How to Shop Fashionably on a Budget

Author: Nikita

The word “fashion” has a different meaning to many, but what about the word budget? As far as money is concerned, we all don’t have it just lying around waiting to be spent on every new fashion item that gets launched. So what are other alternatives that we as women can use to save money on clothes but still look fashionable and unique at the same time?

Lisa McLatchie is a Toronto stylist who attended Seneca College to study Fashion Design and was also personally trained by Stacey London from What Not to Wear. She started up Practical Fashionista, her personal styling business website, but prior to that, she worked as a general assignment television reporter at Global Okanagan for two years.

Although that was her job, she has always been captivated with fashion and style.  Her passion for fashion evolved into sewing and re-purposing her clothes to make new pieces. While growing up with a single mom, she rapidly learned how to make the most of what she had and how to shop on a budget.

“It was never about buying “cheap” things though I learned what was worth spending more money on, and how to re-purpose items to make them more ‘me’ and last longer,” says McLatchie.

Here are a few pointers from McLatchie for shopping fashionably on a budget:

  • Discount is no longer a dirty word. If you are looking for some of the latest trends at a fraction of the cost, try your local discount department store like Winners or Marshalls. Sure, it may take a while to sort through it all, but when you can find that piece you’ve been coveting, and is 70% off the retail price, it is so worth it!
  • When it comes to saving money on more expensive items, shop off-season. That means buying your fall and a winter clothes as spring is approaching, and vice versa. This is the best time to purchase higher-end classic pieces that won’t go out of style. Then use the money you saved to splurge on some trendy accessories to add to your look. Things like a scarf in a trendy print, a belt in an “it” colour of the season, or a funky-statement piece of jewellery.
  • Do some “DIY up-cycling” and reduce your carbon footprint by recycling your own clothing into new pieces. For example, that cocktail dress you’ll never wear again taking it to a tailor and have it cut and made into a cute fitted top that you can wear with jeans and heels for a night on the town. You can even check into the latest issue of your favourite magazine to see what the current trend is and see if you can replicate it yourself with clothing you already own.
  • Lastly, shop second-hand and consignment stores. You’d be surprised at the quality high-end designer pieces people no longer want that you can get for steal!

As McLatchie can attest, having a fine eye for fashion is great, but being smart with your money is better.