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How to Score a Designer Closet on a Budget – in 3 Easy Ways

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.

Navigating the discount scene can be an overwhelming task, which is why I put my shopping skills to the test to find the best ways to shop designer and save big. Here are my top 3 easy ways to shop till you drop on a strict budget.

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How to Score a Designer Closet on a Budget – 3 Easy Ways:

1. Go to Discount Stores or the Outlet Mall

I visit discount stores several times monthly to find great deals on great brands. Sometimes, I don’t even know what I’m looking for, but I 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 excellent leather & tweed jacket I had wanted weeks back but couldn’t afford. 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

2. Research Sales

Then there are the retail 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 savvy shopper, I don’t just buy anything. I have a plan.

When I go to a retail 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! Just remember to keep an eye on your spending budget because it’s very easy to go overboard from the excitement.

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

3. Go Thrifting

Another way to find a mean score is through thrift shopping. Sometimes these stores can harbor a negative stigma, but it’s not as simple as used clothes. You can also find cool vintage or designer items at thrift stores. I love going to these stores because the merchandise is full of unique finds!

My favorite online thrift shop is Poshmark, a marketplace where users can buy and sell either new or gently used clothes. I’ve regularly seen items up for more than 70% off the retail price! As a shop owner, I love that I can nearly dress for free by buying and reselling.

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. You never know; something you purchase could be handed down as a family heirloom one day. 

Have some tips and tricks of your own? Leave your best budget-friendly shopping tips in the comments below! I can’t wait to read your wonderfully frugal responses. As always, I love my lovely readers!

For more on how to live a fabulous life on a budget, read the article, The 20-Something’s Guide to Making a Budget


Lauren Hochman

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Lauren Hochman
Lauren Hochman

Lauren Hochman is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Lifestyle on a Budget and THE TEEN RUNWAY. She has over a decade of experience giving women advice through her writing. When she isn’t at her laptop, you can find her exploring Texas with her fiancé, Alex, and dog, Mr. Cantaloupe.

Find me on: Web | Instagram


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