How To: Score a Designer Closet on a College Budget

In fashion, there are two ways to buy clothes, in a store or online. In my book, paying the retail price is a rookie mistake. For example, I wouldn’t buy a $300 designer top at a department store when I could buy it for $70 at a discount or outlet store. Here my top 3 ways to shop till you drop (without emptying your wallet.)

Discount Stores

I mostly go to discount stores to find a great deal. Sometimes, I don’t even know what I’m looking for, but then I somehow find exactly what I wanted. For example, this week, I went to Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH (their retail outlet) for a pair of flats, and they didn’t have my size. Then, I walked around the store and saw an awesome leather & tweed jacket that I had wanted weeks back. Now it was on clearance plus an extra 60% off! Patience pays off with discount shopping. 

Credit: Mark Zamora / Unsplash


Then there are the department store sales. “Annual Sale!” “Holiday Sale!” It’s all a plan to get people to buy something, usually more than what they came to buy. As a smart shopper, I don’t just buy anything. I have a plan. When I go to a department store, it’s either window shopping, researching trends, or a sale is going on and I want to check it out. Either way, I’m glad I went, even if I didn’t buy anything!

Credit: Daniel von Appen / Unsplash

Consignment Stores

Another way to find a great score is through consignment shopping. Sometimes the word “consignment” can have a negative stigma. It’s not as simple as used clothes. You can find really cool vintage or designer items. I love going to these stores because the merchandise is diverse and interesting! My favorite consignment shop is Poshmark, an online market place where users buy and resell clothes that are either new or gently used. I've personally seen items up for more than 70% off the retail price!

Credit: Becca McHaffie / Unsplash

Shopping isn't just a hobby. For some, it’s a way of exploring their creativity through fashion. What’s your story?