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Along Abbey Road | A Lifestyle And Family Blog : How To Create An On-Trend Wardrobe On A Limited Budget


How To Create An On-Trend Wardrobe On A Limited Budget

Sweater: H&M. Shirt: Anthropologie. Pants: LOFT. Boots: MIA. Headwrap: c/o France Luxe. Glasses: Vintage

Day after day, I stare at my computer screen in awe of the enviable wardrobes of blogging icons like Blair Eadie of Atlantic-Pacific, Leandra Medine of Man Repeller, Rachel Parcell of Pink Peonies, and so on and so forth.

In an ideal world, I would love to mix high-end pieces into my closet just as the aforementioned ladies do so skillfully, but for now it is not practical and would totally bust our budget. I suppose I could be completely lousy with our money, but then that would be plain silly and a covetable handbag isn't worth my son's future education. So there's that.

I do however, love anything to do with clothing and shopping, let's not kid ourselves, and I do my best to work with the resources at my disposal. People often ask how I put things together and when I let the cat out of the bag that I hardly ever spend more than $25 for an item they just stare with that "how is that freaking possible?" face.

Well folks, I am here today to tell you my approach to shopping and curating an on-trend wardrobe for a serious fraction of the cost.

1) Never pay full price for anything unless it is a staple and you know it will soon be out of stock. And by staple I mean that one pair of denim that makes you look and feel 10 lbs thinner, shoes you will wear practically everyday for the next 5 years, or anything to the likes of pieces that are timeless. You are probably thinking, "sounds great, Abbey, but how do you suggest I tackle such an impossible feat?" Here are my tips and tricks (watch out, it's about to turn into a serious outline format here):
  • Shop the clearance and sale sections. My best trick is finding out when retailers process their markdowns. You can call your local store and ask. For example, LOFT marks down their items every Tuesday. Knowing when they clearance items can assure that you are the first one there and you can snag those trend relevant pieces (maybe that one you've been holding out for!) at half the price.
  • Sign up for emails. Yes, we all hate the 500 emails a day, but it is useful to get those updates to your favorite brands because they inform you of sales. Even better than shopping clearance is shopping clearance with an additional 25% off the marked price! The sweetness of that shopping victory is pure bliss. I am of that crazy breed and only buy clearance with an additional price off. Trust me, it adds up.
2) Don't be too proud to shop at discount stores like Ross, Marshalls, or TJ Maxx. If you are a brand name clotheshorse, this is your shopping mecca. These are also the places I buy handbags. A black leather Michael Kors bag for $129? I'd love that for my birthday (you taking notes, Matt?). Again, only shell out the money for timeless items. Black and leather doesn't get more basic and classic than that.

3) Do shop at places like Forever 21 and H&M. I don't feel the need to expand on this topic.

4) This next one isn't for everyone, and I can understand that, but here it is... go thrifting! Yes, there is always that looming question in the back of your brain if the previous owner of that sweater was a serial killer or some kind of pervert, but that doesn't matter. What matters is you just paid $3 for something that originally cost $100. Just stick to that mantra and you will be fine. (P.S. Hot water and soap kills germs and bacteria, so the germaphobe excuse isn't going to cut it.)

5) Host or attend a clothing swap party. The more the merrier! You get huge piles of clothes to raid and it is freeeee!

6) Ask for gift cards to the spendier places for holidays and birthdays. Again, it is free to you and makes you feel special.

7) Get creative with the items you already have in your closet, and try to buy pieces that can layer and mix well. Thanks to Pinterest and blogs, the ideas are endless for putting together outfits if that is something you struggle with.

Let's dissect my outfit above and I will walk you through the method to my madness. 
  • My sweater is from H&M, and I spent $15 on it. 
  • The shirt is from Anthropologie, and I spent $21 with it being an additional 25% off clearance. 
  • The pants are from LOFT, and I bought them for $19 at 50% off clearance with a gift card. 
  • The boots are from Nordstrom Rack, and I did spend $50 on them, however ther are a staple and they were the last ones at 50% off clearance. You can actually read the story of how they came to be mine here
  • The headwrap was gifted to me and the glasses were my grandma's, so that makes them free. 
  • Oh, and those piece of crap bangles are like 3 years old and I spend a whopping $2 on them from Forever 21. 
That gives you a grand total of $109 for the outfit head to toe, which would have originally cost somewhere around $350. That's a 70% discount, if we are getting all numbery here. And I wear these articles of clothing over, and over, and over. Which reminds me, my best friend Molly once told me that she analyzes the opportunity cost of a purchase by taking the amount she paid, divided by how many times she wears it. Possibly the best piece of shopping justification advice I've ever heard (thanks, Momo). That would update my new total to something like $15. Yes, please, and thank you.

So there you have it, The Abbey Rodriguez Shopper's Hand Guide. Hopefully you can use some of these pointers to make your closet a more sassy, trendy, and most importantly, a budget-friendly place.



At November 5, 2012 at 7:46 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

i need to remember all these tips for my post baby wardrobe.

and i use the price per wear to justify far too many purchases i probably don't need ;)

At November 5, 2012 at 7:47 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

meant post pregnancy, hopefully you got the jist.

At November 5, 2012 at 10:22 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

Love the head band!!!
Hope you can check out my latest post about the Bachelor Canada event I attended. www.nellecreations.com

Save 10% off your first GLOSSYBOX with code GLOSSY32

At November 5, 2012 at 11:33 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

I just discover your blog thanks to Chictopia and I really love it! Love your pants and glasses!
Following you on GFC:)

Kisses, Lucy!

At November 5, 2012 at 2:24 PM , Blogger ChocolateFashionCoffee said...

amazing pants :)


At November 5, 2012 at 2:38 PM , Blogger The Egg said...

everything and anything from anthro and jcrew WILL go on sale.
patience is a shopping virtue

xo the egg out west.

At November 5, 2012 at 8:59 PM , Blogger Schoenstars said...

I can't remember the last time I spent full price on anything. ANYTHING! Electronics, housewares, clothes...I guess maybe food? But then again I grocery shop at Walmart and buy mostly strore brand items, so I view that as a win. And I am OBSESSED with thrifting! Nearly all of my most prized pieces and designer items are from thrift stores. I feel proud when I put together an outfit of completely thrifted items. And then when friends or family ask where I got those Joe's jeans and JCrew cardigan, they freak out when I tell them I picked them up at Savers!!!!

At November 9, 2012 at 1:57 PM , Blogger Kate @ StyleSmaller said...

Seriously. I SO agree. Never spend full price. Even the cutest stuff always ends up on sale! :)

At November 11, 2012 at 1:03 PM , Blogger Diary of a Brown Eyed Girl said...

Great tips! I love your glasses and your head wrap!


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