5 Tips on Looking Like a Million Bucks on a Budget

We all would love to walk out of the store looking like one of those extremely stylish mannequins posing around the store, but very few of us can actually afford to plunk down $300 on an outfit. Before you swear off Guess? shirts and Lucky Brand jeans forever, hear us out: you can actually wear stylish designer clothes or at least look stylish for pennies on the dollar! Here’s how:


Shop at thrift stores


This is probably the most obvious option, but too many people pass it up. Some people, especially fashionistas, tend to shy away from thrift stores under the impression that thrift stores are full of dirty, worn-out Walmart clothes. Nothing could be further from the truth! Many thrift stores, especially those in affluent areas, carry nearly new name-brand clothes for pennies on the dollar. Comb the racks at your local thrift store and you’ll be bound to come across a few sweet finds!


Up-cycle your buys


If you have a sewing machine and a bit of creativity, this one is for you. You can buy cheap, oversized, ratty clothes (which are usually much cheaper than their prettier alternatives) at a thrift store and then refashion them with your sewing machine. You can turn a muumuu into a stylish scarf and an oversized purse. You can turn a big t-shirt into a cute tank top. Add frills to a plain button-up. Take a linen tablecloth and make it into a summer dress. Up-cycle an old sweater into a few pairs of mittens. The possibilities are endless! For some inspiration, check out this blog. This lady’s ideas and results are unbelievable!


Use coupons.


Scour your local newspaper, look online, or use a coupon app like Coupon Sherpa to find the best coupons for your favorite store. You can land some great coupons like 20% off a single order. Sometimes, you can even use a coupon during a great sale. For example, on Black Friday last year, I went to Banana Republic and found two turtlenecks at $3 each and a pair of jeans for $10. I had a 50% off coupon, so I paid only $8 for the entire order! You can say that I was a very happy lady that day!


Hold out for great sales.


Many stores roll out great deals at a certain time of the year. For example, Victoria’s Secret has a semi-annual sale around January and July each year. Many stores, like Old Navy, offer deep discounts at the end of each season (for example, $5 swimsuits in September). Also, don’t forget about Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals! That’s the time of the year where you can buy full-priced items for pennies on the dollar.


Make a beeline to the clearance section of the store.


I once bought a pair of $80 Lucky Brand shorts for $9.99 and a $70 Lucky Brand t-shirt for a whopping 5 bucks! It’s only because I browsed the clearance rack at the Lucky Brand store. Sometimes you don’t even need to visit a thrift store or use a coupon to land a great deal. The clearance rack is where it’s at! So, before you drop a lot of money on an outfit, check the clearance rack first. You just might find a better outfit for half the price!


This is a post by Anita, who is a blogger, style expert and a fashion writer for Macy's.

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