We all want to look like we’ve just stepped out of a fashion spread- but let’s face it- that takes more time, energy, and of course, money than most of us have…

So how do stylist and fashion editors manage to look great all the time; while still juggling a career and family life? The secret is to develop savvy-budget shopping instincts, and no, we’re not talking about online shopping during sale season.

We’ve put together seven secrets to savvy shopping, just like the fashion editors do it. These tips and tricks will turn your wardrobe from drab to fab, in one simple (affordable) spree.

1.      Revamp your existing closet

Look at the clothing you currently have and see how you can update it with this season’s trends. A simple example: You could take a maxi dress you casually wore and make it something special by pairing it with the latest over-sized denim trend. Now you have a whole new outfit, but only you only purchased one item – the denim jacket.

2.      Go to China (mall that is) for budget shopping

Most clothing these days is made in Asian countries, so quality is no longer a factor. There is a multitude of China malls in most cities. And not only is the clothing cheap, but it’ll be unique and still on trend. A great advantage to shopping at a China mall is there are at least 20 different stores which sell similar items, at different prices. So you can walk around until you settle on a price and quality you are happy with.

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3.      Attend clothing swapping events

A clothing swap event is when a group of people gather with clothing they no longer wear, or have never worn, and swap clothing with similar minded people. It can happen on a large scale (open guest list), or a smaller scale (between family and friends).  This is a great way to get rid of clothing that you do not wear (we all have the one dress we are working on losing weight for, but it just hasn’t happened- yet), and get a new pair of heels at the same time. The Skip Fashion Exchange looks like a great one to catch.

4.      Fashion Replicas

Don’t be ashamed of copying what you see at the higher end stores with buys from a budget-friendly outlet. It’s one of the best ways to get the look, without spending all that money. Find a great seamstress who will make dresses, tops and pants for you at the fraction of the price. All you have to do is find the fabric you want. If the price is right, then why not?

5.      Vintage stores

‘Something old’ goes for more than just your wedding day. Some of the best fashion must-haves have been found at the bottom of a vintage store clothing bin. Now if this isn’t your vibe, try fast and convenient online shopping. One of our favourite online vintage stores has to be Guard the Vintage. They have unique clothing that is budget friendly and trendy too.

6.      End-of-season sales


Anyone can shop a sale, but we’re not talking about buying sale jeans any time of the year. We’re talking about buying discounted leather boots and trench coats in the middle of summer. And pretty maxi dresses, in the middle of winter. Look for classic patterns, colours and silhouettes so you can wear them when the correct season rolls around.


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