Outfit Details: H&M Blouse (old, similar here), H&M Bag (similar here), J. Crew Jeans
I’m excited about today’s post because it’s reader-requested and on a topic that’s near and dear to my heart! As I’ve gotten older, I’ve developed an appreciation for the artistry and quality of designer pieces, but I grew up creating outfits from affordable retailers and still believe that great style is possible on a budget.
Some of my favorite moments as a blogger are when I discover a gorgeous item that’s budget-friendly. A few of the pieces in my closet that I love the most actually cost me the least, which just goes to show that you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg to find clothes you feel great about.
Over the past few years, I’ve developed a knack for finding really beautiful, eye-catching yet affordable feminine pieces. There are dozens of brands out there that I’ve shopped with, but I have a few trusty favorites. Here’s a list of where I shop for clothing when I want to keep the price point reasonable.
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This brand has design studios in Paris and Stockholm and the European inspiration really shows in the collections. Practically everything on the site is under $100. I’ve found some great coats and bags for a little more, but the quality is incredible given the pricing.
I first discovered Aritizia through Melissa Wood on Instagram and decided to stop into their brick-and-mortar location on a visit to New York. I love their sweaters and cardigans in particular but also shop here for blouses and dresses.
Warning, browsing the Mango website may result in wanting everything. They style outfits beautifully throughout the site, so it can easily end up being a one-stop-shop for an entire new look. Their accessories and dresses are great as well and the coats sell out pretty much every season. The pieces are feminine but grown up—perfect for late 20- and early 30-somethings.
Blouse (old H&M, similar here)
The most affordable of the bunch, I love shopping here online. Admittedly, they don’t always carry the highest quality products, but I like to browse H&M when I’m looking for a trendy seasonal item that might not be “in” next year. They also carry a very wide variety of colors, so it’s a good place to check when styling an outfit in a particular palette. Examples of a few great recent finds include this check blazer (I just ordered), these ankle jeans, and this sweater.
Zara makes some seriously gorgeous pieces, some of which could pass for designer items. You may have to do a little bit of digging to find something you love, but when you do it’s like hitting a gold mine. A few examples include this double breasted blazer, this wrap front cardigan, and this satin blouse. My only complaint is that the product photography can make it challenging to see the details of the items, but their return policy is reasonable so I don’t mind.
I never write off Etsy when looking for a very specific piece (leather tote, puff-sleeve blouse, etc.). I’ve found Mansur Gavriel bucket bag lookalikes, pretty face masks, gorgeous midi dresses, and much more. I recommend creating an account and favoriting the shops you love once you discover them as they can be difficult to find again on a separate visit.