Affordable fashion: dos and don’ts

We have a few tricks and tips for sourcing the best inexpensive fashion finds.

Affordable fashion: dos and don’ts

There is so much truth to the saying money can’t buy style. Looking good definitely doesn’t need to cost a fortune. However, in a world where fast fashion is on the rise, how can you ensure that you continue to look chic and not cheap?

The trick is to mix and match pieces of varying value and vintage – although this is easier said than done. When it comes to sourcing the best inexpensive fashion finds there are a few tricks and tips to keep in mind that will help you to bag a bargain without compromising quality. Because, let’s face it, no matter how much you spend on an item, there’s nothing more disappointing than when it disintegrates after a few washes.

Here are five things to bear in mind when you want to bag a bargain:

1. Don’t shop for seasons

Don’t fall into the trap of only shopping for the current weather. Some of the best inexpensive fashion finds are likely to be picked up out of season. That’s why they’re usually on sale. A fantastic winter coat or comfortable pair of summer sandals will come into their own within six months, regardless of what the weather is when you purchase them.

2. Do hunt high and low

As with most things in life, the more you look the more you’ll find. Leave no stone unturned in your quest for the best bargains, and you’ll not doubt be rewarded. Make sure you search both online and instore, and thoroughly look through all sections including the sales rack. Often one-off sizes or other treasures can be found that have been overlooked by others.

Another tip: don’t discriminate by gender. I’ll often take a look at the men’s section for a looser or oversized fit for shirts and jumpers.

3. Don’t be a copycat

As we all learnt at school, no one really appreciates a copycat. While buying imitation products of the latest luxury item may seem good in theory, often in practise they look cheap and obviously fake.

Avoid discounting yourself by lookingfor items that loosely interpret a current trend but which still suit your body shape. This way you’ll look stylish and on trend while still being an original.

4. Do select the statements

Surprisingly statement pieces are often the ones that we end up keeping and wearing for the longest.

Inexpensive brands are a great place to search for sequins, embellishment and texture, as pieces will often look far more expensive than their actual price tag. By daring to be different, you also reduce the chance of being seen in the same thing as everyone else. It’s a win-win really.

5. Don’t skip the fitting rooms

Possibly the most important point to take away – whatever you do don’t fall into the trap of thinking you won’t try something on because it’s ‘cheap’.

Not only will it look cheap if it doesn’t fit properly, it isn’t cheap if you later discover you are unable to wear it – it’s simply a waste of money that could have been spent on something that fits well and is classy.

You never know how something will look once it’s on. Some of the most uninspiring items on the hanger can look unexpectedly fabulous when tried on.

The same goes for online shopping – most sites now offer free shipping and returns so you can feel comfortable taking a risk. If it’s not right, make sure you return it for another size that is, or get your money back or a store credit for the future.

Do you have any hard and fast rules you follow when seeking out affordable fashion finds? We’d love to hear them in the comments. What’s the best bargain you’ve ever bagged?


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    14th Aug 2015
    Would any of the fashion conscious ladies out there know of any good online shopping sites for us alder ladies?, everything in my small town seems aimed at the young and very young and I am not a big fan of Miller's, our only other option. I do buy from Ezibuy but haven't seen anything I like there or on eBay.
    14th Aug 2015
    ASOS is very good. Lots of very young, trendy stuff, but if you look in categories, pants, tops, dresses etc, you'll often find stylish things suitable for older ages group. Their service is excellent, and their measurements are reliable.
    14th Aug 2015
    You can get some great things on catchoftheday. Their delivery service is fast.
    14th Aug 2015
    All suggestions welcomed.
    14th Aug 2015
    You can't go wrong with NoniB
    14th Aug 2015
    Hi Misty,

    Not sure what size/age you are but you can now buy online through Autograph and they have some lovely clothes for mature ladies with sizing 14-26. They also have wonderful sales numerous times a year and you can also get regular email notifications. Also do lingerie and shoes. If there is a town near you which has a store you can get free delivery to the store for you to pick up. I find it helpful as you can try things on and return immediately if not suitable.

    Also TS14 Plus is a great line, a bit different and at times out there! But you buy items and just mix and match or layer them; whatever takes your fancy. Its my personal favourite store! If you like colour they have it by the ship load.

    Good luck on the search.
    14th Aug 2015
    Thanks ladies, I live in a small country town and we only have a couple of ladies wear shops mostly cater for the young, I haven't heard of Autograph before so I will look them up and NoniB also and see if they are both online.
    14th Aug 2015
    Brands Exclusive and Ozsales have loads of brand name clothing bargains. Probably aimed at the younger market and average sizes but I'm nearly 70 and have purchased coats, jackets, shirts, shoes from these sites, often at 80-90% price reduction. They are genuine, not ripoffs-most of their stock is unsold garments from retail warehouses around the world. Worth a look, not just for clothing either.
    14th Aug 2015
    Yes Basbee and Jackie I am a member of all these websites, buy a lot for my grandsons as they have great buys for kids but I haven't had much luck with clothes for myself, my niece has ben getting some great bargains as I hand them on to her instead of sending them back.
    14th Aug 2015
    I have found some great bargains at Op Shops or Church run Garage sales (one of them had a sale every month and I got 100% cotton blouses for my Mum who had very sensitive skin for $8.00 --some still had the retail tag on them--two were worth $24.95 each). I have found brand new/near new glothes at some Op Shops too. I know a Mother of 3 who wanted to get a new outfit for her eldest daughter for a special occasion. She had also had a growth spurt and none of her summer clothing from the precious year fitted her. For the amount of money for a new dress, she got that dress new because whoever it has been bought for had never worn it- tag still on it, a pretty blouse and skirt for one and a jumper for the youngest one, all of them new/near new. We acutally had 2 good Op.shops in the same building so it was easy to get good bargains.
    14th Aug 2015
    Thanks everyone for your comments, most helpful.

    27th Aug 2015
    Well i just say nice information for all. Keep it up. WebsBerry

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