With spring here and summer coming up, it can be so easy to spend the weekends shopping or spending money on things that you might regret later (just like that extra glass of rosé you might have had last night). One of my favorite activities is shopping, but I know how it feels to spend a day at the mall with the girls and then be afraid to look at my account balance later on. There are ways to look like a million bucks, just without the expensive price tag. Here are a few of my favorite tips:
- Thrift, thrift, thrift: This is one of my favorite ways to shop, because you never know what you’re going to find. One of the best parts about this is finding designer or high-end consignment shops-they are a great place to shop because they guarantee that everything is authentic (meaning no knock-offs). I actually purchase the majority of my clothes second-hand, especially work clothes and jeans. There are some great consignment shops in Dallas, like Clothes Circuit and Clotheshorse Anonymous-I can always find something there.
- Don’t shop fast-fashion: Do you know what fast-fashion is? It is the cheaply made garments typically found at bottom-of-the-barrel prices. These are typically on-trend clothing that falls apart after one or two washes. I try to not shop at stores that sell this clothing, unless I am under a time-crunch. You would be better off to save your money on two $20 tops and purchase a nicer $40 or $50 top that would hold up longer (and ultimately look better).
- Check the sale rack: When shopping in a department store or at a shop that is a bit pricier, make sure to check the sale rack, especially at the beginning of seasons. For example, at the beginning of the spring, you can usually get a nice coat thats marked down to clear out inventory. Although, you won’t be able to wear it for a little while, you can still have a nice new coat for next winter. It will still look great and you will know you got a great deal.
- Splurge on longterm necessities: For every wardrobe, there are a few staples that will always look good. The black pencil skirt, the white button down, black heels-to name a few. These are pieces that you might want to spend a little more on. However, the little trend pieces aren’t something you need to drop a lot of money for. Chokers were really “in” this past fall and winter; however, they won’t be as trendy next fall-so I only spend about $5 on one that looked fine (…now it’s in my giveaway pile).
- Check online: See a dress in a department store that you LOVE, but can’t afford right now? Try it on so you know your size and then check Amazon or even the store’s website. They could have online-only coupons or exclusive online sales. Oftentimes, if you sign up for a store’s online mailing list, you can get a discount or free shipping. Although you would have to wait a few days, you would still get a good deal.
- Outlet stores: If you live near an outlet mall, take advantage of it! These are great for dresses, shoes, even home accessories. I love shopping at outlet stores because they typically have clothes there that they made too much of to put in the actual store-and the best part is that they are sold at a big discount. Stores like J. Crew and Ralph Lauren are great because they usually sell products that they are also selling in their non-outlet stores (plus student discounts!). I found this cute Kate Spade purse, to the right, at their outlet store; it is perfect for game days!
- Discount retailers: TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Nordstrom Rack, Last Call: there stores are the holy grail of cute clothes and home accessories. I know you might be thinking, “what is she talking about?” But, hear me out, these stores always have some awesome stuff, if you just take the time to look. I found my favorite pair of Michael Kors jeans at TJ Maxx for half of what they were at a department store. I buy the majority of my candles at these stores because you just can’t beat the prices. I have event started buying Le Creuset pieces from HomeGoods; it is half the price and quality pieces.
What are your tips for shopping smart? Let me know in the comments!