Fashion is one thing, but budget fashion is quite another. It’s both a skill and a lifestyle choice/necessity to live stylishly without dropping a ton of cash. And while we regularly talk trends and show off “budget fashion” picks, it’s been awhile since I’ve taken a step back and delved into the broader shopping strategies of a budget fashionista.
First, let’s sum up what budget fashion is not. It’s not the cheapest stuff on the rack. It’s not garments so flimsy you can’t put them in the dryer. And it’s not adding sequins or a wild pattern to every outfit.
A true budget fashionista is strategic about the pieces she wears. She’s confident and put together. She doesn’t dress for comments or compliments — she dresses for herself. And she does it without a closet full of labels.
Sound like you? Awesome. So, here goes: a little budget shopping refresher to kick off the holiday season.
10 Rules of Budget Shopping
1. Shop with cash or a dedicated card.
Many moons ago, I used to say: shop only with cash. It’s the best way to ensure you don’t overspend. But these days, I don’t like telling you to head out with a wad of cash in your purse.
A close alternative is to dedicate one reloadable VISA gift card to your clothing purchases. Whatever your monthly clothing budget is, that’s what you load on that card monthly. When the money runs out, you stop shopping.
You can also use a dedicated credit card. Set up your bill pay to send your monthly budget amount to the card each month. If you overspend, you’ll eventually see your budget eaten away by interest charges.
2. Know what looks good on you.
We’ve covered this topic before. Knowing the silhouettes that flatter your shape makes for a more enjoyable and reliable shopping experience — particularly when you’re shopping online. Try these resources to help:
- How to dress for your boy shaped body
- Dressing for your body type — top 3 tips
- Dress for your shape: pear
- Dresses for those big on top and small on bottom
3. Chat up the sales associates.
Sales associates should be your best friends in the store. They know best how to save in that store. Ask about discounts, upcoming sales and loyalty programs — often you can get them to scan a coupon you don’t have or ring you up in multiple transactions so you can use more than one coupon.
4. Join the loyalty program.
If a store’s loyalty program is free, join it. You’ll often get birthday or holiday discounts, plus early access to sales.