How to Score a Designer Closet on a Budget

Hello, lovely readers!

In fashion, there are two ways to buy clothes, in a store or online. In my book, paying the retail price is a rookie mistake. For example, I wouldn’t buy a $300 designer top at a department store when I could buy it for $70 at a discount or outlet store. Here are my top 3 ways to shop till you drop on a strict college budget.

How to Score a Designer Closet on a Budget:

Discount Stores

I mostly go to discount stores to find great deals. Sometimes, I don’t even know what I’m looking for, but I somehow find exactly what I want. For example, this week, I went to Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH (their retail outlet) for a pair of flats, and they didn’t have my size. Then, I walked around the store and saw an awesome leather & tweed jacket I had wanted weeks back. Now it was on clearance plus an extra 60% off! Patience pays off with discount shopping.

Woman in active wear shopping through clothes on a rack.
Mark Zamora / Unsplash


Then there are the department store sales. “Annual Sale!” “Holiday Sale!” It’s all a plan to get people to buy something, usually more than what they came to buy. As a smart shopper, I don’t just buy anything. I have a plan. When I go to a department store, it’s either window shopping, researching trends, or a sale I want to check out. Either way, I’m glad I went, even if I didn’t buy anything!

Store window design with 70% written on the glass for shopping.
Daniel von Appen / Unsplash


Another way to find a great college budget score is through thrift shopping. Sometimes these stores can harbor a negative stigma, but it’s not as simple as used clothes. You can find cool vintage or designer items at thrift stores. I love going to these stores because the merchandise is diverse and interesting! My favorite thrift shop is Poshmark, an online marketplace where users buy and sell either new or gently used clothes. I’ve seen items up for more than 70% off the retail price!

Woman shopping and looking through a rack of clothes.
Becca McHaffie / Unsplash

Shopping isn’t just a hobby. For some, it’s a way of exploring your creativity through fashion. Leave your best budget-friendly shopping tips in the comments below! As always, I love my lovely readers!

Check out 7 Fun Budget-Friendly Date Ideas for more fun tips and tricks.


Lauren Hochman

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Lauren Hochman
Lauren Hochman

Lauren Hochman is the owner and founder of Lifestyle on a Budget (formerly THE TEEN RUNWAY).

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