How to Afford Designer Items on a Budget

Most of us have probably experienced the disappointment that comes with our taste-levels exceeding our bank balance. You don’t have to sacrifice style for savings, though. Try out these tips to help you stay fashionable and frugal.


  1. Shop off-season


This is my number one tip, because stores will mark items down to unbelievably low prices to try to get rid of the stock. To shop off-season means you’ll be buying bathing suits when winter’s upon us and sweaters when things are heating up. Yes, you’ll have to wait to wear your new clothes, but I think it’s worth it if you get shorts originally priced at $80 for $8. I normally splurge twice a year and buy clothes that will last me until the next seasonal sale.

  1. Check out discount stores like TJ Maxx and Marshalls


If a product has the slightest defect, most high-end brands won’t sell it for regular-price. Instead, they ship them out to stores like TJ Maxx where the products are marked down heavily, making it more accessible to the common public. If you don’t mind a missed stitch or a loose button, head to your local discount store and get to shopping.

  1. Scour Thrift and Charity Shops


It’s all about location with these stores; if you live in an affluent area, your chances of finding something name brand is higher than someone who lives in the suburbs. Honestly, time spent at these shops is wasted if the location isn’t well-off enough, because you’ll most likely be searching through a sea of commercial brand apparel and accessories. Even if you can’t find your favorite brands at your local Goodwill, you can try to replicate it through cheaper material and some craftiness.

  1. Find Factory Warehouses


Warehouses sell overstock and leftovers from previous seasons, meaning serious savings. My friend has a J. Crew warehouse near her hometown, and her and her family make frequent visits. Major sales can mean savings of 50%-80% off of original retail price, so research the warehouses in your area. Heard of DSW: Designer Shoe Warehouse? They have locations nationwide, so there’s sure to be one you can access.

  1. Explore Outlets


As a person who recently bought a Coach bag for less than half its original price, I can personally state that outlets are great places to buy your favorite designer brands at a discount. It’s all about finding the right sales, some of which are exclusive to the companies’ outlet stores. If outlets are your top choice when it comes to shopping, I advise saving up money over the course of a few weeks or months, and then going all out when there’s a huge sale.

  1. Set Aside Money Periodically


This is a common sense sort of tip, but it’s the easiest thing to do if you’re aiming for a specific item. Whether it be $5, $20, or even spare change, the amount will soon add up. Combine this with sales or any of the tips above, and you’ll be strolling around in your new Louboutins in no time.


It is important to remember that no matter how much an item is marked down, sometimes it will still be out of your price range. If it’s set at an amount you couldn’t justify spending, you probably will never be able to buy it out of sheer principle. Therefore, it is sometimes easier to seek out a cheaper version than pine after an unreachable item.

We’d love to hear your tips, so share them in the comments below!


Written by: Karishma Patel

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