How I Afford My Clothes: Stylin’ On A Budget

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Get ready to learn how I bought this jacket and tank for under $5 each!

How do fashion/style bloggers afford their clothes?  After all, they’re posting a new outfit almost everyday!

The above thoughts are ones people wonder about all the time, and the answer can be different for everyone.  Well, for bloggers with a large following, brands send them clothes and they’re probably making enough money off of pair sponsorships to buy some top-dollar clothes every once in a while.  But what about the smaller bloggers who don’t have brands knocking at their door every 10 seconds like myself?

I’ve gotten plenty of questions from my friends about how I afford my clothes, and I’m sure some of you have wondered the same about me or another small blogger you may follow.  Today, I’m sharing with you the answer to that question.  With Black Friday coming up and Christmas around the corner, it’s the perfect time for me to spill my personal tips and tricks for looking stylish on a budget!  Without further ado, here is How I Afford My Clothes.

THE TREASURES OF THRIFT SHOPS

Although thrifting has been gaining lots of speed lately and more people are beginning to try it out, I feel like it’s still underrated.  Almost one-third of my entire closet is second-hand, and two-thirds of all the jackets I own were either found at a thrift shop or a yard sale.  Thrift shops have cheap prices, but not cheap clothes!  They are the place to search for unique pieces, as it’s pretty much guaranteed no one else will have them.  Also, if you’re looking for pieces that have throwback vibes (especially jeans!!) thrift stores are the place for you.  I feel like I can’t stress enough how vital thrift shops are to my wardrobe and how great they can be for those who don’t have an endless wallet, but want an endless closet.  Go thrifting!

Second-hand Shops: Goodwill, Salvation Army, Buffalo Exchange, and look for local stores that take used clothing near you.

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This whole outfit was thrifted from Goodwill, the jeans were only $4.75!

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This Members Only jacket was found at a yard sale for $1, and they normally sell for $85+

WHEN SHOPPING  FOR HIGHER END PIECES…

Another thing that is underestimated is clearance racks.  When going into fancier, more expensive stores (this can apply to inexpensive stores as well), check out what’s on sale.  Stores are getting new pieces all the time, and contrary to popular belief, the sale section isn’t always full of clothes that are out of season.  Lots of times, I’ve found cute sweaters and jackets marked down to a lower price way before the chillier seasons officially start!  If you’re looking to shop at more high-end stores/boutiques, but don’t want to blow the bank, clearance racks are the way to go.

Stores with Good Sale Sections: Urban Outfitters, Zara, and boutiques like Francesca’s

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I bought this camo embroidered jacket back in September from the clearance section of Francesca’s for only $15 (it had been marked down from around $35)!

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This skirt was less than $5 from Salvation Army!

GO MASS SHOPPING WHEN MANY STORES ARE HAVING SALES

There are certain times of the year when my favorite stores are all having massive sales, and this is when I really shop ’til I drop!  From my past experience, there are big sales in most stores around April, after July 4th (back-to-school time), around Thanksgiving (Black Friday and Cyber Monday), and after Christmas.  Stores know when people are buying and that’s when some of the best sales happen.

The end of March and beginning of April is when a lot of the clothes that are perfect for colder weather begin to go on final clearance, since stores are getting in new items for the upcoming spring and summer seasons.  After July 4th, is when I buy most of my back-to-school outfits because stores have crazy good markdowns.  This year I was in Chicago during this time, and Zara was having up to 75% on TONS of items, so I grabbed a bunch of stand-out pieces!  Also, you’re in luck because one of the major sale times is here and a few are coming up.  Stores know people have officially started their Christmas shopping, and mid-November the deals start to get good and slowly increase into great.  Obviously, Black Friday is less than a week away and finding cute clothes for cheap will not be hard.  All the best stores with the best clothes for the best prices is basically Black Friday summed up into one sentence. If you don’t want to shop in store because people can get a bit insane when it comes to finding the best deals, wait for Cyber Monday (November 27 this year) and shop them online!  The last super sale time is after Christmas.  Stores are trying to get rid of items they didn’t sale during the Holiday Season to make room for new collections and pieces, so there are always tons of markdowns in the beginning of January.

These are all times of years where I know shopping for nicer clothes is best, but this is just from my experience, so feel free to comment other times of the year when you’ve notices tons of shops going on sale!

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My embroidered jeans I bought at the Zara sale in July.

SPEND MORE TO STAND OUT

One of the most important tips I can tell you is to spend more to stand out.  By that I mean, don’t spend $60 on a plain white top, but rather spend that money on unique pieces that will stand out in a crowd.  It’s important to know what to spend money on.  If I know it’s an item of clothing that is high quality and is something I can see myself wearing a lot more than once, I’ll buy it! And the same goes for you all.  That red, star-studded, leather jacket? Worth the splurge.  The striped, tiered, turtleneck dress perfect for the holiday party you’ve been invited to?  Worth the splurge.  The metallic booties with embroidered flowers?  Worth the splurge.  Don’t be afraid to pay more than you normally would for a piece that is extra special!  Also, you can use the philosophy some use when cleaning out their closets (I use it a lot in dressing rooms):  Does the item of clothing you’re trying on give you joy?  If not, maybe it’s not for you.  If so, it’s totally for you!

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Although this dress was bought with a gift card, I would consider it a splurge well-done if I hadn’t had one.

STORES TO CHECK OUT WITH QUALITY CLOTHES FOR LOWER PRICES

Forever 21

Marshalls

SheIn

H&M

Tobi

Target (they’ve been stepping up their clothing lately!!)

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Pants are from Marshalls (from Comfy Outfits for the Holidays)

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Sweatshirt Dress from Tobi (from How to Style OTK Boots)

Ah, and that’s that for this How I Afford My Clothes Post.  I hope you all learned some valuable tips that can help those of you who are trying to look bangin’ on a budget, and that you know how to spend your money to get the most out of your wardrobe.  Leave a comment below letting me know if these tips were helpful and feel free to drop any questions relating to this post so that I can continue to help you all out on your quest for cute, yet cheap clothes.  Thanks for reading… and Happy Black Friday shopping!

💜Love, Olivia

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22 thoughts on “How I Afford My Clothes: Stylin’ On A Budget

  1. I think people underestimate how good sale sections can be, especially in stores like Urban Outfitters where basically every item is always in style :’) loved these tips, I will definitely be going thrifting more soon as it is such a great way to find cheap and interesting items!

    Liked by 1 person

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