High Fashion on a Low Budget

Look haute couture without hurting your bank account.


From New York to Milan, London and Paris, at this time of year the focus is on the latest designer offerings, who is wearing them and how to get your hands on them. However, if your budget is more shoestring than show stopping how do you keep up?

If you don’t want to use expensive credit cards or borrow money on a loan and end up in debt for the sake of fashion then follow our awesome tips and you won’t have to.

Avoid the trends

Trend buying is not for anyone on a budget – you just need to accept that upfront. Trend pieces come and go with the seasons and tend to be expensive too because – at least for a short time – everyone wants them. Instead of trend buying, go for investment pieces. Get used to saving cash to make fashion purchases and wait to buy the classics. If you’re on a shoestring budget then opting for classic pieces means that you’ll always look fabulous even if not right on trend.

Dedicate time to seeking out fashion finds

The popularity of buying “vintage” means that you’re unlikely to just walk into a thrift store now and spot that designer piece at a bargain price. However, these gems are not totally impossible to find. But if you want to get your hands on the best vintage you need to put some time and effort into finding it. Thrift stores close to wealthy areas are always a good bet for picking up designer pieces that have recently been let go by owners updating their wardrobes.

When you’re searching online be specific about what you want

Resale sites, outlets and auction sites like eBay offer a wealth of opportunities for fashion mavens with shoestring budgets. Away from the rigid retail prices of mainstream shops there are opportunities to bid and bargain that mean you’ll be able to pick up perfect pieces for a lot less. It takes focus to make this kind of approach work – don’t get distracted and end up with nothing. Before you start your online search be clear about what you’re looking for, from the sizing to the type of item and the colour. If you’re looking for something casual that you can wear on a date or parties, you may consider getting a flowy button up shirt.

Look for sample sales

“Sample size” used to be inaccessible to most people, coming in at a super slender Size Zero. Today, however, samples tend to offer a much broader range of sizing, which means that sample sales can be very rich pickings for finding designer pieces without the high designer price tag. Social media is the best way to be the first to know about sample sales, which tend to happen locally and are often ad hoc so keep your eyes peeled.

Target the sales

It used to be that the sales happened twice a year – in the summer and at the end of the year after Christmas. Today, however, there are multiple opportunities throughout the year to pick up discounted stock from retailers who are desperate to get rid of it before the next season starts. Often you will only see these bargains online as the high street stores will only be displaying their latest wares. From Black Friday, to End of Summer, Thanksgiving, Easter or even Valentines Day, the sales seem to be constant – especially online. To make sure you don’t miss out on the biggest discounts from your favourite retailers, sign up for email alerts from the stores that stock the designers you love but could never afford without a sale slash. Follow their social media and look out for new customer discount codes too.

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