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Budgeting for the fashionista

Author wearing recent purchases found at Rugged Warehouse and Ross stores
Author wearing recent purchases found at Rugged Warehouse and Ross stores
Chris Barretta photo

Confessions of a Shopaholic was a delight to watch, but going into debt for the sake of fashion is no laughing matter. A savvy fashionista should know how to set, and stick to, her budget.

Because of the current recession, and yes folks we are in one, fashion-forward women are finding many clever ways of stretching the almighty dollar. Not only are sales a shopper's best friend but discount stores, thrift and consignment shops, and antique boutiques as well. Many a bargain awaits for the serious treasure hunter.

But first one must set some ground rules.

  • Set a budget. Be diligent here and do not exceed your spending limit. Kathryn Finney's book How to be a Budget Fashionista includes a budget form as well as great advice to get you started.

  • Carry only cash. Leave the credit card at home.

  • Do not open store credit cards. The APR's are killer.

  • Have a shopping strategy. Ask yourself, Do I really need this? If you are shopping for a new coat, you don't really need that lavish cocktail dress.

  • Know a sale when you see one. A $20.00 cashmere sweater is probably blended with a much cheaper fabric.

  • Focus on pieces that will fit into your existing wardrobe. Be sure they are made of fine quality fabrics and carefully constructed. If there are snags or tears, leave it. It's not a "bargain" if you have to take them to the tailor.

  • Shop on Monday, the least busy shopping day of the week.   

  • Shop off season.

  • Sign up for store coupons and get to know the sales staff. Often they will let you know of an upcoming sale.

My husband and I went on a shopping expedition on Valentines Day where we frequented some of our favorite bargain stores in Parkville.

Rugged Warehouse is probably the least likely place you'd ever expect to find a fashionista, but let me tell you there are some bargains to be had. I found 3 pairs of jeans at $9.99 each, 1 belt at $6.99, 1 pair of sandals at $4.99, 1 pair of pointy-toed flats at $3.00, and some knee high socks for $3.99 bringing my total sale to $48.94.

We continued our pillaging at ROSS where I found the most beautiful retro inspired, peplum jacket for a mere $13.99. This made my grand total for the day $62.93.

With just a little practice, you too can become a budget fashionista.


  • Regina 5 years ago

    I loved the article. It made so much sense. There are so many ways that we can still be fashionista's.. on a budget:)

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