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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 fiancĂ©, Alex, and dog, Mr. Cantaloupe.

Find me on: Web | Instagram


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