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Shopping tips for the thrifty fashionista

How to be fashionable on a budget

The reason why I started DIY Style is to showcase fashion can be achieved without spending your entire paycheck. As much as I hate repeating clothes, I do not have the time or the money to spend on new clothes every other day. In this blog, I am listing ways I get more bang for my buck while shopping :

Shop during bi-annual sales

When I was in France and in India, I would wait until sale time which would not be usually more than twice a year. So retail chains such as Pantaloons, Westside in India or brand stores such as Zara, Mango in Mango would offer price reductions around January and October. That was a time when I would update my wardrobe or get that much-coveted otk boots. Of course, the downside to this is that all the items or sizes might not be available by the time you get to shopping. However, the strategy to that is pre-shopping before the sales begin and purchasing the products as soon as the sale opens. I remember even going at 10 am as soon as the stores opened doors. I am that committed to budget shopping. The animal print heels are in pic below from Charles & Keith which was a gift from mom so it may or may not have been during the bi-annual sales in India. I mean when mommy is buying you something, you can overlook budget,right?

Shop sale items

Now with the above method, one needs to have the luxury of a flexible lifestyle/job which allows you to shop on the day of the first day or the sale. In my previous job, I took half day off to shop the sale the first day which might not be an option for everyone. So keeping an eye on the sale section of your go-to-retailer is an option for you.  I, for example, rarely buy full price items unless it is something I need right now. Both the crop jacket and the skirt in the picture below are discounted on Asos.

Tie-front-stripe-maxi-skirt

 

Resale items

Another way to thrift is to pick up secondhand items from resale/consignment stores such as Plato’s Closet or Clothesmentor in USA.

Also estate sales or moving sales are good places for finding vintage pieces that you might not find in retail stores. This beaded mini bag is from a moving sale in Michigan. Guess the price? Only $5.

Thrift-style

 

Vintage stores are places where you can find used clothes from a different era  which you might not find in production today. My friend introduced me to these stores in Paris, near the Marais area. Usually, the items from these places are of better quality than most present day apparel at similar price points. Of course, clothes were of better value and design than the clothes at similar price points today.

If wearing resale items are not your thing, I would still suggest getting accessories such as hats, handbags to maximize your shopping budget.

Export reject stores

These stores sell clothes manufactured for export but they were either surplus or rejected for manufacturing defect. The best part of shopping at these places is that you get great quality at a fraction of the retail store. Plus, I love the fact that you get a wide variety of clothes from different designers/manufacturers instead of your options limited to a few. I personally do not like wearing cookie cutter clothes so this is a great place to find unique fashion pieces for me. This beautiful sheer organza tulle blouse with embroidery was purchased from my Mecca of shopping for less than $6 for sure and it is comparable to a $800 blouse at Neiman Marcus. How do I know? I live and breathe textiles and I also happen to be a stylist at Nordstrom.

Well, these are summarily what I do to maximize my shopping spend, what about you? Let us know your favourite tips and locations to stay on budget , fashionista?

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Asos-skirt-cropped-military-blazer

sheer-embroidery-blouse

Skirt: Asos (exact but sizes have run out), similar here and here

Blouse: Thrifted, similar here and here and here. Some may wonder why I have linked $200 and $800 blouse on a thrift related article. Well, the Vanessa Bruno is marked down from $339 and the Valentino blouse is $800 and I have found from my experience that intricate weaves such as organza and natural fabrics are steeply priced in US. I will happily import from India to service natural fabric starved customers in USA if I get queries.

Jacket: Asos (exact but sizes have run out) Similar here and here

Shoe: Charles Keith, similar here and here

Shoulder mini-bag: Thrifted, similar here



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