This is the second part in this related series about shopping and my budget. I decided to break it into two parts because it was hard to share about how to shop on a budget without sharing what my budget actually was as a fashion blogger. I did that in my post here. If you didn’t read it, it’s worth looking back at. The answer just might surprise you! I am pretty budget conscious because everything I spend takes away from income I make.
How I Shop on a Budget: Tips From a Fashion Blogger
1. First and foremost, be realist about your wardrobe needs. Shop for the clothes you need for the life you lead.
You will blow your budget immediately if you buy clothes you love but that are not actually practical for your life. This can be so hard because you may reallllly love that gorgeous lace dress for that special occasion but spend most of your days in the corporate world or at home chasing kiddos. In most instances, it does not make sense to spend the majority of your allotted money on it. Or that super cute blogger/neighbor/girl you work with may have you drooling over this amazing item, but will you really wear it?
I had to majorly adjust to this when I had sweet Ivy Jean. Not only did I go from working full-time to part-time, but I also now had this adorable but messy, never-stopping toddler to chase. A lot of the clothes I had been buying were no longer so practical, and I had some shopping habits to break. There is nothing worse than having things hanging in your closet unworn. If that is the case, it is essentially money on a hanger wasted. I encourage you to clean it out, sell it, and reinvest it in something more practical. Just recently I finally did a big cleanse on some gorgeous more dressy dresses it was time for me to finally let go of. Our season of life when we have weddings and dressy date nights regularly is not this season. It’s okay to have one or two of these dresses, but thanks to blogging and my inherent love for dresses, I had more than that number. Once I finally parted with them, it felt good!
2. Look for versatile items.
This is the best shopping tip I can give you. When purchasing an item, if you can only imagine styling it one way, it might be best to put it back. Building a wardrobe full of versatile yet fun pieces is your best ticket to staying budget friendly without getting bored. This two piece set is a great example! At only $65, you get one easy outfit automatically plus fun mix and match staples. I plan to wear this top with jeans casually and with my black trousers to work. The skirt can be worn with a variety of tops too.
3. Know your shops and shop the sales.
For example, I know LOFT is a great destination for versatile tops that I can wear on the weekend and to work. I also know they have amazing sales regularly, so if I am in the market for said shirt I am going to watch my emails for their sales and head to the store when the opportunity arises. Speaking of emails, I know it is annoying to get them all, but they do help you stay sale aware. If you have your eye on something, online shopping can be your best friend. Wait until you get that sale email and then head to your computer right away. These days it is rare to need to buy something full price at most retailers. That is part of knowing your stores! Shopbop has a couple annual sales, Nordstrom has their big anniversary sale. LOFT, Ann Taylor, J.Crew, etc. all have pretty regular sales. Even consider local resale/consignment shops. Some great deals can be found there!
4. Start with staples investing there and don’t overpay for trendy items.
Wardrobes are built on staples and personalized with extras from accessories and trendy items. Build a good wardrobe from those staple pieces spending your money there and avoid overpaying for trendy, one season items. There are so many affordable options for trendy pieces now there is no need to pay too much.
5. Keep a list of must have items.
I’m the worst at walking into a store and getting distracted by this new amazing item or the incredible deal I found on the sale rack. Then I get home and have spent what I had without getting what I needed. Whomp, whomp. If I keep a list on my phone and shop with it in mind, it really helps me not blow much budget or get distracted.