So one fact that you need to know about me is that I’m a kindergarten teacher. I live in Philadelphia (not cheap) and I work at a charter school. I have a pretty heft car payment (1 year left, thank God!) for a car that I bought before I moved to Philly that I no longer even use that often. So knowing all of that, you will realize that I don’t have oodles of money to be throwing around at anything, let alone my clothes. Therefore, I hereby decree this blog post the first of MANY blog posts about affordable, trendy outfits: Budget-Friendly Summer Outfits, Vol. 1.
One thing that I struggled with prior to writing this article was figuring out how much to budget for my affordable outfit. Am I making an outfit for under $50.00 (my original goal), $75.00, or $100.00? I got a little bit of insight after reading an interesting blog post called, “How much should you spend on clothing?” According to this lovely article here by Pete the Planner, a finance blogger, you should budget at least 5% of your take-home income towards clothes each month. This would make my monthly clothes budget (not necessarily an “outfit” budget, but it could be) about $115.00. Because everyone’s budget looks different, I’ll show you MY OWN budget-friendly outfit of the month PLUS different affordable looks under each budget tier. Each outfit will consist of at least 3 pieces.
My Budget-Friendly OOTM
This past weekend, I went shopping with my best friends from my hometown in Lancaster County. I think the Park City Center Mall is the best mall in my mind. However, I’m sure my friends don’t believe me, because in Philadelphia, we have the King of Prussia Mall. It’s actually the largest mall in the United States, and has many of high-end stores. I always compliment my favorite store (New York & Company) in Park City, because it’s way better than any other New York & Company that I know.
We went to a few stores, with New York & Company being one of them. The above outfit comes mostly from Ann Taylor Loft, but the shoes are Betsey Johnson brand from Macy’s. My budget (for an entire outfit) is about $75. I don’t want to spend my entire monthly budget on one outfit; I want a few pieces here and there that work with what I already have too. I’m love, love, loving stripes with florals. I have seen so many amazing striped tops with floral skirts (or vice versa), and it’s just a very eye-catching, feminine look. As a result, I decided to pair my new tasseled black and white striped top with the pink floral shoes. Of course, black and white is one of my go-to staples, as I mention in my post, “Black and White Prints.”
Under $75 Outfit Details:
- Ann Taylor Loft Striped Pom Pom Off The Shoulder Top, ($19.99).
- Ann Taylor Loft Mixed Stone Necklace, ($14.99)
- Betsey Johnson Ivee Block-Heel Sandals in Floral (Macy’s), ($28.03)- These also come in Navy Gingham, and I’ve been lusting over them as well!
- Forever 21 High-Rise Skinny Jeans (Similar), ($9.90)
- Grand Total of: $72.91
Budget-Friendly For $50
I found this outfit inspiration on Pinterest. I would definitely wear this look right now, as the weather is starting to get a little bit cooler. Never underestimate the style of a white t-shirt and simple accessories. It looks perfect for a day at the beach or night at the boardwalk. Here are my style choices to make this look:
- Ladies Floppy Straw Hat, ($9.99), Target
- Faux-Leather Thong Sandals ($12.90), Forever 21
- Oversized Boxy Tee ($10.90), Forever 21
- Drawstring Linen Palazzo Pants ($16.79), Charlotte Russe
- Grand Total of: $50.58
Look #2 is a tad dressier. If you haven’t noticed the influx of pink, let me tell you. Pink is huge right now! I myself am not a big pink person, but nothing looks better with ruffles than pink. If you want more ideas on how to style ruffles, check out “Summer Trend Alert: Feminine Ruffles” I think this outfit would be great for a date night or drinks with friends. I am also really liking the rose gold jewelry and sneakers that are trending right now as well.
- Flounce Off the Shoulder Striped Dress ($13.00), SheIn
- Mossimo Women’s Faux Leather Clutch Handbag ($16.14), Target
- Embroidered Straw Heel Sandals ($19.79), Charlotte Russe
- Grand Total of: $48.93
Budget-Friendly for $75
Look #3 is a structured puff-sleeve top. The trick is to keep the bottoms sleek to balance out the top. With the top I selected, I would tuck it into the high-waist shorts. I added a few accessories of my own that I thought would pair well with this outfit. I chose to make the accessories a little more on the fancy side, but you could simplify them and let the shirt do the talking!
- Poplin Puff-Sleeve Shirt ($19.90), Forever 21
- Refuge High-Waist Shortie Denim Shorts ($14.99), Charlotte Russe
- Embroidered Slip-On Sandals ($18.00), Forever 21
- SUGARFIX by BaubleBar Tassel Earrings with Druzy Stud ($12.99), Target
- Grand Total of: $65.88
Look #4 is one of my favorite dress styles of the moment, a striped chambray dress. Boater hats are very popular this summer, but I think straw fedoras are still super cool and go with everything. Her bag is a tan embroidered bag, but you could do a straw shoulder bag as well. Here is a boater hat and straw clutch that are to die for! You could dress it up with bright heels, or make it casual with sandals (as I suggest here).
- Self-Tie Fold Neck Pinstripe Pinafore Dress ($12.00), SheIn
- Contrast Band Straw Fedora Hat ($10.00), SheIn
- T-Shirt & Jeans Women’s Laser Peel Crossbody Handbag with Chains ($22.99), Target
- SONOMA Goods for Life Salinda Women’s Wedge Sandals ($23.99), Kohl’s
- Grand Total of: $68.98
I hope that you got some good ideas for where to get your outfit for under $50, $75, or whatever your budget can be! I admit that it was hard to create 1 outfit for under $50, but it wasn’t impossible. One company that I kept coming back to is SheIn, which is an online website. They will have pretty much everything that you are looking for, although I am bothered by the fact that I can’t try things on (so crucial!). Also, while creating outfits on a budget, remember to keep in mind that shoes and purses might be worth an additional investment. For example, you can find many faux-leather styles in purses and shoes for a cheaper price, but they won’t last you as long.
What is a great deal that you’ve recently found? Have you had experiences with SheIn? What do you think about this website? I would love to hear more!
Until next time…