someone say that it’s not that they don’t have a fashion sense, they just can’t afford it. And all the women said, “Amen!” Thankfully, there are some tricks to trendy dressing without breaking the bank.
1. Thrift Stores are Your Friend
You would be very surprised at what you can find at a thrift store. A lot of the time you may have to dig through bell-bottoms, poodle skirts, and shoulder pads, but if dogs and pirates have taught us anything, it’s that there’s typically treasure to be found beneath the surface.
Some of my favorite pieces in my closet have come from thrift stores. It’s always worth it to look because you never know what you’re going to find. And it goes without saying that whatever you get is going to be cost-efficient.
2. Consignment Stores are Your BEST Friend
I love, love, LOVE consignment stores. They’re a step up from Thrift stores in that they only accept clothing from this century. They’ll also pay for any trendy piece that you don’t want anymore (provided it’s still current and in good condition). They might cost a little more than thrift stores, but they’re definitely a lot less expensive than brand new.
3. Be Intentional
We tend to spend the most money on impulse buys (guilty). If you need a wardrobe update, look at your closet and decide on certain pieces that you need. Chances are, you already have several pieces that you can mix and match with. You just need something to update a combo. Maybe a pair of different colored jeans or a t-shirt for layering. You would not believe how much my wardrobe changed with just a pair of shoes.
4. Avoid Paying Full Price
If you’ve exhausted all other options and must buy brand new (no shame there), then don’t pay full price. There’s always a sale somewhere. Watch online for price changes or special deals for the pieces you need. Sign up for the annoying spam texts and emails. It’s a smaller price to pay. Look for codes that you can enter at checkout to get discounts (there are certain apps that will do it for you).
5. Buy During Odd Seasons
I know it’s not as much fun to wait for the season to come around again, but the clearance rack is a magical place. You’ll be glad you took advantage of the sale when it was there. Clothes don’t go out of style so fast that they won’t be cute after a few months.
6. Ditch the Name Brands
Controversial Opinion: name brands don’t matter! Seriously, cute is cute. I’ve yet to have someone grab the tag of my sweater to see whom it was made by. There is no shame in getting a cardigan from Walmart. Granted, sometimes a name brand will be unavoidable because you know you’re going to use that piece a lot and you want it to last, but if you’re just buying it for the sake of the name, you’re overpaying.
(NOTE: there is no shame in having a name brand T-shirt either, but this is a blog about saving money, and it’s important to know that you can be trendy without name brands.)
7. Have Trust Issues
The nature of the internet is to get you to buy things that you don’t need. You’re going to get ads saying they’ve got top fashion for suspiciously low prices. Do NOT fall for it. Look into the reliability of the website. Read the reviews and be wary of the ones that are grammatically correct and gushy. Chances are, those are computer generated by the company to get you to trust them. You want cheap prices, not cheap clothes. A quality piece is often a better investment and may actually save you money in the long run because it will last longer.
Supportive clothing makes or breaks an outfit if you know what I mean. Unfortunately, well-fitting undergarments are hard to find, and quality is almost always expensive. However, there is a way around this. Bridal shops will typically let you try on things for free AND will work with you to find the right size. Now, it’s polite to buy one undergarment from the shop so that you’re not taking total advantage of the system, but keep track of the brand and size that you like. Usually, you can go online and get exactly what you want for half the price of the Bridal shop.
About the Author
Stephanie Van Wyk
Stephanie received her bachelor’s degree in English from Southwestern Assemblies of God University in 2021. She is passionate about the world of storytelling, artistry in all mediums, and is incapable of resisting any dog over 50 pounds.