How to Shop Like a Fashionista When You’re on a Budget

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98 Responses

  1. Loved your tips Jen. One of the things I have to do is download that YourCloset app. I can’t tell youhow many times I’ve bought something only to come home and find out it doesn’t really go with anything in my closet. Such a waste

    • awaitressnomore says:

      Hi Michelle,

      It was really time-consuming, but I made my BF help and it’s paid me back in spades.

  2. Daria says:

    All very valid points. I am a fashion designer, so i understand what good quality is, and how to find it on a budget. Love Marshalls, TJMax, Ross, especially for my workout clothes and underwear. For special, unique things like accessories, I go online to The Outnet and The Real Real. Sometimes I also shop vintage.

    • awaitressnomore says:

      Hi Daria,

      Thanks for bringing up the Outnet. I’ve been meaning to try that and couldn’t remember the name of it for the life of me. I love that you’re a fashion designer. That’s such an amazing career!

  3. Karolina says:

    I gave up the idea of fashionista shopping a long time ago – my closet is as minimalistic as they get;) But seeing you making all those smart choices made me realize I need a couple of things:D

    • awaitressnomore says:

      Hi Karolina,

      I have definitely tried going the capsule wardrobe way and it’s just not for me. It worked so well for others I gave it a try, but I just love the art of mixing and matching outfits too much. I’m jealous though because it’s so nice to have a minimalistic closet!

  4. Elizabeth O says:

    What a lovely post, you provided some really good tips to budget shopping like a fashionista. I really adore the lilac outfit in your pictures, it’s perfect for spring.

    • awaitressnomore says:

      Thanks, Elizabeth! Thanks so much. It won on Insta for what I should wear for Easter. The sleeves are awesome.

  5. Ithfifi says:

    You’ve inspired me, as soon as you said about having clothes filling up the wardrobe and not wearing them.. I was like yup. That’s me. Mine is full and about 70% I don’t reach for for various reasons, may be time to have a little sell!
    Ithfifi recently posted…Zebracorn and Rainbow Nail ArtMy Profile

    • awaitressnomore says:

      I hope it works for you! I made quite a bit of money selling off some vintage coats that don’t fit me and my prom dresses. Picking your timing is really important too.

  6. What a great resourceful post. Loved all your tips. Shopping on a budget is truly an art.

    Tanvi Rastogi recently posted…Starting To Look Like SpringMy Profile

    • awaitressnomore says:

      I totally agree! The pieces I’ve waited on and saved up for mean so much more to me too. I hope the tips help, Tanvi!

  7. Ashley says:

    You have some great tips here that an array of people can execute! I would stay away from the credit cards but everything else I’d try!

    • awaitressnomore says:

      Hi Ashley,

      Thanks so much! Credit cards can be iffy if you don’t keep track of everything. I may sure that I’m immediately paying off whatever I put on the credit card when I get home, but I know others aren’t or don’t want to be that diligent. I have a lot of student loans and medical bills so I’m a big supporter of not buying something when you don’t have the money 🙂

  8. Melissa says:

    Great tips! Personally, reducing my clothes shopping has really helped me but I do feel the need to invest a little bit more into my wardrobe.

    • awaitressnomore says:

      Hi Melissa,

      I took 3 months off last year after the holidays and promised I would not buy any clothes. It really helped me shop my own closet and see what I needed. Plus, I was able to save a nice chunk of change to put into savings! Win win!

  9. Totally love this post, it is filled with great tips, advice, and lovely photos! You look beautiful, thanks for sharing:)

  10. Awesome post! I’m actually getting ready to freshen up my wardrobe!

  11. Samantha says:

    I love shopping, but generally have to stay on budget. These are really good tips. I try to go shopping when there are sales or to stores like Marshalls and Ross.
    Samantha recently posted…What to Order at The Burger Company if You Have Dietary RestrictionsMy Profile

    • awaitressnomore says:

      Hi Samanatha,

      Yes! I feel like Marshalls and Ross are discounted by so many people, but they have some really cute stuff and it’s so affordable. Especially if you get a coupon!

  12. Agnes Vazhure says:

    These are some excellent tips. Shopping on a budget is really fulfilling. LOL!! especially for all the fashionista out there.

    • awaitressnomore says:

      Hi Agnes,

      OMG, getting a great wardrobe on a budget is like a challenge and I love it. It’s super easy to go out and buy whatever you want, but having to stick to a certain budget adds an extra kind of fun to it, haha. At least that’s how I look at it!

