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Fashion Column: How To Look Fabulous on a Budget

Marisa Anziano

Given the current economic climate, it has become increasingly on trend to search for affordable yet fashionable clothes to keep not only you, but also your back account content. Bargain hunting is essentially the art of getting more bang for your buck by using many tools at your disposal. I have discovered five main ways to save yourself time, aggravation, and most of all, your hard-earned money.

Discount Designer Stores such as Marshall’s, Century 21, and T.J. Maxx are great places to stumble upon a plethora of amazing deals on brands such as Betsey Johnson, Michael Kors, and Marc Jacobs. For example, I found a chic Michael Kors winter coat that usually retails for $495 for over 50 percent off at Century 21. Stores like these are typically off-price buyers, which means they purchase apparel from mainstream retailers and designers who have over-ordered, or over-produced items.

Discount Designer Websites such as HauteLook (, Bluefly (, and Gilt ( are all awesome websites to find reasonably priced designer goodies. These reputable websites allow users to sign up and instantaneously receive discounts on a variety of different things from clothing, to make-up,to vacations. According to senior PR major Billie Cinelli: “I would suggest buyers search online to find discounted or wholesale items for way cheaper than they are in stores. On sites like Rue La La and HauteLook, you can find deals up to 70% off.”

Coupons are a tried and true method to save money when shopping. I live by the notion that you should never go shopping unless you have a coupon. Most stores allow you to sign up for emails where you can obtain the latest discounts and coupons right on your smartphone. Take a cue from TLC’s show, Extreme Couponing, and try your hand at shopping with a coupon because, after all, every little bit helps. Moreover, many stores give a certain percent off when using their rewards card or even for filling out a quick survey online.

Outlets and thrift shops are another great way to save money. Most store outlets, such as those located in Tanger Outlets in Riverhead and Deer Park, provide a certain percentage off regular prices. For instance, users can expect to see astounding discounts in stores like Juicy Couture, where wallets can be found for around $60. Thrift stores are another way to usually find one-of-a-kind, inexpensive designer goodies because, as the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Shopping in between seasons is my final tip to save money while still being fashion forward. The majority of stores have a certain portion of either their website or their store dedicated to items going out of season. This is the best time to find extreme discounts on clothing to use in the future. In stores such as Old Navy, it is common to find items that normally cost around $40 being marked down to $7 in the clearance section.

Junior PR major Lindsay Quinn says: “The thing is I’m a college student who works and interns so I don’t make a lot of money.  Therefore if I can find great clothes at reasonable prices, I feel so good about it. Why spend $200 on a pair of jeans when I can find a similar pair for only $20?”

Not all of us are lucky enough to have disposable incomes so that we can spend all our money on expensive, designer items. However, there are alternatives to let your inner bargain hunter save money and remain fashionable at the same time. So clip some coupons, scour Marshall’s for a little black dress, or take a trip to the outlets and see how exhilarating it can be to see how much money you can actually save.

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