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 Annessa June 16, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    I love this post – I definitely envy your commitment to a budget and I think this is a practice I’ll start doing as well. I can imagine it really helps you focus on what you really want, and will reduce of-the-moment purchase that aren’t necessary. Most of my buys are on sale or clearance. I live in a small city and I’ve found some great gems on the clearance rack at Nordstrom Rack and TJ Maxx. Like you, I also stalk the sale racks online and have gotten some great deals that way. J. Crew always has great sales and I’ve been looking on Poshmark recently for some great second hand things. Your style & outfits definitely look high end!

  • Reply jen avery June 16, 2015 at 11:35 am

    I love this all white look!

    Style by Avery

  • Reply Debbie Stinedurf June 16, 2015 at 10:18 am

    First of all, let me say this is a killer look! The all white is beautiful. And second, I could not agree more about looking fabulous without spending boatloads of money.

  • Reply Jessica June 16, 2015 at 10:12 am

    Great tips and an even greater outfit! You look amazing. Love that it’s simple and chic!

    Jessica |

  • Reply Audrey Williams June 16, 2015 at 10:10 am

    This post is the story of my life — I’m always on a budget! Thanks for being honest about the truth of shopping (within your means)!


  • Reply Lyddiegal June 16, 2015 at 8:52 am

    I love an all white look, and those mules are gorgeous! It’s so hard to stay on a budget, especially when one pair of shoes can be two whole months of it, which is probably why my $80 budget has all but been abandoned. Not that my wallet is thanking me.

  • Reply Leah Behr June 16, 2015 at 8:30 am

    So gorgeous! I think I may need to go shopping with you, to figure out how you stay so stylish on that budget! Good job girlfriend!! You always looks so fab!

    xx, Leah /

  • Reply RedTagChicLA June 16, 2015 at 7:55 am

    Count me in to your club – nothing over the moon for me! And you look awesome in this ensemble!


  • Reply Ashley White June 16, 2015 at 7:32 am

    You can totally be stylish on a budget- and you don’t have to dress in head-to-toe designer to look great. I love mixing higher-end pieces with fast-fashion shops like Forever21 and H&M. The quality is getting better all the time, and trendy pieces are easy to find there without breaking the bank.

    You look sooo lovely here in all-white! Killer summer look, lady!

    Le Stylo Rouge

  • Reply June 16, 2015 at 7:13 am

    Totally agree with your points. You look like a million bucks even though your outfit is less than $50 =)

  • Reply Lemontierres June 16, 2015 at 6:38 am

    Thanks a lot for these great tips. I love buying new things but I hate spending much money! These will come in really handy! Have a great day, X!

  • Reply Izzy June 16, 2015 at 6:23 am

    looking incredible in the all-white! and love your tips! great thing about shopping online is you can so easily compare prices simply by switching tabs haha.

  • Reply Michèle June 16, 2015 at 2:58 am

    wow. you rock this white outfit

  • Reply Aux Caprices de Flore June 16, 2015 at 2:08 am

    Beautiful monochrome look
    Thanks for the tips!

  • Reply Reshma June 16, 2015 at 1:55 am

    Keeping a list on the phone is a great idea!

  • Reply Falasha June 16, 2015 at 1:54 am

    Great post, I actually feel better when I snag a great deal- no buyers remorse.

    xx Falasha

    Bite My Fashion ll Instagram ll Bloglovin’

  • Reply Sarah June 16, 2015 at 1:09 am

    I would wear this whole outfit in a heartbeat. You have amazing style!

  • Reply Petite Hmong Mommy June 16, 2015 at 12:53 am

    Love this post!!!! Thanks for sharing and you look gorgeous. Visiting NY showed me I was nowhere near or even close to the designer world too. 🙁

  • Reply Alyssa Monique Bustillo June 16, 2015 at 12:33 am

    Thanks for sharing! I really love your outfit!
    check out my new post on
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  • Reply Sheree June 16, 2015 at 12:24 am

    You always look amazing regardless what you wear. Money can’t buy style and taste (cough, Kim Kardashian, cough) and one can certainly be a fashionista on a budget. Check out my $40 wedding guest style on blog 🙂

    ~ xo Sheree
    IG: @poshclassymom

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