  13. Preet says:

    You have a really beautiful style and fashion sense. All the points and tips you have mentioned sound so realistic and helpful. I do believe in the reward cards of the stores where I shop regularly. Sephora insider program is also a good one which I love.
    Preet recently posted…Van Cleef & Arpels Collection Extraordinaire – Orchidée VanilleMy Profile

    • awaitressnomore says:

      Hi Preet,

      Thanks so much, girly! You definitely gave me a smile. I hope some of the ideas help you out!

  14. Kristy Bullard says:

    Loving your outfits and all of your suggestions! I have two kiddos and live on a budget so I need to find deals when shopping for clothes.

    • awaitressnomore says:

      Hi Kristy,

      Thanks so much! I really appreciate it. I feel like having kids adds a whole new layer to shopping for clothing because they grow so dang fast. Kudos to you for making it work. I hope to hear from you soon!

  15. That’s the way to do it. The year my youngest (of four) was in 4th grade I hit all the after school clearances in September, then after Christmas and again in February. When I went through my the clothes to see what each kid still needed my fourth grader needed only socks and underwear. I was so pleased and were not talking dime store it was JcPenny, Sears, Footlocker etc I didn’t pay more than $6. a pair for jeans, $3 for tees – I was thrilled with my savings.

    • awaitressnomore says:

      So many more tips when you start thinking about buying kids clothing. If I had a kid it would probably be all thrift store finds until they stop growing like a weed. Or I’d have to teach myself how to sew. Egads. You did a great job!

  16. Amanda says:

    Credit cards are usually my downfall. So that will be a no go for me. I do like the idea of the Yourcloset app. I think I may just have to add it. I think that would be so helpful. Thank you for that.

    • awaitressnomore says:

      Hi Amanda,

      You’re very welcome. It’s really good you know that about yourself. 🙂 I’m glad I helped. I love that app!

  17. karen says:

    These tips are really amazing. i’ve been wasting lots of bucks on stuffs I wouldn’t even wear. Love these <3

    • awaitressnomore says:

      Hi Karen,

      I feel ya. I bought a faux fur vest that I never wear because I don’t really have anything that goes with it. So I had to go buy a dress that it actually looked good with, haha.

  18. These are great tips! I actually have tons of department store charge cards, but I always pay off the balance monthly like you mentioned so it is never a burden. Helps me get tons of coupons and rewards, too!

    • awaitressnomore says:

      Yes, exactly. As long as you have the diligence to pay it off regularly you can reap the rewards. Thanks for reading, Lisa! I hope to chat again soon.

  19. Noelle Lynne says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE your message on spending money on staples and not on trends. This goes along great with having a capsule wardrobe, much more sustainable and better for the environment.

    • awaitressnomore says:

      Hi Noelle,

      Thanks so much for your rave review! I totally agree. I haven’t been able to make a capsule wardrobe work for me, but I think it’s a great solution for many people and I love seeing it in action.

  20. This is really good advice. Shopping at Nordstrom Rack is super fun. I found the MOST adorable shoes for Little Miss there last year.

  21. Taylor Reese says:

    Love your tips!!! Easier said than done but great ones to live by.


  22. Nati says:

    So many amazing tips! Thank you, I am on a budget too, so many times I have lemmings, but end up not buying nothing. I’ll start using some of your tips!
    Nati recently posted…Nail Art │Nail design with Round shapes [26GNAI Challenge]My Profile

  23. Sheila says:

    Great tips! I tend to be pretty frugal when buying clothes so these help a lot!

  24. All the outfits that you’ve put together here are so great! You’d never notice that they were purchased with a budget in mind.
    Emily Fata, recently posted…Applying it to The Real WorldMy Profile

  25. Daniel says:

    Thanks for the wonderful tips they were very helpful.

  26. Nice pictures. I take advantage of reward cards a lot when shopping first clothes. I don’t aim to be a fashionista though. Good points.
    Collins Michael Nwokolo recently posted…How To Eat Healthy Nigerian Foods During PregnancyMy Profile

  27. Angel says:

    I find the best deals by shopping off-season. I’ve saved up to 90% by doing this. These are great tips.

    • awaitressnomore says:

      Hi Angel,

      I love it! I have gotten some fab coats just by shopping end of winter sales. So what if I can’t wear them until next year? It takes a little self-control, but it’s so worth it. I’d much rather lay down big money on a vacation.

  28. Yaya says:

    Great tips. I am all about the coupons and you have me looking up these amazon leggings right now.

