In preparation for fashion week, T.J. Maxx + Marshalls challenged me to put together three outfits with a $500 budget. I was a little nervous, as the budget was meant to cover everything – shoes, bag, accessories, and so on! I ended up being surprised by how easy the challenge actually was. I place a lot of importance on having quality accessories but am happy to report that I found some really great items! Today, I’m sharing my top five tips for shopping off-price retailers.
PS – I shared some more tips with StyleBistro… right this way!
1. Start with accessories.
As accessories are the thing I’m most fussy about, I found these first. I ended up finding an amazing structured satchel (from one of my favorite designers) and a small clutch to tuck inside of it. This is my go-to combo for fashion week… The bag holds all my essentials for long days and back + forth between the office and shows… and the clutch can come out on its own if I end up running to a party after work. For shoes, I always go for comfort. The pair of mules I’m wearing in this first look is great because they have a nice thick ankle strap and a hidden platform.
2. Load up on denim.
TJ Maxx stocks some of my fave denim brands (at at least half off.) I get a crazy amount of my denim from TJ’s and Marshall’s. I want to tell you which brands, but I’m not allowed. Go see for yourself!
3. Shop the clearance rack!
Would you believe that both the little black dress and clutch came from the clearance department? So did the (100% cashmere) scarf I’m wearing in the first look. I have no idea why, but the best stuff at TJ’s and Marshall’s is often on the clearance rack.
4. Stick to neutrals. (especially black!)
Black never looks cheap (unless it’s really faded, which is another story.) If you’re on a limited budget, you
5. You can’t go wrong with a patterned shift.
This dress was only $30, and came from a designer I’d never heard of, but I love it. It’s super comfortable, appropriate for both the office and events, and makes a statement without trying too hard. You don’t really need to accessorize, and you can keep the rest of your look simple. If you’re on a budget, hit the dress department up and load up on pretty shift dresses (save the rest of your money for your accessories!)
photography by Lydia Hudgens.
Thank you to TJX for sponsoring this post!