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

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  • Reply Jaime Costilow June 15, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    I definitely admire your ability to budget! Some months I do really well, and then others I find myself buying lots of things that are completely uneccessary most of the time. I do love finding deals on things I love. That’s one of my favorite parts of shopping. I often scour the internet before actual purchasing anything to see if I can find a better deal. You always look adorable, regardless of what you’re wearing thought!

    XO, Jaime

  • Reply racheldinh June 15, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    Great tips! I admire or budgeting skills! I might take up the same challenge for myself.

  • Reply for seven seasons June 15, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    I also only buy things on sale. It’s just not worth it paying full price! I think it’s incredibly smart to have a set budget, especially when you’re a fashion blogger. It’s SO easy to go overboard!

  • Reply Adri Cisneros June 15, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    I really think it’s great that you’re sharing this! There’s so many great things out there, but I’m a real gal with a real budget. It’s amazing what you have found within your budget and look like you spent 10x that!
    xo Adri |

  • Reply Whitney 'Nic' James June 15, 2015 at 11:58 am

    Chic and sophisticated look. Loving it! Great tips too!


  • Reply Tina Phan June 15, 2015 at 11:39 am

    I love this post and outfit so much! I’m totally with you on shopping on a budget but I have to say, I’m super impressed by a $75/month budget! You have so many new cute outfits for the blog and I love that you’re doing it all within this budget! One big money-saver for me is also Asos. They have lots of good pieces and they’re typically reasonably priced!


  • Reply Rachel Garay June 15, 2015 at 11:33 am

    So lovely Amy! I am loving your tips and I would say I follow all of those except looking online for sales (but I should more often). I love your outfit here and the price of them, definitely worth it.
    Rachel xo

    Garay Treasures

  • Reply Amber | All the Cute June 15, 2015 at 11:31 am

    Such a chic look! You are beautiful… I love all white…!! And adoring your sandals, too!

    All the Cute
    Today’s Post: Grey Knit Romper & Converse

  • Reply June 15, 2015 at 11:19 am

    You look beautiful in white! Great tips as well!
    We Shop in Heels

  • Reply melaniekay June 15, 2015 at 11:10 am

    These are great tips! Also, I love this all white look!
    Melanie @

  • Reply nerza fashionerza June 15, 2015 at 11:08 am

    Such a gorgeous look! I’m in love with this classy white look!


    I can rock any outfits, come follow my online diary

  • Reply Jill June 15, 2015 at 11:04 am

    That outfit is such a great Loft find! You always look so chic and I loved reading your tips! Keeping a list of things you want and a list of needed basics always helps me!

    In Pink

  • Reply Shauna June 15, 2015 at 10:58 am

    You are so summer chic. Simply gorgeous! -xx


  • Reply May Cho June 15, 2015 at 10:51 am

    That for less than $35?! I live for style that looks expensive but is in actual fact affordable — you’ve exuded this perfectly in this look, so in love with your culottes! Because I am still a (broke) student, I don’t buy items much, but I do love recycling old clothes from my mum, my relatives and friends! It’s my way of staying on budget with style!

    May x • THE MAYDENbloglovin’

  • Reply The Kent Happenings June 15, 2015 at 9:53 am

    Well said, well said! And – love the fun, but sophisticated look!!!

  • Reply zahra_sandberg June 15, 2015 at 9:45 am

    Great post! I’ve been seriously working on saving more and shopping smarter myself so these tips come at the right time! I also agree that you don’t need to spend a ton to look fabulous, and you are proving it daily with your outfits. I’ve also got my eye on those mules now too!

    Have a great week.


  • Reply WE June 15, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Just like you Amy, I cannot get myself to spend full price on items, I know are marked up quite a bit! I am a sale shopper unless something catches my eyes that is so beautiful and pertinent to my need that a full price purchase might be OK. Otherwise, its clearance/sale racks for me! Love this all white ensemble..the leopard clutch really adds that sass to this clean and crisp outfit.

  • Reply Zelle Brown June 15, 2015 at 9:27 am

    Love these tips! And you look fab in all white!

    xo Southern Style

  • Reply Kerrie Mitchell Burke June 15, 2015 at 9:24 am

    Such great tips Amy! And I absolutely ADORE this look by the way – I’m currently checking out the shoes and wondering if I want to invest or keep on saving for that Chloe bag I’ve been dreaming of! FYI: I’m still about a year away from said Chloe bag! #UGH


  • Reply Alecia Mariana June 15, 2015 at 9:21 am

    Great tips! And I absolutely LOVE the all white with those mules. Gorgeous.


    La Joie de Vivre

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