By Louise Whiteside

          That beautifully dressed woman you worked with a while ago or the one you see at an occasional social function – you know the one. She always looks as if she’s just stepped out of a fashion magazine. You may have wondered if she an heiress.  Does she spend untold fortunes on her wardrobe? Or has she simply learned a few easy tricks about looking fabulous on a small budget?

You may never know the full truth. But if, like me, you fall into the latter category, you can master a few basic rules which will allow you to look like a fashionista while heeding your pocketbook. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

Explore Consignment Shops. in nice neighborhoods where well-to-do clients are likely to place their gently-used clothing. You might just pick up a designer dress or suit for a fraction of its original price. To find a good local consignment shop, see

Check Out Budget-Friendly Stores. such as Target or Kohl’s. These stores work with current designers to create affordable lines of women’s clothing and accessories. You’re likely to find a designer dress or handbag created especially for Kohl’s, priced at $20 to $50.

Go Online for Sample Sales. Some websites offer short-term savings on high-end clothing. Two examples are and

Time Your Shopping for The Best Deals. For example:

  • Buy Winter clothes in January, when retailers are beginning to show Spring clothing.
  • Buy Summer clothes in July or August. In late Summer, the stores are bringing in Fall fashions. You may find just the swimsuit you’re

looking for at half price!

  • Buy athletic shoes in the Fall, while your favorite retailer is making room for Winter boots.
  • Look for denim around October. Back-to-school sales are over, and prices on blue jeans are reduced.

Learn Store Schedules.  Shop in your favorite department store on Saturday evening. The big sale will likely be advertised in the Sunday papers, but the signs may already be advertising the sale on Saturday night.

Simplify Your Wardrobe.

  • Forget those trendy items that will be out of style next year. Concentrate on a few classic pieces in neutral colors, such as navy, black, gray or brown.
  • Find a classic dress that looks wonderful with a jacket or a cardigan, and that can be accessorized with a belt or jewelry for day or evening.
  • Buy two suits that can be worn as separates: two pairs of pants, two skirts and two jackets, to give you countless mix-and-match possibilities.
  • Find two sweaters, such as cardigans, that can be worn with all your outfits.
  • Look for a few tops that can be worn alone, or with the cardigans or jackets.
  • Select one or two classic belts and one good piece of jewelry. An elegant necklace paired with an inexpensive piece can create a chic, high-fashion look.
  • If you select your items carefully, you’ll have infinite possibilities for creating a spectacular wardrobe.

Reminder.  The clothes you select should fit your body shape perfectly. A good tailor can make your clothes look as if they were made for you. Clothing that looks great on you — whatever its cost — will give you that million-dollar look!


It Pays to be a Senior1,147 Incredible Discounts, Benefits, Sweet Deals and Giveaways for Folks Over 50  F C & A Publishing, Peachtree City, Ga. (2011)

The Wow Factor:  Insider Style Secrets for Every Body and Every Budget by Jacqui Stafford  Gotham Books, Penguin Group, Inc., New York, N.Y.  (2013)



















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