5 Ways to Be Chic on a Budget

This is the first part of a Bethanimalprint series called ‘Fashion Cents.’ 
I spend a lot of time boasting about my shallow consumerism on the blog, so I figured I’d let the pendulum swing toward the sensible side and share some tips for staying chic on a budget. 

1. Engage with brands you love. Subscribe to favorite stores newsletters, follow them on Twitter and Instagram and ‘like’ them on Facebook. You don’t have time to peep the internet for sales all day so why not let them remind you the item-you’ve-been-craving-for-months-now is an extra 40% off today only.

2. Don’t say no to rewards programs. Splendid hosts their ‘Earn your Stripes’ frequent buyer rewards program which is how I scored a Pre-Fall shirt 50% off last weekend. Did I have to spend a lot to get there? Sort of. It wasn’t cheap, but I bought everything at 30% off during peak sales season. I also buy beauty products exclusively at retailers that reward loyal shoppers like Sephora and Birchbox
3. Make your schedules align. Keep note of when your favorite sales occur and hold off on buying bigger ticket items until then. For me, this means I wait to buy a new pair of pricier shoes until Black Friday because they are bound to be at least 30% off that day. I keep a separate Google calendar for my favorite store’s sales.
4. Bookmark budget-friendly online retailers. It becomes a time saver too. Flash sale sites like Rue La La and Gilt and clothing resale sites like Poshmark and Bib and Tuck are very likely to have what you’re looking for soon, if not now. Be careful not to make impulsive purchases on flash sale sites (though tempting), but do buy staples like an LBD or nude pumps.

I got the J.Brand shorts above from Bib and Tuck for a fraction of their retail value.

*Not in front of a laptop much? Use a mobile app like Catalog Spree to get exclusive deals; saving you money while saving some trees. 

5. Make trendy and cheap synonymous. Yeah, I super-heart Kate Spade’s Karolina Pumps just as much as the next shoe hoarder, but the price-per-wear ratio of these babies is likely high, so I bought some guilt-free metallic shoes from JustFab. Chic can be cheap especially now that Target and H&M are collaborating with iconic designers like Isabel Marant and 3.1 Phillip Lim.

There really is no wrong way to save money on clothes, right? Follow me on Twitter if you want PSAs when my favorite sales are occurring. 
What do you do to stay chic on a budget? (Please don’t say you have the clothing budget of Kim Kardashian.)

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  • Caity @ Moi Contre La Vie

    Great tips! I definitely need to follow your advice more! <3

    • Bethann Wagner

      Thanks Caity! I think you’re sensible!

  • Donna

    Great advice! I couldn’t agree more with trendy and cheap being synonymous.


    • Bethann Wagner

      It Is a must especially considering cost of living here! Thanks for reading, Donna! Xoxo

  • Karla Paton

    I consign clothes, shoes, handbags, etc. that I’m done with or don’t fit anymore to My Sister’s Closet. You can walk away with cash or get more in store credit. So far I haven’t taken the cash option as there is always something that catches my eye. My last find was a Rachel Roy cardigan for my work wardrobe. I also keep an eye out at Target for markdowns. This week I got some work staples for under $15 each. An animal print pencil skirt and patterned pants for summer.

    • Bethann Wagner

      Excellent advice, Karla. I loved My Sister’s closet in Scottsdale when I was living there and still have a team Chanel shirt I scored there!

  • Meghan Brock

    Such a great post! I’m all about budget fashion too and honestly, when you’re as fabulous as you are, you can look amazing on any budget!

    • Bethann Wagner

      Meghan, you are too kind. Thank you darling dear! xoxo