How To Be Fashion Forward On A Tiny Budget

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been wide-eyed while passing every storefront and worn out the pages of this fall’s Nordstrom catalog. With summer winding down, it’s only normal to look ahead to next season’s trends. The biggest challenge is learning how to restock the shelves with sweaters and suede while not falling behind on rent.

Borrow, Rent & Share

StitchFix and LeTote are quickly becoming major disruptors offering a Netflix style monthly subscription service for at-home clothing delivery. StitchFix handpicks five items based on your style and allows you to pay for what you like, while sending the rest back.

On the other hand, LeTote provides a service that lets you “borrow” five items, ranging from clothing to jewelry to handbag, to wear each as many times as you’d like before shipping back at the end of the month. NO CLEANING NECESSARY! You can get new clothes each month at a wallet-friendly fee. 

For the never-ending wedding season that we’re all stuck in, I have three words for you: Rent The Runway. Top designers like Halston, Monique Lhuillier and BCBG adorn the virtual racks at less than 50% of the price for a 4 or 8-day window of time. Let’s be real, the chances of wearing an expensive dress more than once is pretty slim, right? Save some cash and stress. Opt for the rental option.

Clear Out The Closet

We all have those 5-10 pieces of clothing that we’ll just never wear again. Heck – it’s probably closer to 20!  Donating to local organizations such as Salvation Army or Big Brother Big Sister are highly respectable routes and often the popular choice among millennials as 61% of us are worried about the state of the world and feel personally responsible to make a difference. However, cashing in those outdated pieces will help get you through the next season.

Tradesy gets an A+. This site, which also offers a mobile app, allows you to quickly snap a picture, price the item and detail it out in under a minute. Tradesy provides free shipping labels when you provide the packaging making it super easy to get it in the mail.

The best thing about Tradesy is that it has a feature to automatically lower the price on an item after a certain time period if it hasn’t sold. Taking just 9% commission on every sale, you can transfer your funds right to your bank account in one click. According to Aimia, 44% of millennials are willing to promote products or services through social media in exchange for rewards. Tradesy offers $10.00 for each friend that you invite to the site.

Poshmark offers a very similar approach.  One caveat: they’ll pocket 20% commission for all sales over $15. 

Finally, eBay has its advantages. Primarily, the “Buy Now” option which enables those instant gratification shoppers. The perk with eBay is the anticipated bidding war in hopes of increasing the demand for your items. While I’m not a huge fan of eBay, I do think it’s relatively easy to set up an account and start selling right away.

Whether you chose to borrow, rent, or sell, there are many fun and versatile choices to keep you looking runway ready while saving some pennies. When in doubt, grab some girlfriends, a bottle of wine and host a clothing swap night.

Katie Devlin is a Portfolio Marketing Manager for IBM Customer Experience Analytics portfolio. She has over four years of experience in the digital marketing space spending a majority of time on the technical sales team supporting the IBM Commerce portfolio.  A graduate of the University of Connecticut, she enjoys fashion, travel and fitness.


Twitter: @IAmKatieDevs