~I now shop at stores I never would have set foot in... JC Penney, Kohl's, Target, and Wallyworld are my faves... and where I get most of my clothing.
~USE coupons and shop sales... and before you pass on things, price check! Recently, I was shopping for summery clothes for a trip to Jamaica... Ann Taylor Loft is one of my go to stores, but things can be rather pricey. I always head straight to the back corner where the clearance section is... Most of the shirts were marked down to $10-$19- not bad, but not great for something that isn't to die for... But when you read the teeny tiny sign that says "Take an extra 40% off clearance, they turn into must-haves.
~Shop non-mom stores... Eventhough many of us are mommy's, we still haven't lost all of our coolness. Sometimes I feel crazy walking into Express, the Buckle, and Charlotte Russe while dragging my son and pushing a stroller- I'm not the hippest... Their underwear may not fit me, but their earrings, bracelets, and forgiving shirts look fabulous and still work:)
~Look at mannequins for inspiration. My mom used to buy outfits straight off the mannequin for me and people thought she was crazy. But looking back, she was quite brilliant. People get paid good money to come up with those ideas and I'm sure they have a backround in fashion- so why not use their skills... and if you can't afford it- find similar pieces at cheaper stores to replicate the look.
~Monogram, Monogram, Monogram... Can you tell I have a thing for monogramming? Last season, I bought a swimsuit from Target for $7.99 for my two year old- and I had her intitials monogrammed on it- it was the cutest thing ever... I resold it on ebay this year for over $15... I made money by buying a swimsuit and using it for a season! Today, I had on this sweatshirt and got so many compliments... It's an $8 sweatshirt from Wal-mart that I added an "S" and made it different.
~Also- shop your local art and craft fairs. They have the neatest jewelry and handmade items that can really jazz up a wardrobe. I'm also in LOVE with http://www.etsy.com/ . This website is filled with people that make things- if you want something, I'm sure you can find it on this website- They have wonderful jewelry, clothes, purses, etc. at great prices... and I always feel good when I know my money is going towards helping a stay-at-home mome! Here is a coat we got Addie this weekend at a craft fair- It's unique and cost half of what I'd spend on a spring coat at a store!
~Who ever said women shouldn't fake it?!? I totally disagree... :) This is an old picture, but if you can find a really good fake, buy it and use it... Burberry scarf~ $120... this good fake from Hecht's~ $12:)
~Sometimes, I think it's important to spurge a little if you get your money's worth. I bought this Vera Bradley purse for a little over $30- but it can totally make an outfit- It makes this $4 Walmart No Boundaries shirt pretty cute- especially with white shorts and $3 old navy flip flops:) My best friend always says that you can tell a woman by her purse and her shoes... If you have a cute purse and coordinating shoes, it can make any outfit come together and fashion worthy!
~And finally, shop online... Many stores offer free shipping and free returns. This saves gas which can be expensive and time... and time is money!