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 labellwong June 15, 2015 at 11:58 pm

    Amazing outfit! I love that gold statement necklace on a white outfit xx

    La’bell |

  • Reply Rumela Dey June 15, 2015 at 11:31 pm

    Omg love the outfit just perfect. Very elegant and chic.
    My blog: RumelaTheShopaholic

  • Reply Nikki June 15, 2015 at 10:34 pm

    I rarely buy things full price – I just stalk websites until they have sales. This is such a great look, and such a steal!


  • Reply Jordan Taylor June 15, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    These are all great bits of advice! I also love using “rack it up” an online website that allows you to “pin” your clothes, and they send you alerts when the item, in your size/color selection goes on sale! It is a great resource for keeping an eye on a piece without stalking the website or committing at the first sign of a sale!

    xx! Jordan Taylor | petiteMODERN

  • Reply Chelsea Finn June 15, 2015 at 9:55 pm

    I also agree on not spending big, it’s definitely not part of my reality right now so this is refreshing to see. And you look amazing!

    xx Chelsea

  • Reply Jeanne June 15, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    Such a classy look! Love it. And I believe in fashion without spending big too.

  • Reply Ashley T June 15, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    I’m a big fan of Loft and J.crew– they both have the best sales!

  • Reply Kathleen Harper June 15, 2015 at 9:14 pm

    Love your tips – you’re so right! I’m a HUGE fan of Ann Taylor but it also helps that I work there 🙂 And this outfit is stellar, your mules are to-die-for!

  • Reply districtofchic June 15, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    Great tips! And I love this all-white look you’ve put together!

    District of Chic

  • Reply Dressed2dNines.Com June 15, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    Love this post! It definitely helps to be on a budget. You always look like a million bucks so it’s absolutely true that you don’t have spend a ton to look incredible! Thanks for sharing Amy Ann!

  • Reply Threads for Thomas June 15, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    Great tips Amy Ann, thank you for sharing! I would never guess that your budget is $75 a month as you always look so put together and your clothes look more expensive! Loving this all white outfit, so chic!
    xo Rachael

  • Reply Carly June 15, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    I definitely agree that a budget is important when it comes to shopping and I love that yours is reasonable. I come across so many blogs that are featuring a $300 top and am so disappointed. Great tips!

    I would add to go to retail me not to search for coupon codes. I pretty much always find one that works.
    Dresses & Denim

  • Reply Rita Ramos June 15, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    Love the look dear.

  • Reply Angela Keeley-White June 15, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    I definitely agree with you, you don’t have to spend a lot to look great! I absolutely love this all white outfit on you, Amy Ann!


  • Reply Christie Geiger June 15, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    Great tips, Amy Ann! I definitely follow your first two! I’m all about online shopping and lurking until I get that ‘SALE’ email! And you look fabulous, as usual. I love your white on white!

    The Closet by Christie

  • Reply Liz @ Downtown Demure June 15, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    Excellent tips and a super cute outfit. I think $75 is a very impressive monthly shopping budget and I’m shocked you look so great while spending so little. Bravo! Like you, I never buy things full price these days because retail is so promotion-heavy these days and everyone hosts weekly sales.

    Liz @ Downtown Demure
    IG: @downtowndemure

  • Reply Merritt Beck June 15, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    I’m very impressed with your shopping budget! And I love this look.

    The Style Scribe

  • Reply Courtney Munafo June 15, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    Just stumbled on your blog and and I’m loving what I see, especially this post. You prove that you CAN be stylish and financially wise at the same time. Also, as a teacher, I love your blog name! Keep it up!!!


  • Reply Grace Liang June 15, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    What a great post! I can’t believe you only have $75 per month but still look so fab! I am a clearance shopper as well but you did lot better than me! Those tips are very helpful and I am currently on a budget cut too. So I will use those tips to guide me. 😉

    Have a great day and keep in touch!


  • Reply beautygirl24 June 15, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    Great post Amy Ann! I love these honest topics. I get so discouraged when I see big name bloggers wearing gorgeous designer clothes I don’t think I’ll ever be able to afford. I treasure my chanel bag and flats, because those were very rare gifts from my mom and husband. Your tips are great! I’m familiar with loft and express, which is why most of my wardrobe comes from those two stores. I need to work on my budget, and since I have time off right now, I think I will! Thanks for the push.

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