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?