affordable august: maximize your closet on a budget

Welcome to Week 2 of Affordable August! Last week, I covered my favorite drugstore makeup. Today, I’ll be discussing how I choose pieces at inexpensive stores that look more refined than their price tag, are versatile, and are staple pieces that remain in my closet season after season. Every article of clothing featured in this blog post is under $40.

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Material Matters

When shopping at places with fast fashion, read the labels to see what material composes the garment. Feel the weight, softness, and quality of the fabric. I prefer garments made with cotton or wool versus polyester and rayon. Refined material can elevate the look of the piece as well as ensure that it will have enduring style.

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Evaluate What Trends/Shapes Matter to You

Stores such as Forever 21 and H&M keep up with the latest fashion trends, churning out inexpensive versions of what is seen on the runway. Take a step back and evaluate what your personal style is (future blog post?), what makes you feel confident, and what shapes/cuts are the most flattering on you. Once you have a good understanding of this, it makes shopping a lot easier (and more enjoyable) and allows you to be more conscious of your budget.

Yes, I have heard that it is more prudent to experiment with trendy pieces at affordable prices versus spending more on a fleeting trend. I agree. However, it is also attainable to procure a timeless style at these same price points.

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Prints & Patterns

Bold prints can go out of style quickly and are more challenging to pair with other articles of clothing. I tend to avoid them when building a classic wardrobe. Prints that tend to be more enduring include stripes, small scale polka dots, plaid, and leopard. (Of course, I sneaked in that camo jacket above.) At an inexpensive price points, I also tend to avoid rhinestones or other embellishments.

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Look for Basics

You know those “closet staples” that everyone always refers to? Well, add basics as the foundation for your closet to maximize closet versatility. These “must-haves” will vary from person to person, however, they typically include a basic t-shirt and tank (white, black, gray), lightweight sweater, chambray top, jeans (blue, black, gray), leather jacket, coat, low boots, versatile dress (can be dressed up or down), etc.

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Shop Sales

This might seem obvious, but be on the lookout for seasonal sales. There are multiple apps that help with price tracking, discounts with newsletter signups, or reward programs that can help bring down prices. Also, there are plenty of department stores or mid-priced stores that discount items such as Nordstroms, Anthropologie, and Madewell. These places tend to have higher quality items that you can nab at a great price point during the right time. In addition, shop online. E-commerce only websites such as ASOS tend to have a wide selection to choose from with free shipping and returns. Conversely, it is important to note that just because an item is on sale does not mean you HAVE to buy it. Refer back to the tips about garment quality, style, and design to make your decision on whether or not to make the purchase. Buying for the sake of a sale can result in overspending.

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In the Details

Look for small details that elevate the quality of clothing. This includes finished hems, lining in coats or dresses, refined buttons/zippers, closely knitted weaves for sweaters, etc.

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Thank you for stopping by! I so appreciate it. Please stop by next Friday for the third installment of Affordable August. If you want to know my daily happenings, follow me on Instagram, hint: check InstaStories to see what exciting stuff I’m up to this weekend.

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