    • awaitressnomore says:

      Hi Yaya,

      You’ll love them. I was so excited when they passed the squat test. They barely moved and no one could see through them!

  29. Jenna says:

    You look so stylish – I’d never believe you were a bargain-hunter!! 😉 and I totally have the same amazon knock off Cult Gaia bag and LOVE it! It’s nearly identical!
    Jenna recently posted…Spring Book HaulMy Profile

    • awaitressnomore says:

      Hi Jenna,

      I will take that as the best compliment ever! I refuse to pay full-price for anything. It’s actually kind of fun because it makes it sort of a competition, haha. Yes! The bag is awesome. I mean no one would even know and why spend a ton on a bag we probably won’t be using again after summer?

  30. Amy Dunn says:

    Great article with really useful information…I especially like the bit about treating yourself hahah 🙂

  31. Britney says:

    Such great useful tips!! I love to sell or cosign old clothes to trade for my children’s new clothing!
    Britney recently posted…The Added Benefits of Cord Blood BankingMy Profile

    • awaitressnomore says:

      Hi Britney,

      If I ever have kids I will have to learn a whole new way of shopping. They grow out of them so darn fast! I can’t even imagine keeping up with that.

  32. Shruti says:

    You are so gorgeous! I’m not very *into* fashion and the prices don’t help, so this guide was very helpful to me, thanks babe!

    • awaitressnomore says:

      Aw, Shruti, you’re too sweet. I’m glad it helped. I realize not everyone is into fashion and that’s perfectly fine. For me it’s kind of like an art form. A creative way to express myself.Just like this blog 🙂 As long as you’re letting your creativity out somewhere then you’re good.

  33. I’m a sucker for end-of-season sales, haha! I like shopping at outlet stores, too – especially when I’m shopping for sneakers. 🙂
    Czjai Reyes-Ocampo recently posted…Spotlight | Ever Bilena Matte Lip Liner.My Profile

    • awaitressnomore says:

      A giant yet to shopping for sneakers at outlet stores! Quality running shoes run into almost $200 and when I’m running regularly I can only keep them for like 6 months. That’s nuts to me. So I definitely check out the outlet shops or current deals because no way I’m paying full price on those suckers.

  34. I love your fashion sense! You look great in all your clothes and make up. These tips are wonderful to stretch the dollar and create rewards that go the extra mile. You can look like a million bucks at a fraction of the cost 👍🏼
    Evelyn, PathofPresence 🦋 recently posted…6 Fearless Steps to Move From Grief to Growth and What You Need to KnowMy Profile

    • awaitressnomore says:

      You are too sweet, Evelyn! I totally agree. Finding my favorite stores and collecting points there has been so helpful than shopping all over the place. Plus, the internet allows you to track different pieces now and let’s you know when the price has gone up or down. I love it!

  35. Kathleen says:

    Great tips. I am always looking for different ways to save money on clothes. Cleaning out the closet and donating is a must do. I also think we have way too many duplicates clothes we can cut down on and save some serious cash if we kept track of what we own.

    Thanks for sharing

    • awaitressnomore says:

      Hi Kathleen,

      Keeping track was an absolute game changer for me. I stopped buying multiple t-shirts with slightly varied cuts or colors. The same thing goes for shoes. There’s only so many pairs of sandals I need. Thanks for reading!

  36. Daisy says:

    I absolutely love all of these super cute and adorable outfits! That purple dress is my absolute favorite— SO cute!!

    • awaitressnomore says:

      Hi Daisy,

      Thanks so much! It’s a fave of mine as well. It’s a total mix of 70’s with a modern twist. I love the color too. Thanks so much for checking me out. I look forward to hearing from ya again!

  37. kumamonjeng says:

    I love shopping and I have too many clothes and my wardrobe will explore anytime from now. Glad you have share you tips on how to manage those old clothing. I guess it is best way to re-cycle and pass down to the people who need them. By the way, I love your romper, so cute on you!
    kumamonjeng recently posted…Vietnam Hanoi Hotel Review : May De Ville Old Quarter HotelMy Profile

    • awaitressnomore says:

      You and me both, girl! I’m rapidly running out of shoe space and I take up like 1.5 closets at the moment. At least all of it is stuff I wear regularly. I helped my boyfriend give a bunch of his clothing to charity that he never wore or was a size too big. I usually clean out my closet once a year and give anything away that I know I won’t be using next season. If it’s a nicer piece I’ll try and sell it. Consignment stores have been really helpful for me. I get a little too sentimental sometimes though!

