It'll cost you just four or five bucks to pick up one of the phonebook-sized fall fashion magazines, but you could easily go bankrupt trying to chase all of the hot trends contained within. So try this smart shopping strategy: Splurge on what are likely to become classic wardrobe staples, and find cheap options for trends that will probably look silly by next year. Here are some tips for following the fall trends without breaking the bank.
- Lean on Budget Chains
For very of-the-moment looks that probably won't last—like wool short-shorts, leggings, and animal prints—scoop up cheap clothes that also won't last long from stores like Forever 21, H&M, and Old Navy. Target's Paul + Joe line, for instance, has some very cute wool roll-up shorts for $30.
- Scour Thrift Stores
Not surprisingly, a lot of this fall's trends have been around before and can easily be found in thrift stores. Scour the racks of your local Buffalo Exchange or Goodwill for second-time-around trends, including wide belts, vests, and gold-toned accessories, like this mod 1960s handbag, available for just $25 here.
- Alter Last Year's Looks.
Get out your needle and thread (or call your ace alterations person) and give old clothes a modern look. Taper a pair of bootcut jeans to turn them into skinny jeans. In addition, an A-line or circle skirt can be taken up and turned into a bubble style like this LaRok design, sold here for $99.
- Splurge Selectively
Fortunately, many of the trendy looks this season—namely, high, flat boots, dressy flats, and red accents—are borne out of very classic styles that are likely to be contemporary for years to come. So if you're looking to splurge, save it for the styles most likely to last, like these Kate Spade flats, available for $354 here.
For other smart fall shopping strategies,