Oh, Summer… Somehow, both the lack of school and the call of the beach have a way of making me feel like I need to buy a completely new closet!
Perhaps it’s is the flowy dresses?
the fun sandals?
the colorful shorts?
But where’s the balance between the closet and the wallet?
Where’s the balance between the summer fun and the summer budget?
As a college kid and a newlywed, this summer I am learning the tips and tricks of budget friendly fashion. Here are a few tips that I have found (and my Mama’s taught me;) to be helpful when the summer breezes start beckoning you towards the clothing racks.
Tip #1 – Avoid the Temptation
If you were dieting you would avoid the doughnut shop.
In the same way, I have found that when my budget is extra tight, I have to be careful where I’m going, both physically and virtually.
Is your Instagram feed full of stores, boutiques, and high-style fashion bloggers? Are they tugging at your wallet?
Is your email inbox full of sales subscriptions? Are they encouraging you to buy, even when you don’t “need” anything?
Some of these sources can actually give you great deals. BUT they become counterproductive to your saving goals when they are luring you into sales that you were not even looking for. Take a break, unfollow, and unsubscribe until you know what you’re looking for.
Tip #2 – Analyze the inspiration
Instead of rushing off to buy a product that you love, take a second and consider why you love the product.
Do you like the waistline of the dress?
the pop of color from the shoes?
the way she wore a chunky, statement necklace to dress up a t-shirt?
Most times, a style can be imitated without spending as much money.
I am also totally into the chunky necklaces I’m seeing everywhere now, like The Fashion Canvas is wearing on Instagram here. At the same time, I know it’s not a piece that I’m going to wear daily… So I’m currently and casually looking for a cheaper alternative that I can wear just a couple of times.
Tip #3 – Don’t be afraid of off-brands or second-hand
My favorite pair of shoes right now (that I am wearing here, here & with the dress) are imitation Toms. Yeah, there are some that swear by Toms, but I wouldn’t know if I’m missing out… Because my “Bobs” are so comfortable! And, I should mention, were on clearance for $25.
Like I mentioned before, analyzing trends and staying aware of what you’re looking for will put you in a better position to grab those deals when they come your way.
Tip #4 – “Another day, another dolla’”
This is a concept my Mama taught me when she was teaching me how to thrift shop (and girl, have I found some su-weet thrift deals!).
The idea is simple: You should spend $1 for every day that you think you’ll wear it!
For example, if a practical pair of jeans is $40, but you are 100% sure that you will wear them more than 40 days over the course of time, then that sounds like a good deal to me!
The best thing is to apply this to “investment pieces,” or pieces that you know need to last you a while (like a pair of jeans). It is also a good technique if you aren’t quite sure about something, or a piece that are a little bit outside of your comfort zone.
I’ve applied this to accessories, dresses, but especially shoes and bathing suits!
There are some exceptions (like formal wear that you’ll wear maybe two times) but this thought process has helped me really think about purchases before I make them.
Tip #5 – Patience is good (but you probably won’t need much!)
Waiting is one of the best things to do before making purchases. It puts you in the position to catch end-of-the-season clearance racks and makes you sure that you want the piece!
Practicing the tips I listed before will also help you know what you’re looking for so you’re ready to grab it when it gets that red clearance tag.
Typically these sales and clearances come before the season is technically over anyways. Which means sometimes you don’t even have to wait that long! I was eye-balling some mustard tassel shorts from Target, and caught them on the clearance rack just last week. Summer isn’t even over yet, and they’re putting shorts on clearance!
Tip #6 – Learn some limits
Lastly, know how much you’ll let yourself spend. Give yourself a price ceiling! This is different than a budget, or at least feels less constricting. Budgeting is going shopping and telling yourself you have $50 to spend. Giving yourself a price limit on a particular piece that you are looking for is telling yourself you only have $20 to spend on a certain item, and $10 to spend on another, etc.
Are you okay with spending $150 on a pair of jeans? Go for it. But then don’t spend more than your price limit for that item.
The trick to this is knowing what you are willing to spend before you go shopping. Otherwise, this number because very flexible very quickly.
There it is! I hope these 6 tips help you get a few ideas of how you can save a few bucks this summer without feeling super limited.
I talk more tips every Mondays on the blog (and on Instagram) at #TheModestBudget, where I pull together outfits that are cute, modest, and budget-friendly!
Hope ya’ll have a fabulous summer!
Dress: Almost Famous (Purchased at the military exchange; also at JCPenney)
Top: Target similar
Skirt: Charlotte Russe sale (they have a lot of great colors here)
Casey Capra is the writer behind Cattails, Rabbit trails, and Thistlefish; a faith, marriage and modest fashion blog! She is newly-wed to her handsome husband, Jon (8/7/15), and she is finishing her bachelor’s degree in psychology. Her favorite things to do are hang out with high school girls, sing very loudly, knit cool things, and follow Jon’s itch for adventure up mountains and to waterfalls. She can’t cook, but she is literally obsessed with anything Food Network. Her greatest goals in life are to be an awesome, godly wife and future mom, and to encourage women to dress modestly and fashionable. Follow her adventure in the Capra Life on her blog (caseygcapra.blogspot.com) and social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter).