How to Shop More and Save More

Strategic thinking can help you afford your favorite designer labels and build an Instagram-enviable wardrobe. With just a tiny bit of planning, you can save more and thus, voilà! shop more. From where to put your money for the biggest style impact to tracking down insider info on the best sales, here are tricks every fashion girl should know.

Build a better basic wardrobe with strategic planning.

Shop out of season. Shop for the next upcoming season and you’ll pay a hefty retail price. Take advantage of sales on out-of-season clothing and you’ll score quality clothing at bargain rates. This is especially savvy if you’re looking for classic items that won’t go out of style.

Accessorizing is an easy way to jazz up the classic basics that serve as the foundation of your wardrobe. Look for inexpensive scarves, bracelets, belts and necklaces and you’ll add style without emptying your bank account. Plus, you’ll get serious bang for your buck. Accessorizing can transform one outfit into several without the massive cash outlay.

Skimp on clothing no one sees.

Save your money for clothing will make the biggest splash, and skimp on items no one will see such as the Hanes T-shirts that you layer under blazers. Designer labels cost a bundle, but big-name jeans, dresses, and jackets make great investment pieces you’ll cherish for a long time.

Shopping on second hand websites is a great way to find investment pieces by your favorite designer, like ThredUP, Poshmark, Swap, and eBay. Chances are good you’ll find items that are more than a year old at prices you can afford. Just keep an eye out for knock offs and counterfeits. Read the seller’s reviews and don’t hesitate to ask questions. Lots of the same item from one seller is a bad sign, while several different items from one designer can signal the seller shares your taste.

Score insider sales info

Don’t leave home for the mall without coupon apps on your phone. Apps such as Yowza and Coupon Sherpa can alert you to special offers at your favorite national chain and local retail stores. Let your apps do the tracking for you.

Keep an eye out for the giant annual and semi-annual sales that big department stores offer. You’ll find the year’s best discounts at Victoria’s Secret, Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom usually just before or just after holidays. Mark your calendar or sign up for the store’s emails.

If there’s one boutique you hit on a regular basis, make friends with your favorite salesperson. Your trusted in-store advisor can alert you to upcoming sales.

Know where to look.

Stores are happy to encourage you to spend money, so they make sure you have to search for the sales racks. You’ll find most stores place their most expensive items directly in your path in the middle of the sales floor. Bypass the obvious and start your browsing by circling the edges of the shop to locate the discounted items.

Don’t confine your hunt to high-end boutiques. Trolling thrift stores can turn up some unexpected finds at better than bargain-basement prices. Just know before you go that you may be digging through a lot of duds in order to find that diamond. Thrift store fans swear that turning up a stunner from your favorite designer makes the hunt worth the trouble. And if the store supports a charity, your effort is even more worthwhile.

Don’t ignore the surveys.

Look at the fine print and you’ll find you can turn many receipts into little coupons that knock 5 percent to 10 percent off your next purchase. It’s a good bet your favorite retailer often buries a survey asking for your comments among their store info and return policy. Take it! You may save yourself the cost of sales tax on your next big buy.

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