The last few years I have totally turned my wardrobe around and fell in love with fashion designers, fashion styling, and the world of upscale, high fashion. The only problem is, I’m 21 and my budget is still less than it costs to buy an issue of Vogue. But, if you’re in my boat, your taste doesn’t need to change just because you have less cash in your wallet. You might not be able to shop at Neiman Marcus every week, but you can have a high fashion wardrobe without taking out a house loan. but The only thing you have to spend more of is time.
This outfit cost me $17 total, which is crazy because the boots alone were regularly $45. The dress is from a Forever 21 dress I bought on sale for $3, and the boots were also marked down to $14 at Target. The great thing about this outfit is, I love it and it’s super cute, plus I didn’t have to compromise on trend or fashion, but it still fit my budget.
Here are my three top tips for high fashion budget shopping:
#1. Do your research, babe
If you don’t know what’s trendy and in style, it’s hard to know what to buy and where to start. Also, if you’re not up to code on what’s in this season and what’s hot this year, you might find yourself buying sale priced items only to see them being moved onto the “out of style never wear again” lists, and you won’t see them in InStyle for 15 more years when your kids are wearing them as a throwback trend. But, just because something is on sale doesn’t mean it’s out. Some good and comprehensive resources to look at in the fashion world are Vogue.com [I mean of course], InStyle magazines, Lauren Conrad’s trend predictions, Harper’s Bazaar, fashion week reports, and Elle magazine. Study up, know what’s coming in and going out, and you’ll know what to grab when it goes on sale.
#2. Don’t settle because it’s on sale
Here’s a thing I’ve done 55 times: said to myself, “I’ll buy that because it’s only $5 and I can make it work”.
Surprise, I couldn’t make it work. Buying little sale items here and there is an awesome way to curate a closet without breaking the bank, but if you buy that blue top with the ackward pattern for $5, and it’s going against all things good you know about what’s in this season, you just lost a hanger in your closet and $5 you could have saved for a piece you really loved. Don’t settle! It only makes more work for you when closet cleaning day comes around. When you shop on sale, pay attention to mark downs. Those thigh-high boots I bought were going on sale and I did my research to find out what the lowest mark-down would be, and I snagged them when there was one pair left in my size. I knew they’d be in style for at least another year and I could save myself $30+ next boot-buying season and wear my trendy boots, knowing I saved a buck.
#3. Don’t give up your own style to go strictly runway
Your style makes you who you are, so don’t give it up to wear Avant-Garde to the super market if that’s not what you love. If you’re into 5 inch heels and wearing your favorite Jimmy Choo inspired outfit to Target, then by all means you do it. That’s your style, that’s who you are. Also, we’re probably long-lost twins because that’s how I roll, and I’ve had to learn that it’s okay to tone down style to appropriately fit an occasion, but it’s not okay to make yourself miserable and try to make your style fit in with someone else’s. Wear what makes you feel like your expressing your style, from the inside out. My sister is a comfy cozy girl, but her style is still trendy and not compromised to who she is. She’s a sweater and sweat pants girl, so you’ll find her shopping for trendy adidas outfits, saving a buck, still comfy, and still really trendy. Be stylish and smart about buying, but don’t give away all of your favorites to buy a new closet of trends you aren’t into. You don’t have to go for every trend!
When you’re out shopping, do your research, keep to your budgets, know what’s in, know what’s going out, and stay true to your style. Don’t lower your taste for your budget, work hard at the extra steps to make your budget fit your high fashion style.