Last year I shared with a list of the 10 Essential Wardrobe Items as well as the 10 Essentials Shoes Every Woman Should Have and recently a writer asked that I share where to shop for these items on a budget. Being on a tight budget myself, even though I’d love to ignore the ticket price, I have to be creative and realistic about where I purchase my clothes, shoes and accessories. So today I’d like to share with you where to find quality, classic items that will leave a little extra in your wallet.
1. The Trench
To own a Burberry trench would be a dream, but until that dream is able to become a reality, we all need a trench in our coat closet (or two). I tend to find quality coats at reasonable prices online at Nordstrom and a few times have found trenches at Banana Republic. Below are a few that are currently available and with reasonable price tags.
(1) Calvin Klein ($138) (2) Lauren by Ralph Lauren Double Breasted – red ($249) (3) Ellen Tracy asymmetrical raincoat (multiple colors) ($168) (4) Ellen Tracy removable hooded trench black or khaki - ($179) – currently have one in black and am very happy.
Blouses whether they are long sleeve, short sleeve or sleeveless are key to many different layering looks or being worn on their own with a beautiful pair of trousers or a skirt. Just revealed at J.Crew following the polka trend are these two silk blouses that would look lovely under a blazer or alone.
3. White Collared Button-up Shirt
A classic item that can work multiple ways in any wardrobe is the classic white button up shirt. Be sure to purchase a quality fabric that has a little stretch and fits you well through the shoulder and sleeves. Two places that offer well made shirts for a reasonable price – The Shirt by Rochelle Behrens (as see on Oprah) which has a variety of colors and styles for $88 or Foxcroft for those who want a more classic, but forgiving look.
Jimmy Choo, Christian Louboutin . . . when I pass your shoes in the store I weep both tears of exhilaration and tears of sadness because it will be a long time before you decorate my toes. However, in the meantime here are some of my favorite brands to shop that look quite fabulous and are available with very wallet-friendly prices - Nine West, Vince Camuto, Steve Madden, Joan & David, and Aldo.
5. Nautical Top
A classic for casual wear that is always stylish. I am always on the look out for a new navy striped top and below are two businesses that sell quality T’s at prices that will allow you to buy multiples – Petit Bateau and J.Crew.
(1) Petit Bateau - $89 (2) J.Crew Sequin striped T - $59.50 (3) J.Crew Boatneck painter T (longsleeve) - $39.50
6. A Wrap Dress
Diane von Furstenberg certainly is the best and worth saving up for, but there are many other designers who create similar styles that are just as flattering. While some appear to be wrap dresses, but simply a dress, others are the real deal. Either way you can adjust them to your figure and flatter it impressively.
(1) Tahari by Arthur S. Devine Faux Wrap Dress (plum) $108 (2) Suzy Chin for Maggy Boutique Faux Wrap Dress (black too) - $98 (3) AK Anne Klein Leopard Print Wrap Dress - $139 (4) Donna Morgan Belted Jersey Faux Wrap Dress - $128
Other online shops to visit for fantastic choices at worthwhile prices:
*Topshop USA or UK
Other Budget Saving Ideas:
*Wait until late December or June when many clothing store (online and brick & mortar) have end of season sales slashing prices by more than 50%.
*If you have a favorite designer or store, contact them to be placed on a mailing list for alerts on sample sales and upcoming promotional sales.
*Once you find a designer or store that creates styles that work with your body, be willing to save up to purchase their particular items. Remember quality over quantity and Cost per Wear.
*Many designers (Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren and more) create more affordable lines. Be sure to check these out at the beginning of each new season.
*Look for consignment shops in your area. Begin to frequent them and schedule time to thoroughly peruse the racks – you never know what you’ll find.
And if you have other suggestions, please do share!