  38. Those are great tips, me, I do love shopping but I am not a type of person buying something that is beyond to my needs and to my budget also. My mom said do not buy something that you don’t need and think first before you buy something.

    • awaitressnomore says:

      That’s a great way to look at it, Geraldine. I usually have places put stuff on hold while I walk around the mall and if I still want it I’ll go back. Same with shopping online. I’ll put stuff in my cart and wait a bit to see if I still want it unless it’s something that will sell out soon. Time and distance can do wonders for your bank account!

  39. Rachel says:

    I love using poshmark to get some cute shoes and handbags at a steal. I have sold a few of my things there as well.

    • awaitressnomore says:

      Yes! They’ve been surprisingly awesome, Rachel! I’m so glad you found stuff that worked for you. How was the selling process?

  40. Pat says:

    Thanks for all the tips on how to look fabulous at reduced prices. It’s obvious you’ve gone to a great deal of trouble assembling these hints.

    • awaitressnomore says:

      Hi Pat,

      Thanks so much! I’ve spent a lot of time trying different things so I thought why not share the wealth!

  41. Shefali says:

    Your post has made me realise that I have to go for shopping 🙂 I love shopping, its more fun when you shop with a dear friend 🙂

    • awaitressnomore says:

      It definitely is more fun to go shopping with friends! I typically do my hardcore shopping alone or with one other friend just so I don’t feel rushed.

  42. Holly says:

    These are great tips. Thank you so much for this information. That is so helpful.

  43. Rachel says:

    Some good tips here to stay trendy but without breaking the bank. I think reward cards and discounts can be great. I’m personally not so much a fashion follower but know lots of people that are!

    • awaitressnomore says:

      Hi Rachel,

      Everyone marches to the beat of their own drummer. For me, fashion is just a way of expressing my creativity, but there’s plenty of ways to do that 🙂 Keep on being awesome!

  44. Alexine says:

    Gosh! I love your tips Jen, I’m really terrible when it comes to shopping I can spend a lot but if I control myself I don’t buy anything at all. These are precious tips to follow. Indeed reward cards are always useful I can’t wait to apply all this!
    Alexine recently posted…Happenings from Zamboanga-Cebu-Bohol TripMy Profile

    • awaitressnomore says:

      Hi Alexine,

      Thanks so much, girl! Best of luck with finding the clothing that calls to you and staying on a budget! I hope my tips are helpful 🙂

  45. Shirin says:

    You’re so right about spending on staples and saving on trends! I keep wanting to buy trendy clothes that I know I’ll only wear once to a music festival, so I keep online window shopping for them until my logic kicks in and reminds me I don’t need them. I’m thinking about DIY-ing some of the outfits!

    Shirin |

    • awaitressnomore says:

      Hi Shirin,

      Honestly, festival wear is the best time to DIY or use some of the old clothing you have to make new. Cut down a pair of old jeans into shorts and add some fringe or throw on a pair of overalls, boots and a DIY crop-top. Music and festival life is all about letting your fashion creativity speak. I love it so much.

  46. We love these ideas! We are always bargain hunting for luxury items on sale.

  47. Maite says:

    Really good tips! I live in Milan and the shopping temptation is always there! It’s very hard not to buy new clothes all the time! But being on a budget is a boost of creativity too! Because it lets you be more creative with what you already own! Loved your post, keep it up! X

    • awaitressnomore says:

      Hi Maite,

      I don’t know if I’d be able to stop myself if I lived in Milan. Talk about a shopper’s paradise! I agree that sticking to a budget helps exercise that creativity muscle.

      Keep in touch!

  48. These are great tips and there are some great ensembles. My personal favorite is the last ensemble. I think that lilac dress was made specifically for you. A lot of broken necks with that one. And a great score shopping wise. I think if you know your own personal style, you can definitely put it together without going into debt. Me personally, as a man, I love shopping in NYC and you definitely need budget related talents shopping there.

    • awaitressnomore says:

      Oh, Lawrence, you just made my day! You are so sweet.

      From my time in NYC I can definitely imagine you would need to be careful. I just wanted to throw money at everything. I did have fun bartering with the shop vendors though!

  49. Susan Minich says:

    I totally agree – splurge on staples and not on trends! Great tips!!
    Susan Minich recently posted…Cheesy Ro-tel Stuffed Spaghetti Squash (vegan and gluten-free)My Profile

    • awaitressnomore says:

      Hi Susan,

      Thanks so much! That’s how I have an amazing leather jacket and can still keep up with what’s trendy 🙂

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