How to Find Style on a Budget

This question comes from a reader who asked me this lovely question a few weeks ago. She left a comment, that I thought was a fantastic question that everyone should hear the answer. My answer actually speaks to my styling philosophy. So here it goes …new-york-fashion-week-spring-summer-2012-bag-street-style-fashionQ- Thank you, Lauren, really appreciate your advice! Now to look for more affordable brands and pieces. LOL!!! Did I forget to mention we are middle class families with modest incomes…??? ;-))

A- I totally get it! On my blog I talk about a lot of luxury products BUT I always get them for less. I believe you should always buy the best quality that you can afford. I spend a little extra on clothing because we’re in it for the long haul. I buy pieces with the intention that they will stick with me for the rest of my life. So I’ll buy a $2800 Chanel cardigan for $590 at Nordstrom Rack. Of course I’m the only mouth that needs feeding in my household (besides my dog).

The clients that I work with are everyday women with varying budgets; from having $1,000 to spend on a new wardrobe to having $25,000. For all of my clients (including the fancy ones) I shop at places like Nordstrom Rack, Saks OFF 5th, Last Call Neiman Marcus, TJ Maxx, and Marshalls. I like getting people the biggest bang for their buck. Who doesn’t like saving money?

For your budget here is what I would suggest …

Shop big brands for less

Make Nordstrom Rack, Marshalls, and TJ Maxx your new go-to stores. When you are feeling adventurous drive out the outlet malls and visit Banana Republic, J Crew Factory, Ann Taylor, and other shops similar to those to get really amazing deals. If you are more into online shopping J Crew Factory, Nordstrom Rack, and TJ Maxx all have online maxx

Cardigan,TJ Maxx // Blouse, TJ Maxx // Wrap, TJ Maxx

Your go-to brands 

My clients love it when I bring them these brands (they carry all of these brands at the stores I listed above) …

  • Maggy London
  • Elie Tahari
  • DKNY
  • Calvin Klein
  • Cynthia Rowley
  • Bailey 44
  • Max Studio
  • Walter Baker
  • Cable & Gauge
  • Diane von Furstenberg
  • Catherine Malandrino
  • Elizabeth and Jamesj crew factory


Supplement with fast fashion

I would never recommend building a wardrobe on fast fashion (H&M, Zara, Topshop, Forever 21) – it’s like having all fast food diet – but buying a few pieces from these stores every now and again is a great way to enjoy high-end trends for less. I got to H&M for really cool jackets and blazers. Topshop has great suiting for men and shoes for women. Unless you are under 21, Forever 21 is an accessories only place – the clothing doesn’t look great on people over 21. Zara is pretty awesome just avoid their over-embellished pieces (which happens a lot there) go for their simpler pieces.

I hope that was helpful! Happy shopping and let me know if you find anything awesome.


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