Tips for Staying Fashionable on a Budget

June 15, 2015

I am a firm believer that you can dress well without spending big, and in this post I thought I’d share a few of my tips for staying fashionable on a budget. I love fashion. I’ll always love designer items, and although I have a few here and there purchased with birthday money, saved for, or as gifts, the majority of my closet is made up of Forever21, Gap, LOFT, J.Crew, and the like. Designer items are not a reality for me, and this was reinforced by my trip to New York. It was amazing to see and go in some of the shops I’ve always heard about (I’m talking to you Chanel on Madison Avenue), but  I am a sale shopper at heart. My monthly shopping budget is $75. I know for some that still might be a lot and for some, it may not be much. I’ve touched on it before here if you want to read more about it. For Russ and I, this is a number we feel comfortable with each month. Although I could technically spend more, and believe me there are times I do with NYC being a great example, that is not how we choose to spend our money. This is a judgement free post. Everyone is different, and everyone spends money differently – it’s a touchy subject. This is just what works for us. I’m also lucky enough to often have my budget supplemented by gifted clothes from blogging. When I do make money from ads or affiliate links (which is NOT often), it does often go back into my budget. It’s a definite perk to have my wardrobe augmented by blogging, but I do work hard for it. Blogging is so fun, and I count myself lucky to be able to do it.

I just mention all of that to say that I don’t think women have to spend buckets of money to feel stylish or good in their clothes. You can be fashionable and on trend for $75 a month. Today’s outfit is a perfect example of this idea. I bought this cream crop top sweater and these white cullote/wide leg pants at LOFT (first seen on Heather) when their sale was an extra 60% off. Together they were $30. I rarely buy things full price. I have to really like something to pay more than $35 for it. If I did, it would basically be the only thing I bought that month. Here are my tips for staying fashionable on a budget. They help me, and I hope maybe they will help you too. If you have anything that helps you, please share in the comments!

1. Know your stores – Once you find stores that work for you fit wise, get familiar with their sales and how they price things. If you know they often mark things down, wait for that item you love to go on sale. This also helps because when you know your size you can order online with worrying whether or not an item will fit.

2. Use the internet to your advantage – Check in on your favorite items regularly to see how the stock is holding up and whether or not said item has been marked down. Often in store and online sales are different, so sometimes you can get a better deal at one or the other.

3. Know your limit – Decide on a budget and stick to it. Is this item way over your budget? Is it worth it? Consider what point in the month you are and what else is on your list. Thinking through these things often helps me make a more level-headed decision.

4. Keep a list – I keep a running list on my phone of things I actually want. It helps me stay on track when I find something I really want. Is it on my list, or did I just see it and get sidetracked? Is it just on major sale, and I think it’s a great deal, or do I really want it?

cream culottes, cream crop, mules, gold bib necklace, leopard clutch cream culottes, cream sweater, gold bib necklace, leopard clutch cream culottes, cream sweater, mules, gold bib necklace, leopard clutch details cream culottes, cream sweater, mules, gold bib necklace, leopard clutch cream culottes, cream sweater, tan mules, gold bib necklace, leopard clutchCream Crop Top: Loft // Cream Culottes: Loft // Gold Bib Necklace & Cuff Bracelet c/o Purple Peridot (use code realarnold10 for 10% off) // Mules: Sam Edelman // Leopard Clutch: Express // Sunglasses: Karen Walker via Ditto’s Endless Eyewear Program – use this link to get your first month FREE

Linking Up With: Gina & Carylee / Lauren / Molly & Carly / Rhea / Whitney / Rachelle & Charnele / Laura / Jess / Erin & Laura / Elizabeth / Pumps & Push Ups / Shanna / Lindsey / Liz / Alison / Alice / Danielle / Sydney / Tara / Jill & Carrie / Lauren / Jacqueline & Elle / JoLynne / Rachel / Dawn Lucy

  • life is a shoe

    you look amazing! I can;t believe your top and pants only cost 30 bucks! That’s so great! I have been obsessing over all white looks lately. Thanks for sharing these tips!

    lifeisashoe

  • These are all great tips,I absolutely agree that you don’t have to spend a lot to look great. Your white outfit is stunning, that crop top is beautiful.

  • I love this look, I also love shopping at the Loft.

    Xo Chelsea http://www.shesaidhesaidfashion.com/

  • Madeline Mihaly

    I love this outfit & I love LOFT’s crazy sales. One of my favorite skirts I got there for $14! Great style is definitely attainable on a small budget and I enjoy being inspired by other bloggers keeping fashion real and reasonable 🙂

    xo, Maddy

    http://cassidylou.com

  • Heather Davis Wyancko

    You know what’s hilarious?… I saw these pants on a blogger and bought them straight away too! You look fabulous as usual. You make everything look effortless always. And your HAIR!!!! So cute!

    • That is too funny! I loved them when I saw them on you! Thanks so much for your kind words about my hair. I posted a tutorial a while back. I promise it’s all hairspray. 😉

  • Alena Elena

    Absolutely stunning look! Very elegant and chic! I love everything about it!

    Alena & http://garmentsspeech.blogspot.com/

  • Love these tips! And you are killing it lately! Love this all white look!

    Wishes & Reality

  • Girl, this look is amazing! I swear you look amazing in white! I love this budget share and in general I try to stay on a budget as often as possible. I shop with coupons all the time! I love love those culottes on you and your top is just gorgeous!

    Denise | Fashion Love Letters

  • Love these tips! What I love to do is pull inspiration from blogs and Pinterest. I save the pictures on my phone so I know what pieces I should buy and how to style them. It helps me stay on point when looking for specific items.

    Connie | Sponsored by Coffee | Etsy

  • Jeanie

    This is a great post! I should givemyself a monthly shopping budget.
    Xo
    Jeanie
    http://www.thefashionlotus.com

  • La Travelera

    Hi Beauty, You are so stylish!!
    Also, good tips, Thank You xx
    http://www.travelera.es

  • I absolutely agree with you. You look fabulous. Such an elegant summer look.

    xoxo
    Ramona

    http://www.ramona-strikeapose.blogspot.ie/

  • Love these tips! And yes, we definitely don’t need to spend a ton of money to look good. 🙂

    <3 Trou
    The Peculiar Trouth

  • I agree, you definitely don’t need to spend a lot of money to look like millions fashion-wise. I usually take advantage of getting points for shopping with apps and even online shopping helps with discounts.
    Great outfit. /Madison
    Wedding Inspiration

  • Such good tips! I need to keep better track of when the sales are and get there quickly, it always makes me sad when I find something I really like and they no longer have my size :’)

    http://www.nevenakrstic.blogspot.co.uk

  • Danielle Arsenault

    These are all great tips! I definitely stalk things until they go on sale – but I’m SO bad at making a budget and sticking to it. I need to be better about that!!!!
    xoxox Danielle

    For the Love of Leopard

  • Mia- MakeMeUpMia

    I need to work on that budget thing 😉 I have a few lists in my phone of makeup products I want!