We’ve all seen those gorgeous closets on Pinterest and within our favorite magazines. Each one is filled to the brim with Instagram-worthy bags, trendsetting shoes and stunning dresses. They look like Carrie Bradshaw’s wardrobe had a baby with your favorite celebrity style icon. It’s an inspirational beauty and a curse. After seeing each one, you end up thinking: “Why can’t I have that?…” Then, before you know it, you’ve gone through a tub of Ben and Jerry’s and an entire season of Sex and the City. (You know you still watch it.)
But, it doesn’t have to be that way!
Think about what you really want. What does your dream wardrobe look like? Is it just filled with Vogue-worthy designers or simple things like skinny jeans you look amazing in?
Now that you have an idea, here’s how to get it.
1. Start a Wardrobe Bucket List
Think of this like a scavenger hunt. Write a list of everything you want in that dream closet and keep it in a place you can always access, such as Evernote.
Now, let’s say your list is made up of a backless gown, jeans that don’t wear out after a season and real gold earrings. If you have these things listed on your phone, they should be top-of-mind at all times. After all, we’re always on our phones anyway.
The next time you’re out shopping at T.J.Maxx, running errands or what have you, you’ll be more likely to keep an eye out for gold earrings. If see a pair and it’s within your budget, you just unexpectedly crossed something off your list!
This method can also keep you from making impulse purchases. That being said….
2. Only Buy What You Need and Fits onto Your List
You can easily over-stuff your closet with pieces that are cheap or, worse, you’ll only wear once. Instead, build a wardrobe that makes you excited to see it every morning.
You’ll always need basics like jeans and flats. But, you don’t have to buy them in every color just because they were on sale for $20 and you “kinda, sorta” like them. Seriously, if you can walk away and forget it after a day or even an hour, it’s not worth your time, let alone your money.
Most importantly, keeping away from those nonsense buys will leave you with more closet space and money for that dream wardrobe.
3. Focus on One Signature Piece At A Time
Want a Chanel purse, Louboutin heels and a closet full of goodies? It’s a lot easier to get that when you build a dream closet piece-by-piece, instead of all at once.
Pick one item from your list. Now, find out its retail price and use that as a goal. If it’s a camera-style Gucci disco bag, you’ll need about $980, plus tax. (Don’t forget the sales tax!) Focus on ways to save that money with the least amount of effort.
Yes, this is actually possible.
Apps like Qapital will automatically round up the cost of each purchase you make and put that money into a specific savings account. Or, you can use simple and pain-free methods like the $5 trick to up your shopping fund. (Every time you get a $5 bill, you put it in a jar and do not touch it.) Before you know it, you’ll have a few hundred dollars or more saved up.
The more you see your savings grow, the more your competitive side will kick in. Soon, you’ll be collecting $5 bills everywhere you go and reach that target amount even faster. It becomes like a game you have to win.
4. Once You Have the Money, Find the Best Price.
You don’t want to see all those savings go to waste because you couldn’t wait an extra week.
Know that the most sample sales happen during Spring? If it’s not that time of year yet, put the money you saved for that timeless purse aside and start saving for those red-sole heels. By the time this second goal is reached, it should be Spring. Then, you can get both items for less than you expected.
You’ll feel like an absolute #boss when you go home with both pieces checked off your list.Bragging rights on the extra-low cost included.
Want a quicker solution? Remember, every designer site has a sale section. Check out my weekly-updated “best items on sale” Pinterest board and sale roundup posts. When in doubt, simply do your research. (Or follow these tips.)
5. Can’t Find Exactly What You Want? Look for Something Similar
We see it all the time; Everyone loves one dress by this famous designer and a month later, you see Zara or another fast-fashion brand do a look-alike for much less.
Prime example: Chanel is known for their quilted, chain-strap purses that cost anywhere from $1,200 (vintage) to over $12,000. Now, self-named labels Karl Lagerfeld and Rebecca Minkoff have crossbody bags with chain straps and revitalized quilted patterns for well under $250. (It’s not settling when the man behind Chanel designs one, too.) And, unlike the Parisian couture house, you can find these on sale!
You can get the designer goods you want and not spend a fortune. #LoveIt
6. Get More Personalized.
Can’t find that dream piece within your budget? DIY it!
I loved the crossbody camera bag style that came out over the past season but didn’t want to drop $100+ for a trend. So, what did I do? I bought a $15 bag from Old Navy and paired it with a Michael Kors leather sticker. I didn’t even spend $50!
Sites like StudioDIY, Brit+Co and even Pinterest have tons of DIY tutorials to give you the same look as name brands for much less. Grab some friends, pick a project and make what you love. I’m sure you’ll get a few laughs, memories and Facebook Live-worthy moments out of it.
7. Don’t have the Time or Energy for Any of That? Just do this:
Here’s my 5-second guide for saving on designer looks: Go check out subscription services like Box of Style, nearby designer outlet stores, consignment shops and online equivalents. (The Real Real may be a good place to start.) Also, keep an eye out for capsule collections and, when applicable, use coupon codes.
You’ll find what you want, save a little along the way and get there faster.
The only difference is that you have to be really strict with your budget. Pick 3 pieces max that you really want and stick to an overall sum that works with your finances/other commitments. Otherwise, it’s easy to go on a shopping spree and fall into debt. Believe me, once you find something you love, it’s hard to say no.
Now you have the tools you need to get that dream wardrobe!!
If you liked this post please share it and let me know about your new favorite pieces in the comments. I can’t wait to hear from all of you!
All apps and other sites listed are examples, not endorsements.