FALL'S LOOKS FOR LESS
As summer heat yields to cooler air, wardrobes and makeup typically need a seasonal overhaul. The changeover can be costly, prompting many women to tuck some warm-weather pieces into their fall outfits. But there's no reason to pass up shopping for the season's new trends. Here are 25 budget-friendly ways to refresh your look.
WAIT FOR LABOR DAY SALES
Hold off on shopping until the inevitable online coupon codes and in-store sales are listed for one of the year's major shopping holidays. Chances are you'll be able to snag some discounts on apparel, accessories, and more from favorite online and brick-and-mortar vendors.
BUY MAKEUP ONLINE
It might cost less to buy cosmetics online compared with making a trip to the mall or drugstore thanks to online coupon codes and discount websites. Amazon and Drugstore.com are two sources for finding cosmetics for less than the average retail price. One caveat: Buying online works best if you know the colors and brands that suit you. It's also a good idea to check customer reviews of the sellers to confirm that products are as described.
SHOP IN GRANDMA'S CLOSET
Raid the closets of older relatives for vintage finds that can complete your seasonal wardrobe. For example, stacked kitten heels are supposed to be a shoe trend this season, according to Elle. Get in the swing of things with a pair that's been in the family for as long as you have.
QUENCH DRY HAIR FOR LESS
Treating dry hair doesn't have to be an expensive proposition. Simply look for a shampoo, any shampoo, that has plenty of moisturizing qualities from ingredients such as natural oils (a trendy one these days). Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Fortifying shampoo contains olive, avocado, and shea oils and sells for less than $4; one reviewer at Drugstore.com says she didn't need conditioner after using it. An even cheaper option is to coat ends of hair with olive or coconut oil straight from the kitchen cabinet.
ORGANIZE A CLOTHING SWAP
What is one person's cast-off can be another's wardrobe treasure, so get together with friends and a big pile of giveaways, set out the wine and cheese, and spend the evening shopping for free. As if you need another reason, this is a perfect excuse for girls' night.
MAKE MANICURES LAST LONGER
Prolong a manicure and pedicure by painting on a topcoat every few days. The extra layer provides some protection for the color underneath. Pure Ice Nail Polish Top Coat is just $2 and reviews posted at Walmart say it does just as good a job as pricier products.
STOCK UP ON JEANS
Denim is a popular back-to-school item and a closet must-have for all ages. Come September, denim sales will be breaking out left and right, so this is the perfect time of year to grab a few pairs.
VISIT VIRTUAL CONSIGNMENT SHOPS
Take the guesswork and possible waste of time out of visiting consignment shops by clicking through online consignment sites. ThredUp is one popular resale site that offers items for women and children. Other consignment sites specializing in kids' stuff are worth checking out before school starts.
SAMPLE THE LATEST FALL COLORS
Revamp your fall makeup palette by collecting free goodies whenever you can. For example, Clinique often includes freebies of seasonal colors with a purchase; at the time of writing, customers were offered a free eye or lip Chubby Stick in a fall-friendly color with a $35 purchase. Now may be the moment to replenish that moisturizer or oft-used powder.
TIME FOR MORE T-SHIRTS
T-shirts are a wardrobe staple, so if you need to refresh with fall-worthy selections, Cheapism's survey of T-shirt prices found that Old Navy offers one of the best arrays of the latest styles for the most unbeatable prices.
COMPARE HIGH AND LOW END
Love a beauty product that's extra pricey? Check the drugstore version. For example, L'Oréal and Lancôme are part of the same company. A multi-color eye shadow compact from Lancôme can cost upward of $50 while similar colors in eye shadow sets from L'Oréal run about $10.
GET BONUS BUCKS
Are any of the pharmacy chains your beauty hot spot? Then sign up for their rewards programs. CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens all reward loyal shoppers with points towards savings on future purchases, including beauty products.
