How to Look Like a Million Dollars Without Spending It

   By scentednights  Aug 11, 2011

In today's economy, everyone seems to be tightening their belts just a little bit more.  To save money, people are cutting non-essential expenses to help with the rising costs of groceries and gas.  While my budget for clothing and accessories has been reduced, I'm determined not to let it affect my style.  These are a few of the ways I'm keeping my expenses down.

1.  Always shop one season ahead. Whether you're shopping at Bloomingdales or Walmart, the best deals will be found on the clearance racks.  You won't generally find winter clothes on clearance when you need them so make sure to shop one season ahead.  Buy summer clothes at the end of summer and winter clothes at the end of winter. That's when stores make the lowest mark downs.

2.  Stick with classic colors.  The plum color that's the rage right now may be out of style next year.  Instead of investing in clothes that are the latest colors, opt for classic black or tan and accessorize with jewelry that shows off the latest colors.

3.  Know what the *good* brands are and stick with them. Nothing is more frustrating then bringing home a new brand of clothes and having it fray or get out of shape after you've worn it just a few times.  Keep a list of the good brands in your handbag so that when you come across them in a store, you'll remember how well they stand up to use.

4.  Shop at thrift stores and consignment stores.  Just because you can't afford to buy your favorite designer or store's clothes doesn't mean you can't wear them. I frequently find amazing deals on designer clothes at thrift stores. Make sure you have a list with you so you know which designers are the most desirable. You won't miss any great deals that way.

5.  Search out consignment stores in slightly better areas of town than where you live.   Most of the thrift stores in my town are fairly dismal. However, there's a much more upscale consignment store in a town thirty minutes away. I find great deals there.

6.  Don't be afraid to make a repair.  Learn to sew on a button, repair a hem or remove a scuff on leather.  If the price is right and the quality is there, it's a great way to get an expensive item at a great price.  Many stores and boutiques will mark down an item with slight damage.  If you can repair it, it's your gain.

What are a few of your best buys? Do you have any tricks to help save money on clothes shopping? My favorite deal so far is a $170 Etienne Aigner handbag on clearance at TJ Maxx for $29!  Yeah me!

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missyvecc by missyvecc | Seattle, WA
Aug 11, 2011

I purchased a $380 little black dress for $40 in a Filene's when I lived in NYC. I cannot imagine paying $380 for anything, and while the $40 is a little pricey compared to most "sales' steals. it was a store in Union Square (New York markups) and it was a FRACTION of the actual price of the dress.

lauralee by lauralee | NEW YORK, NY
Aug 11, 2011

I've been following your advice about purchasing ahead especially for my kids!

didama by didama | MAPLEWOOD, NJ
Aug 11, 2011

I am a big believer in buying fewer basic pieces that may be more expensive but will last significantly longer than the "cheaper fair". Its a much better strategy and then you can always swap in new shirts to jazz up pants, skirts and blazers that you already have. Thanks for the tips!