So now that fall is firmly here on the East Coast, I have pulled out my sweaters and packed up the bikinis—adios guys, we had a lot of fun!
But as I was unpacking my winter clothing, I couldn’t help think that everything looked kinda lame? Has that ever happened to you? I was like “Is this what I wore last year? And I thought I was cute?” Uggh!!
But before I burn a hole in my credit card buying a whole new winter wardrobe (Vince “blanket coat” ) I’m looking at you!)
Here are some lessons I’ve learned over the years to stretch my fashion budget.
1. Trade unwanted pieces for clothes or cash.
Places like Buffalo Exchange, Crossroads Trading Company, and Beacon’s Closet are retailers where you can take unwanted clothing and get cash, or store credit. This is a GREAT way to make the best use of clothes that are kinda too good for straight giveaway. Bagborroworsteal.com is now buying designer bags and shoes, so you can get good money for last seasons accessories.
2. Go Vintage or Go Home! So I am a bit biased as I co-own a vintage store, but shopping vintage is a great way to get in-season runway looks NOW at a HUGE discount. Many designers come into our shop (A Little Wicked Vintage boutique) to buy inspirations for their next line. So, why pay a shit ton of money on trends like gym-inspired sweaters and wrap skirts when you can go to a vintage store and get QUALITY in-season styles for a fraction of the cost.
3. Off price retailers— Stores like TJ Maxx and Marshall’s offer designer clothing at up to 60% off because of great relationships they have with buyers. They are able to get in- season items at a huge discount because the can buy last minute and bulk orders from around the globe.
4. Thinks outside the mall
I just did an event with the incomparable Wendy Williams at the Tanger outlet malls in Deerpark, NY, and it reminded what good deal could be found. Outlet malls tend to have a tired reputation because of their off-the-highway locations and cookie cutter settings. But no longer just home to Nike and Ann Taylor, outlet malls now feature tony brands like Catherine Malandrino, Celine, and Burberry, and outstanding savings. According to Consumer Reports, you can expect at least a 30% discount on merchandise, which makes a day at the outlets a worthy trip. People get good deals because outlet malls are where many retailers send their overstocked products.
Plus “outlet websites” like the outnet.com means you can get savings without leaving your home!
5. Consider consignment
Unlike vintage or thrift stores, consignment stores tend to sell newer items, like of-the-moment and last seasons clothes and accessories. Because trends tend to last beyond one season, this is a great way to buy a luxe piece at a discount. Check out Collette Designer Consignment or Resale Riches.
6. Shop Online sample sales and shop them on WEEKENDS-
Web sites like Giltgroupe and Rue la la offer huge savings everyday, but most people don’t know that they offer even bigger savings on WEEKENDS when most daytime shoppers are away from their desks, so totes worth it to stay in and shop for an hour to get deep discounts.
7. Accessories are a great way to “poshen up” any wardrobe. Add instant flair to your ensemble by donning your mom’s cocktail ring or brooch at your next soiree or head to retailers like J. Crew and The Express who have a KILLER array of affordable jewelry.
8. Mend your clothing. I feel every woman in America has a bag of clothes and shoes in her closet that she “means” to fix, whether a blazer needs a new button, or boots need to be resoled. Often times that “fix-it” bag can sit in the closet for seasons. Dust it off and drop it off at the tailors or shoe repair store, pronto. You’ll find you can get almost a new wardrobe for under $100.