What’s The Secret?


How to shop for clothes as a fashionable woman on a budget

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you know that I am no slave to fashion. I will buy just about anything from just about anywhere. I’m a college grad who is still looking to jumpstart my career. So, money isn’t flowing like a river in my wallet…yet! I’ve just learned how to shop. Because I’m a fashionable person, I have to be strategic in my purchases. I have had a lot of women ask me what my biggest shopping secret is. I really don’t have any secrets! But, for the sake of this article, I’ll throw a few tips to you.

1. Seasonal Shopping

What is seasonal shopping? Seasonal shopping is when you buy merchandise that will be worn during the next season or worn in addition to pieces for the current season. For instance, since we’re in the middle of the fall season, denim shorts can be found on just about any clearance rack and by now they are dirt cheap!! If I buy them now I will either throw them in my closet for next spring/summer or I’ll wear them now with some tights, combat boots, and flannel shirt. The joy of seasonal shopping is that most of the items will be very low priced and it is the prime time to stock up on essentials. The downside of seasonal shopping (especially for us full- figured gals) is that the options may be slim to nonexistent. Proceed with caution.

2. Thrift Shopping

Thrift shopping (otherwise known as thrifting) has become very popular over the last few years. I used to hate going to thrift stores with my mom. The weekend of my 19th birthday, my family and I went to Goodwill in St. Louis and on the front counter was this black dress with rhinestones around the neckline that I had to have! I was converted!! LOL!

Thrifting can be exciting at first. How often do you come across a $4 pair of red pumps?! But you have to be careful. Yes, that shirt may be in my size, but there’s a seam coming loose that will ruin the entire shirt if it comes apart. I THOROUGHLY inspect every part of the merchandise before I buy it. I check hemlines, stains, interior construction, and even odors! Some things just can’t be fixed. The thing that I love about thrifting is that I’m drawn “odd” and crazy pieces with loud colors and odd patterns. Thrift stores are full of these items that I won’t find anywhere else. The bad thing about going to thrift stores is that sometimes I walk out with 4 shopping bags full of stuff, and some days I walk our empty handed. It truly is hit or miss.

3. D. I. Y.

We’ve all heard the saying “if you want something done right, then do it yourself.” I have found this to be somewhat true even in fashion. I have wanted a tulle skirt for the last year!! Every single one that I have seen on different websites has either been too small or too expensive. I posted a picture of one that I saw on Pinterest and said that I had to find it. One of my friends commented on the picture and asked why I didn’t just make it!

We live in the Google/Youtube era. There is a video or tutorial for everything. I know that some people don’t have time to make every trend they want to wear. And, let’s be honest, there are also people out there who aren’t creatively inclined enough to pick fabrics and threads. DIY projects aren’t for everyone, but for those of us who don’t mind a challenge, it is definitely an option.

– Uniquely yoUrs, Stephanie B

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