In the perfect world, either money would grow on trees, or Louis Vuitton purses would be $20. However, since it seems all the best brands don’t make clothes with less than two zeroes on the price tag, being stylish isn’t always easy for the smart shopper. So here is a list of my top five secrets to having the best outfit in the office without breaking the bank.
- Have patience, and wait for a good sale!
This may seem obvious, but there’s a deeper meaning. If you go to J. Crew for a new pair of jeans, you’ll end up paying about $125. I bought my last pair for about a fourth of that because I walked in one of their stores, saw a pair of jeans I liked, and had the self control to walk about empty handed. Everything goes on sale eventually for the most part. You have to add timing into the equation when deciding if the price is worth it. So next time you’re at the store and see a pair of shoes that are simply to die for, but are way out of your price range, tell yourself that good things come to those who wait. for a sale.
- Never underestimate the power of the coupon.
As crazy as “extreme couponers” are, there are a few things we can learn from them. Thanks to the worldwide web, there are websites that provide coupon and promo codes for a lot of stores and businesses such as Victoria’s Secret, Banana Republic, and more. Sites such as retailmenot.com, coupons.com, groupon.com, and livingsocial.com are all among my favorites. Search the store you’re shopping at and you’ll find tons of coupons at your fingertips.
- Reduce, reuse, and most importantly, recycle!
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. As each winter comes to a close, instead of struggling to make room for your new spring finds, clean out the clothes you won’t wear or that will just be out of style next winter. You can take those clothes and resell them, take them to local consignment shops, or drop them off at Goodwill. Apps like Mercari, Poshmark, and OfferUp make reselling your unwanted clothes easy and a great way to make some cash on the side.
- Invest in versatile staples
I’ll attest to the fact that resisting buying everything that sparkles isn’t the easiest task. Sequins and velvet have been all over the past six months or so, but us smart shoppers have to be a little more realistic and focus on staples. You’re going to want items in your closet that can be dressed up or dressed down, such as a good pair of denim jeans, a white button up blouse, a little black dress, and items of that nature. The more use you can get out of an item, the less clothing you’ll end up buying in the long run.
- Thrift shops can be gold mines
There are over 160 Goodwill stores and 350 Value Village stores across North America. As most people see it, thrift stores emit a distinct smell and aren’t usually well organized, so there isn’t a reason to go inside. That’s because they aren’t about the glitz and glamour, they operate to help create jobs and sell clothing to lower income families. However, if you have time, you might get lucky and find something amazing. I once found a Calvin Klein jacket for $6.99. Spoiler alert: you’re going to have to sort through a ton of clothing that hasn’t been in style for 30 years, but keep on digging!