Tuesday, May 18, 2010

How to be fashionable on a budget

Although I earn a decent living, like most moms, I don't like to spend a lot of money on myself. I feel guilty for buying pricey clothes and shoes when I can use that money to buy clothes and toys for my son, or sock some away for her college fund. Fortunately you can still be fashionable and look great on a budget! Here are my Top 10 Tips for Fashionistas on a Budget!

1. Ross/T.J. Maxx/Marshalls
I love shopping for clothes at the big discount chains. Every time you visit, they've restocked and you can pick up everything from shoes and clothes to purses, jewelry and bedding. These are also great places to shop for lingerie, which can get pricey quickly.

2. DIY
If you like to sew, know how to do beadwork or are otherwise crafty, you can DIY...do it yourself! Making your own clothing and jewelry not only saves a ton of money, but can provide fun things for you to do with your kids after school and on the weekends.

3. eBay
I love scouring eBay for discounted designer dresses and shoes. Watch out for scams, but overall, eBay has some of the best deals on designer duds.

4. Amazon
You may think Amazon is only for books and DVDs, but they also have a wide variety of clothing, shoe and beauty product options. I have gotten ridiculous steals on shoes at Amazon.com.

5. Retailmenot.com
Although there are tons of coupon and deal sites on the web, I have found that Retailmenot.com has the best collection of coupons for the top online shopping destinations. I do not buy anything online without looking for a coupon code on Retailmenot first!

6. Outlet shopping
I am lucky to live near one of the largest outlet shopping malls in the country and I try to take advantage of the  bargains to be found there a few times a year. Outlet shopping is not for the faint of heart, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes, arrive early and plan to stay late. If you can, get a sitter for the kids so you can literally shop to you drop!

7. Stick to the basics
Invest in pieces that will take you through season to season, year to year. That way, even if you have to spend a little more, you know you're getting the most bang for your buck. Every woman should have a sexy black dress, a classic white button down shirt, a great pair of dressy jeans and a blazer. Build your wardrobe around these few key pieces.

8. Costume jewelery
You can dress up any look with some funky chunky jewelry! I love costume jewelry because you can experiment with lots of different looks and it won't break the bank.

9. Sales
Of course it goes without saying that you should hold off on shopping for clothing until your favorite store is having a sale. Most department stores put a lot of their inventory on sale every weekend, so if you find something you love on Thursday, ask to put it on hold and come back on Saturday. It may be 20% off!

10.Thrift stores
Yes you have to put in work to find great pieces at a thrift store, but it can be oh so worth it! I found a pair of Stuart Weitzman shoes at a thrift store for $5 once. You will have to rummage but you never know what you might find!

What are your tips for being fashionable on a budget?

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Gap Outlet blogging program to be eligible to win a $20 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

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