Do you ever read your favourite fashion blogs thinking, how the heck am I suppose to afford THAT outfit. She’s decked out in all designer and let’s be real – that outfit would cost you a month of rent or two! This is why it’s super refreshing to see bloggers who know how to mix the high with the low. And they’re not afraid to show-off their latest budget score.
Meet Aleesha Harris, the Vancouver-based blogger behind Covet & Acquire. I knew I’d love this girl when I first read the mission statement on her site “a REAL GIRL with a REAL BODY and a REAL BUDGET can be REALLY FABULOUS.” Aleesha and I recently sat down over a cup of java and yes, she’s really that fabulous (inside and out). So I had to pry and ask her for her shopping tips, what items to invest in and where to splurge – cause this girl KNOWS what she’s talking about.
Do you have a monthly shopping budget? If so, how do you make sure you stick to it?
I attempt to have a monthly shopping budget, but if there’s any area of my budgeting that I sometimes fail on — it’s shopping. I am really good about saving toward a specific target, so when I’m really requiring a structured savings plan, I set small goals and work toward them. But I will admit, when it’s a seasonal transition and all the new styles hit stores, all bets are off.
What are the types of items you like to save on and splurge on?
I don’t mind saving on loose, solid-coloured garments such as blouses. Sandals are an area you can save on as I find that a good leather pair from a store such as Aldo will wear just as well as a pricier designer version. Summer dresses I buy almost exclusively at a lower price point as they tend to have a shorter lifespan, in general, than other seasonal pieces. But I almost always steer clear of prints in cheaper stores because I find the faster production of garments in lower-priced stores often leads to sloppy construction such as mismatched seams. That’s a telltale sign of a cheap piece. When it comes to blazers, boots, handbags and leather pieces such as jackets and pants, I almost always save up and then splurge because these are the classic pieces you can keep rotating through your wardrobe for years to come.
Although you’re shopping on a budget, it doesn’t mean items are cheaply made, what qualities do you look for when you’re shopping for clothing on a budget?
I am a huge fan of fabrics, so I always pay attention to what garments are made of before I buy them. In recent years, “fast fashion” retailers such as H&M, GAP and Forever 21 have all embraced some higher-end fabrics. If you keep your eye out, you can find great pieces in silk, Lyocell and linen at reasonable prices. And the best thing? The fabric upgrade makes them look just as good as higher ticket items.
What are your favourite places to shop when on a budget?
Saks Off Fifth in the U.S. is my go-to for designer deals. They often have deeply discounted items that are still in the current season. It makes up for the unfortunate exchange rate. I often stop in to H&M, Topshop and Forever 21 for trendy pieces. And because I absolutely refuse to spend anywhere near $50 for a t-shirt, I wear Old Navy Vintage tees almost exclusively.
Best budget buy sitting in your closet right now?
I have two crepe trench coats that I picked up at H&M during last year’s clearance. They’re beige and navy — and I’ve been wearing them both on repeat this spring!
Favourite beauty budget buys?
NYC Liquid Eyeliner, Maybelline Eyestudio Vivid & Smooth Eyeliner, NYC New York Color Minute Quick Dry Top Coat and John Frieda Frizz Ease Serum.