7 Simple Tips for Shopping Really Inexpensive (OK Cheap) Fashion

If you prefer quality over fast fashion, then this article is not for you. But if you love to shop and get a good deal on really inexpensive fashion pieces (in the price range of $5 to $35) that can pass as expensive, read on! I’m not talking about great deals on designer fashion, but rather what to look for when shopping for fast fashion to extend your wardrobe, to liven up your outfits, or to try a trend just for fun! Here are 7 simple tips when you shop.

Tips for Shopping Inexpensive Fashion

green bottega bag and fast fashion amazon bag fountainof30
Bottega Venetta Intrecciato Leather Wallet on a Strap, $1,600 Vs Amazon (US) Woven Crossbody Bag, $18

1. Know The Trends

Read Fountain Of 30 and all the fashion magazines. Browse the finest department stores for fashion on the internet like Neiman Marcus, Saks, Nordstrom, Shopbop and Net-a-Porter and look at the latest designer trends of the season. With this knowledge you can go to fast fashion stores like H&M, Target, Amazon and Zara and shop for fashionable items or at least have the understanding of the trends they are trying to emulate. You may actually get a kick out of this like I do. (I smile at all the Bottega-like bags I see!) I certainly don’t condone ripping off designers, but like to find fast fashion that gives off a vibe or a wink and a nod to a designer piece.

black white and bright solids shopping tip fountainof30
H&M (US) Black Pleated Jersey Dress, $34.99, White Linen-blend Shirt, $34.99 and Bright Red Flutter-sleeved Jersey Top, $19.99

2. Go With Solids: Black, White or Bright

Black or white are usually the best bets when it comes to cheap clothing. Why? Basically because both colors hide the flaws that may come with inexpensive fashion, such as imperfect top-stitching, or a lack of top stitching, and fabric imperfections. You can’t see the flaws on black or white fabrics because its either a black-out or a white-out. My second color tip is to go with a solid trendy color like this season’s Fiery red, Barbiecore pink or Kelly green to add some punch to your wardrobe for very little cash.


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best prints inexpensive fashion shopping tips fountainof30
H&M (US) Balloon-sleeved Cotton Dress, $39.99 and Oversized Poplin Shirt, $24.99


3. Have Fun with Prints

A fun floral, animal print, polka-dot, retro or bold graphic print may be the reason you are drawn to an inexpensive fashion item. Go for it if you love it! On the flip side, if you want the item to look more expensive, choose classics like menswear stripes, checks, plaid or paisley prints. Note: With a large plaid or stripe, inspect how the pattern lines up at the seams, because often with cheap clothing the prints do not match up correctly.

fast fashion trendy or classic styles fountainof30
H&M (US) Twill Cargo Pants, $29.99 and Cotton Wrap Skirt, $34.99

4. Go Trendy…and Classic!

Some of the best silhouettes to choose are something totally on-trend such as cargo pants, flutter sleeve tops and oversized shirts. Since it it fast fashion the trendy stuff is there for you. But inexpensive fashion tends to go over-the-top and that is something you may need to avoid if it looks too cheap. But if it looks dramatic and chic, why not go for it? After all it is inexpensive, so who care’s if you only wear it for one season? But the other way to go with fast fashion is with classic shirts, basic t-shirts, pencil skirts or (black of course) pants. These are items you may actually wear quite a bit (since they are so cheap you don’t worry about them) and you can wear them from year to year.

natural and synthetic fabrics fast fashion fountainof30
H&M (US) Ribbed Modal-blend T-shirt, $12.99 and Nylon Parachute Pants, $34.99

5. Seek The Best Fabrics

Look for cotton, cotton-blends, linen, cotton jersey, denim and woven fabrics that don’t look cheap or feel uncomfortable! Synthetic and tech fabrics have come a long way. Even inexpensive clothing can be found in synthetic fabrics that look expensive and are wrinkle-free such as nylon parachute pants.

patent faux lauther vs woven fabric shoes fountainof30
ASOS DESIGN Wide Fit Lake bow pointed ballet flats in black, $29 Vs the same exact style in natural raffia, $29

6. Foot Comfort is Key

Similar to clothing, my tip for cheap shoes is to find them in a woven fabric vs. faux leather and they will feel much more comfortable. Woven fabric shoes because they will allow your feet to breathe, and have a little more give. Some really inexpensive shoes come in real suede, and some faux suedes are softer and more comfortable than faux leather or God forbid faux patent leather. Ouch!

7. Set a Budget 

Even though we’re talking about fast fashion, it’s best to set a budget. I admit I get caught up in the frenzy of a great deal, but what good is a $5 t-shirt if you will never wear it? Set a budget of $100 and you may be able to get 5 new fashion items to add to your wardrobe this season. Besides, you may actually like to set a limit to the number of fast fashion items you purchase. For example, set the limit to 5 items, even if you only spend $50. That way you won’t have too many cheap items you may not wear a lot filling up your closet.

Do you like shopping for fast fashion? Which items would you consider buying on the cheap?

Carol Calacci

You may also like to read Why We love White Jeans for Summer for Women Over 50 and 3 Summer Outfit Ideas for Women Over 50 To Wear On Repeat.

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