How to Achieve Your Authentic Style on a Budget


I was shopping in Target recently when a woman walked up to me and said, “I love those shoes! Do you mind me asking where you got them?” Little did she know that I am a Personal Stylist but in that situation, I wasn’t just going to offer it up out of nowhere. If it worked itself into the conversation then sure, but I never want to come off as pushy or salesy to people. Besides, there is a time and place for it.

My response, “I purchased these from Anthropologie.” She then seemed a little sad and said, “Oh, that’s why, they look so expensive.” I explained to her that I purchased them off season during a sale and they were deeply discounted. I purchased them for 1/2 of the original price. “I didn’t even know Anthropologie had sales! I just assumed it was too expensive for me to shop there so I stopped looking. I’ll have to check out the sales then. Thank you!,” she replied.

We then started talking about different stores and I offered my knowledge on outlets and best time to purchase for deep discounts. She did end up finding out I am a stylist and started asking me if the shirt she had in her cart would look nice on her.

As moms, we tend to feel guilty about spending money on ourselves. We tend to put our family first. And that is understandable. Believe me, I’m a mom and I totally get it.

But we all want to look stylish, put together, and authentic, right? And you can! Even on a strict styling budget. You just need to keep the following in mind when bargain shopping (hint: I do these things too!).

  1. Check to see if your favorite store has an outlet. There are several stores that have outlet style stores with lower price points but still great styles. The nice thing is that they are affordable yet still great quality and have very similar styles to the higher end stores. Some examples are J. Crew Factory, Nordstrom Rack, Neiman Marcus Last Call, and many, many other stores. Just do a search for outlet tied to your favorite store and you will be surprised to find there are countless outlet stores!

  2. Stop buying clothes you are never going to wear. This is not going to be easy to hear but this is a huge money suck. Yes, wearing only 20% of your wardrobe means you are wasting tons of money buying clothes you are never going to wear. How do you stop this cycle? You first need to organize your closet via my closet overhaul system. I’m providing a free guide that will be available September 20th. This is something that is critical to saving you money in the long run (and saving you time when getting dressed as well. Win, win!).

  3. Stop paying full-price. There are various times of the year when stores have sales (even outlets) so the key is to follow them and waiting until the discounts are available before purchasing. There is also a Google Chrome extension, Shoptagr that allows you to pin an item you see online, select a color and size, and then notify you when the item is on sale. It’s a free service to use.

  4. Sign up for email distribution list of your favorite stores. When you do so, they usually provide you with a discount code and will also notify you of when they are having sales. If you like an item, you can add it to your virtual shopping cart and then leave it there. If it goes on sale, they will email you that a “product in your cart is now on sale.” I cannot tell you how many times I have used this tactic.

  5. Sign up for a rewards program. Most stores have rewards programs now that offer discounts. Some offer cash back discounts as well and most are free to join. Take advantage of the free offers and rewards as they can really payoff.

  6. Shop off season for the best deals. Remember the shoes I told you about in the beginning of this blog? I purchased them off season and paid 1/2 the price. Although I couldn’t wear them but a few times when I first purchased them, they have been in my wardrobe for 5 years now and the style is timeless so I will get to wear them for many more years to come. And for the deep discount, totally worth the seasonal wait.

Finding your authentic style doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. It can be achieved on a budget. And honestly, we should all be looking to find the best deals, regardless of our wallet size. Don’t let this hold you back. Follow these key steps and you will be amazed by the transformation.

And for the record, she ended up purchasing a different shirt that she absolutely loved and is going to look wonderful on her. It was also on sale for an even better price. I loved to see that she left there with a huge smile on her face.

Have a beautiful weekend.