Before my son T was born, I was a serious shopaholic. I lived for the new arrivals section of my favorite stores and popped into my favorite shops during my lunch break. Then my new chapter of motherhood began and my disposable income dedicated to my closet shrunk to almost nothing. Instead, that money was used for T: clothes every few months, endless diapers, food, and—the big one—daycare.
I still love fashion but I’ve evolved my shopping habits tremendously. Here are the 10 ways we moms on a budget can indulge in the latest trends but not blow our bank accounts, and 10 must-have wallet-friendly items this fall/winter season.
10 Shopping Rules for Spending Less and Getting More:
Rule #1: Day-to-Dinner: Find Everyday Tops with Date-Worthy Details
A little bit of lace goes a long way. Get the most out of your tops by choosing classic everyday silhouettes with evening apropos details. T-shirts, Tanks, or 3/4 sleeved boatneck shapes with a dash of ruffle, lace, studs, embroidery, or eyelet are chic day and night.
Rule #2: Steer Clear of Trendy Prints! Say Yes to Timeless Patterns
Fashion prints get hot and cold faster than any trend. To max out the shelf life of your patterns, opt for the prints and patterns that transcend time – chevron, stripes, dots, graphic florals. This rule applies to you, your partner, and your little ones! The classics make the most of every shopping dollar you spend.
Rule #3: Invest in the Classics, with a Comfy Twist
They’ve earned the “Classic” title for a reason: these items look great day, night, casual, dressed up, and everything in between. When shopping for your closet classics, see if they come in fabrics with a hint of stretch or a soft handfeel. For example, Ponte is an amazing double-knit fabric that is structured enough for tailored silhouettes, like blazers and dresses, but soft and stretchy for we moms on the go. For your partner and little ones, make sure your closets have a few of these classics in stock:
- Khaki Trench Coat
- White Button Down Shirt/Blouse
- Neutral Colored Cardigan
- Dark Rinse Jeans
- Dark Rinse Denim Jacket
- Tailored Blazer
- Tailored Chinos (in Khaki, Olive, Grey)
- Shift Dress
- V-neck Sweater
Rule #4: When in Doubt, Go Wild
One print that will never, ever go out of style and will forever stay chic is the animal print. Leopard is my personal wild print of choice, and those who’ve seen my closet have seen the array of leopard print items in my typically solid wardrobe. Ballet flats, scarves, tops, tote bags, socks…animal prints are the perfect punctuation to an otherwise ordinary outfit and look equally sexy for date nights. There’s a reason why Kate Spade, Marc Jacobs, Roberto Cavalli, and so many other famous fashion designers continue to go wild for these prints. You—and your little lady—should too!
LC Lauren Conrad Leopard Flats, $34.99
Rule #5: Always Bet on Black In Your True Size and Best Fit.
Continuing with my quest for day-to-dinner items, choosing great fitting and wallet-friendly black jeans is a major win. Skinny black jeans look amazing any day or time of year. Make sure to find the brand with the best fit for you and you’ll feel like a fashionista every time you wear them. Great fitting black jeans are a must for your partner and your little ones, too. They look awesome with everything!
Rule #6: A Little Faux Fur Makes Everything Better
Choosing a stylish winter coat can be a daunting task. To keep from going down the frumpy route, look for coats and jackets that accentuate the waistline or have a little faux fur trim. A lot of winter coats have removable faux fur details which makes it easy to rock a little faux fur one day but go classic another day…instant win! A dash of faux fur on your little lady’s jackets, coats or cardigans makes her look more fun, too!
George UK Parka w/ Faux, $41.99
Rule #7: Long and Lean Goes with Everything
When it comes to cardigans, the long and lean silhouettes always win. These sweaters highlight the areas of my outfit that I love and hide the parts of my body that I don’t. Amazing complements to jeans, dresses, skirts, and any other item in my closet, these cardigans get better with age. Add these uber-versatile sweater to your must-have list today.
Rule #8: Outlast Trends with Textured and Heathered Yarn Sweaters
When it comes to sweaters, textured knits and heathered yarns are the best bang for your buck. These sweaters add dimension to easy solid outfits and live well beyond the seasons. For you, your partner, and your tiny humans, these sweaters are the best investment for the whole family. My cable knit and marled sweaters have lasted 5 years and counting and look just like the super pricey versions at designer boutiques, but cost 1/4 of the price.
Old Navy Dolman Sleeve Sweater, $18.00
Rule #9: LBD – The Only Dress You Need
Oh Little Black Dress, how much we love you. Long sleeved, cap Sleeve, mini, pencil, silk, ponte double knit…no matter the silhouette, you make it easy for us to look so chic. With a leather moto jacket during the day and showstopping red lipstick at night, we feel fabulous. Who knew one dress could do so much?
Rule #10: Find the Perfect Day & Night Carryall for You
If you’re like me, you probably have a few tote bags in heavy rotation (and stashed in the trunk of your car). While I love the idea of switching bags for certain outfits, I usually stick to my tried and true tote bag that looks cool and stylish with my casual daycare drop-off outfits as well as with my date night numbers. When shopping for the versatile, stylish carryall for you, find one that either has a little sheen (nylon, leather, faux leather, waxed cotton) and/or some fresh trims/details (studs, zippers, quilting, animal print, etc). And of course, make sure it’s roomy enough for all your mama needs!
Old Navy Nylon Leopard Tote, $29.00
Got any tips for saving money on clothes not included here? Let me know in the comments below!
This post is sponsored by Riders.