REUSE AND RECYCLE
Save money on fall shopping by repurposing summer accessories into cool-weather wardrobe accents, as the Martha Stewart website recommends. One example (with video instructions) calls for reworking a summer scarf into a handbag for use in early fall.
DO DOUBLE DUTY WITH EYE MAKEUP
Skip paying for eyeliner and use a liner brush to line eyes with mascara or eye shadow. E.l.f. Professional Eyeliner Brush, tagged at $1.50, works with any eye shadow or mascara and gives a precise line, according to user comments posted at Drustore.com.
SUIT UP FOR YOUR NEXT VACATION
As fall starts to hit, swimwear drops to all-time low prices. Now is the time to buy swimsuits or swim-related gear, such as cover-ups and flip-flops, to be wardrobe-ready for upcoming winter vacations in warm and sunny climes.
WEAR SUMMER CLOTHES INTO FALL
Yes, you can get away with wearing that summer dress a while longer -- just layer with tights and a cardigan. There's also no reason to pack up sandals if the air is still warm and dry, but stick to neutral shades such as black and brown and put away the pastel shoes until next year. A cute scarf always works for turning a tee or tank into something more season appropriate.
JUMP ON JEWELRY
There's no gift-giving holiday in sight in early fall, so jewelry stores vie for business. Keep an eye on favorite sellers for sales and specials before it's too deep into the season and retailers start putting the Christmas bug in consumers' ears and hold fast on prices.
PICK DUAL-PURPOSE PRODUCTS
Choose a lipstick that incorporates sunscreen to add sun protection to the delicate skin on lips. Try a product that can be used on eyes, cheeks, and lips. Physician's Formula Super BB All-in-1 Cheek and Lip Beauty Balm SPF 20 combines sunscreen and all-over color in one portable product, and costs less than $6. User reviews assert the balm makes skin look dewy.
GET FALL'S LATEST FOR LESS
Stock up on trendy looks for less at specialty chains such as H and M and Zara, both known for good prices and ever-changing, fashion-forward styles. In the aisles at Target this fall, you'll find special collections from Adam Lippes and shoe brand Aldo for a fraction of the price normally associated with such upmarket labels. Seasons past have seen Target clothing lines from top designers such as Lily Pulitzer and Phillip Lim.
REVISIT YOUR CLOSET
Styles constantly change, and that top or skirt hiding in the back of the closet all these many years may be just the thing this season. As any frugal fashionista knows, it's worth taking stock of what you already own before heading to the stores. Why spend money when you don't have to?
RENT A LOOK
Clothing rental sites are a smart choice when you want to wear the perfect outfit without paying the price of owning it. Rent the Runway, for example, focuses on special occasion outfits while Le Tote offers items that shake up your wardrobe monthly.
GO CHEAP ON CERTAIN MAKEUP ITEMS
Beauty websites caution that mascara should only be kept in the vanity cabinet for three months or so, owing to bacteria entering the tube every time the wand is pulled in and out. The same rule holds for liquid liner. When a product is tossed in such a short amount of time, it makes sense to spend the minimum for a brand that still meets your standards.
Tag sale sites are plentiful on Facebook and offer everything from baby clothes to high-end furniture and fashion items. With a little sleuthing and newsfeed watching, you just might find some compelling deals on fall wardrobe items.
CHECK OUT THE KIDS' DEPARTMENT
Petite women rejoice: Shopping large kids' sizes can save big bucks. Women who wear size extra-small can save money by buying basic T-shirts from the J. Crew kids' line for almost half the cost, according to style site SheFinds. Pricey purchases such as coats and boots (Uggs, in particular), as well as athletic looks, likewise can be had for much less by shopping in the kids' section.
OUT WITH OLD, IN WITH NEW
Get rid of old wardrobe items that are taking up prime real estate in your closet and bag some new looks at online fashion marketplaces such as Swap Style and Bib + Tuck. The former invites users to swap clothes with other women from around the world and both sites facilitate buying and selling gently used designer and vintage fashion items.