How To Try Trends Without Spending A Lot Of Money
While it might sound downright unfathomable, there are ways to try out new trends without spending a lot of money. The beginning of a new season is filled with equal amounts of excitement and dread. Excitement because the weather is changing, new coffee flavors are rolling out, and with it comes new styles and ways of dress. But part and parcel with that is also the dread of having to limit yourself to not explode your budget in one fell swoop. Take this season for example — yay, fall! With it come beanies, knit scarves, and a ton of different jackets and cardigans that cost all the money. Money that you need to save in order to eat and keep a roof over your head. But who says you have to swap in rent checks for booties?
You can easily dabble with trends without splurging; all it takes is a little bit of sensibility and planning. By being willing to compromise, dig for the trend in a couple of non-obvious avenues, and bargain shop in a patient and savvy manner, you can deck yourself out in the latest looks all the while keeping your wallet in tact. Here are 11 tips on how to shop trends cheaply.
1. Try Tinkering With The Beauty Version, First
Rather than re-hauling your whole closet to try out the minimalist trend or a '60s look, why don't you try playing around with the beauty version of it, first? "I recommend experimenting with beauty trends instead of fashion as this is typically a lot cheaper," recommends finance blogger Lauren Bowling at L Bee and The Money Tree in an email interview with Bustle. For example, if you like the mom-jean, embroidery-jacket '80s look of right now, experiment with electric blue eyeliner or hot pink lipstick shades. You can get your fix that way.
2. Wait Until The Hype Dies Down
While you might want a neon puffer jacket right this minute, you can save some major dough if you wait a month or two until the craze dies down. "If you need/want to save money, try shopping out of season," lifestyle blogger Tricia Gillespie explained on her blog, The Domestic Fringe. It's the equivalent of waiting for the DVD rather than going to the movies. And just like going to Redbox, you'll save you some major cash while still getting to see what the fuss is all about.
3. Fast Fashion Can Be Your Friend
While everyday pieces are worth investing in, trends sometimes aren't. Don't spend 200 dollars on a dress that will be a flash in the pan — instead, aim that budget lower. "If it's just a trend, don't be afraid to go to the Forever 21 route," Bowling advises. If it's a piece you feel like you'll be bored with come next season, don't spend a million bucks on it.
4. Don't Be Afraid To DIY
While not everyone is crafty with a sewing needle, if you have patience and Pinterest sleuthing skills you can try to replicate a trend using your own hands for less. "Bored of a cardigan? Give it some new life by replacing the buttons. If you own or have access to a sewing machine, learn to do a simple hem," lifestyle writer Kate Wood at Lifehack suggested. By knowing the sewing basics, you can learn to alter thrifted clothes to resemble the runways you crave. For example, nab a thrifted granny dress from a charity shop and hem it to mid-thigh to create a chic scooter dress.
5. Focus On Accessories
You can easily translate an old outfit into a new trend if you layer it up with accessories — which also happen to be cheaper than purchasing clothes. "Make your basic wardrobe feel more exciting with inexpensive accessories — think necklaces, bracelets, belts, and scarves that you can mix with outfits you already own," Wood advised. For example, if you want to get onto the Clueless bandwagon, you can nab pompom hair ties, knee high stockings, and chunky headbands to tinker with the playful look.
6. Go Thrift Shopping
The majority of trends we have right now are in their second wave, meaning they've already seen the inside of a different decade. Since that's the case, you can find similar looks inside thrift stores and vintage shops if you try. "A lot of people underestimate the power of buying in thrift shops or vintage stores. Everything comes back in style," confirmed fashion writer Daniela Ramirez at POPSUGAR. Go find your '50s, '70s, and '90s throwbacks in the dollar bin.
7. Sell Your Old Trends
If you want extra cash to splurge with, sift through your closet and pull out old trends you're bored with that you can sell. That way you have play money with none of the guilt. "Why not make a little profit from cleaning out your closet? If you have pieces in perfect condition that are valuable, put them up for sale," Ramirez suggested. It's cashing in old trends for new ones!
8. Find A Cheaper Version Of The Trend
When a trend comes out, so does 400 different versions of it to keep it fresh. Take overalls for example: There are options for 100 dollars and there are options for 20 dollars, depending where you shop. Which means you can dabble in a trend with little guilt if only you find a cheaper version of it.
A great way to do that in any given store is to scour the racks in order to compare and contrast the different styles and prices. "Walk around the edges of the shop, and keep your eyes peeled for deals. Stores are carefully laid out to try to encourage you to spend money, so the most discounted items may be the hardest to find," Wood explained. In the front of the store you can easily find the chicest, most expensive overall. But in the back of the store by the changing rooms, a similar one might be tucked away for a fraction of the cost.
9. Make A Swapping Pact With Your Friends
Who says you have to be the only one putting down dough in order to play with this season's newest trends? In order to take the burden off of your budget, create a swapping group with your friends where you get to borrow each other's clothes. But make your intentions clear so it doesn't get awkward — agree that you'll go shopping for a particular trend and that it's fair game for everyone to borrow whenever. "The more pieces they bring, the more variety! It's the perfect way to have 'new' clothes without spending a dime!" Ramirez pointed out. You can wear one friend's choker and another friend's faux leather jacket, all for the price of one grunge dress you bought and borrowed out to them.
10. Buy Versions Of The Trend That Are Versatile
Rather than buying a '90s jacket that will literally only work with one pair of pants in your wardrobe, invest in a pair of flatforms that will go with everything from your dresses to your tailored suits. "When I built my wardrobe, I discovered I could combine the various pieces in different ways, giving me plenty of outfits," fashion blogger Robert van Tongeren from Restart Your Style explained. Spending money on trends is okay, but you get more bang for your buck if you pick a version of the trend that works best with the wardrobe you already have. The more you can mix and match it, the more satiated you'll be with the look and won't have an itch to buy more of it.
11. Inch Into Your Mom's, Aunt's, And Grandma's Closets
Just like with thrifting, your family still might have treasures from decades past that can totally translate into this season's hottest looks. "You can even ask your crazy aunt if you can check out her clothes from the '80s and '90s — I'm sure you can find some amazing things hidden in the bottom of her closet," Ramirez encouraged. She'll get a kick at watching you wear something from her youth, and you'll get to rock a new trend without spending any cash.
So go ahead and update your closet — you now know how to do it painlessly.