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  • Writer's pictureDr. Disha

Be Frugal and Fabulous

Can we be frugal and fabulous?

Many of us think frugal people look a certain way- they wear old jeans and a t-shirt that they got for free somewhere.  Or, they only wear out-of-date fashions from the consignment store.   

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  If that’s your jam, go on with bad self.  

But, what if I told you someone can be frugal AND wear nice, high end, designer clothes?   You can look like a million bucks… at a fraction of the cost.  

Here are few ways to optimize your wardrobe to be frugal… and fabulous!

1. Be Prepared

The first step, of course, is to have a budget.  

Know how much you can spend and still meet your money goals.  Then, keep that money earmarked for clothes, so you can jump on a deal when you see one.

2. Keep the Basics Simple

It always helps to have a stock of basics that can provide the base for an outfit.  Basics include tank tops, tights,  long sleeved tops, etc.  I personally don’t spend a lot of time and energy trying to get a deal on these.  I get them from Target or Amazon, preferably with a promo code or a gift card.

3. Follow The Brands You Like

Once I have my stock of basics, I set off an outfit with one or two high-quality pieces.  

To get a real deal on high-end designer items, here are a few tricks.

Some tend to buy the first thing that suits their need when they enter the store or website.  That is time efficient, but is also the best way to overpay for an item.  

We all know prices are based on what people are willing to pay for them, not necessarily the actual value of the good.  If you’re willing to watch your item and wait for it to go on sale, you’ll likely get a much better deal.  

I tend to follow the brands I like on their email list and on their social media.  Often, brands will put up deals on their Instagram before they advertise in other places.  So, it pays to follow them. 

I recently got several dresses from one of my favorite designers, Nha Khanh, for 80% off because she posted the sale on her Instagram feed.  

4. Buy Designer Clothes Used from Rental Subscription Sites

I usually sign up for clothes rental subscriptions to take advantage of their sign-up discount for the first couple of months, ideally right around the time when I have a lot of events to attend or when I have special occasions coming up.  I use them for those couple of discounted months and then, cancel my subscription.  But, I make a note of the pieces I liked and wait for them to go on sale. 

I tend to browse Rent the Runway’s sale section to get awesome pieces at a great price.  Look for things that will hold up to repeat wearing well.  Cotton clothes tend to look worn out quickly.  More synthetic fabrics and more structural pieces will hold up well.  RTR’s used accessories are also usually a great deal.

There are other brand specific rental services out there, as well, like Vince Unfold, that sell items to you at a discounted price from the rental service when you have them at home.  

A recent steal from Rent the Runway's sample sale, a $368 Jay Godfrey Dress that I got for 90% off. Grand total: $38!

5. Look for Sales At the End of the Season

It pays to plan ahead and buy things when they are not most suited for the weather.  I usually look for winter clothes for the next season in February/March and for summer in August/September.

6. Keep Your Size Stable

It pays to keep your weight stable so you can fit into the same pieces, year in and year out.  Consider it another motivating factor to keep yourself healthy.  

Speaking of size, it’s also nice to have a tape measure handy for ordering clothes online.  Since most deeply discounted sales are final, you are more likely to get the appropriate size if you can take your own measurements before buying. 

For growing kids, I always buy a size up so we can get use out of the clothes for this season and the next.  

7. Utilize Credit Card Rewards

Amex Platinum and Chase both partner with brands to give you a credit if you add the deal onto your card and then buy something.  I recently got some nice clothes for the kids from Rockets of Awesome utilizing the $50 Amex credit.  There are usually two steps to this. First, you have to add the deal to your account.  Read the fine print and make sure you know the exceptions.  Then, use that card to buy something with the credit card and the credit will post later in the month.  

Reminder: Make sure you can pay off your card IN FULL at the end of the month.  Stick to your budget!

8. Don't Follow Trends

Don’t follow trends.  I know this may sound a bit counter-intuitive, but try not to buy the super trendy thing that will date itself next year.  For big ticket items, focus on buying timeless, classic pieces that can truly provide longevity to your wardrobe.  If you want to buy a trendy piece, don’t spend too much money on it and as always, make sure it fits into your budget!

9. Coupon it up!

Big stores like Macy’s will post some fabulous coupons regularly.  Don’t buy anything from there without looking for coupons, first.  Usually, they’ll have plenty available.  Also, the big stores tend to have great end of season sales if you’re willing to spend a day perusing through the sales racks.

If purchasing online, make sure you do a quick google search for promo codes before checking out.  Browser adds on’s such as Capital One Shopping will do that for you.  

10. Don't Forget the Healthcare Discounts

As of 4/12/2021, a lot of brands are still offering COVID healthcare discounts.  Make sure you check this page to see if what you want to buy may be available at a discount for you.  

That’s all for now, frugalistas!  Happy hunting!

Stay frugal, y’all!


Do you know a frugal hack to get a great deal on quality clothing?  Comment below!

Standard Disclaimer: Not meant to be individualized financial or medical advice. This post contains affiliate links.


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