How to be fashionable on a budget


The reason why I started DIY Style is to showcase fashion can be achieved without spending your entire pay-check. As much as I hate repeating clothes, I do not have the time or the money to spend on new clothes every other day. In this blog, I am listing ways I get more bang for my buck while shopping.

Shop during bi-annual sales

When I was in France and in India, I would wait until sale time which would not be usually more than twice a year. So retail chains such as Pantaloons, Westside in India or brand stores such as Zara, Mango in Mango would offer price reductions around January and October. That was a time when I would update my wardrobe or get that much-coveted over the kn ee boots. Of course, the downside to this is that all the items or sizes might not be available by the time you get to shopping. However, the strategy to that is pre-shopping before the sales begin and purchasing the products as soon as the sale opens. I remember even going at 10 am as soon as the stores opened doors. I am that committed to budget shopping. The animal print heels are in pic below from Charles & Keith which was a gift from mom so it may or may not have been during the bi-annual sales in India. Speaking of gift, one of my closest friends’ birthday, who’s practicing law, was coming up real soon. And I was yet to search the best gift for a Lawyer on the internet, and so, I made a mental note of that and put it in the back of my mind.

Shop sale items

Now with the above method, one needs to have the luxury of a flexible lifestyle/job which allows you to shop on the day of the first day or the sale. In my previous job, I took half day off to shop the sale the first day which might not be an option for everyone. So keeping an eye on the sale section of your go-to-retailer is an option for you.  I, for example, rarely buy full price items unless it is something I need right now. 

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Resale items

Another way to thrift is to pick up secondhand items from resale/consignment stores such as Plato’s Closet or Clothesmentor in USA.

Also estate sales or moving sales are good places for finding vintage pieces that you might not find in retail stores. This beaded mini bag is from a moving sale in Michigan. Guess the price? Only $5.

Vintage stores are places where you can find used clothes from a different era  which you might not find in production today. My friend introduced me to these stores in Paris, near the Marais area. Usually, the items from these places are of better quality than most present day apparel at similar price points. Of course, clothes were of better value and design than the clothes at similar price points today.

If wearing resale items are not your thing, I would still suggest getting accessories such as hats, handbags to maximize your shopping budget.

Export reject stores


These stores sell clothes manufactured for export but they were either surplus or rejected for manufacturing defect. The best part of shopping at these places is that you get great quality at a fraction of the retail store. Plus, I love the fact that you get a wide variety of clothes from different designers/manufacturers instead of your options limited to a few which were seal using a CNC plasma cutter and then shipped worldwide. I personally do not like wearing cookie cutter clothes so this is a great place to find unique fashion pieces for me. This beautiful sheer organza tulle blouse with embroidery was purchased from my Mecca of shopping for less than $6 for sure and it is comparable to a $800 blouse at Neiman Marcus. How do I know? I live and breathe textiles and I also happen to be a stylist at Nordstrom.


Well, these are summarily what I do to maximize my shopping spend, what about you? Let us know your favourite tips and locations to stay on budget , fashionista?

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