Once upon a time, I thought that sticking to a budget while working in fashion was a futile endeavor. I had entered the industry after starting my career in newspaper journalism, a field where the dress code is notoriously more relaxed, and my ideas of how fashion editors should dress were informed by a mix of early evening Sex and the City reruns (on basic cable—I was missing most of the good stuff, as I later found out).
I’ve since realized that the most well dressed among us don’t rely on a steady stream of expensive purchases. Instead, they’ve honed an expert eye for the high-low mix, know a whole lot of styling tricks, and invest wisely when they do decide to shell out for a designer piece. They’re not afraid to take risks and look a little “out there” either. They know it’s better to have worn that oversize lime green suit and risk a few baffled stares than to have never loved at all. (That’s how the saying goes, right?)
What I’m trying to say is that I’m certainly not immune to the thrill of shopping, especially once payday rolls around. I just generally choose to limit myself to cheapish (but not cheap-looking) thrills that ring in under $100 and keep my wardrobe looking fresh. Keep reading to sneak a peek at the picks I’ve been saving for payday, that most blessed of days I frequently have circled and underlined in red in my much-abused monthly calendar.
This terra-cotta utility jacket is just the piece my outerwear wardrobe’s been missing.
Also very into crochet detailing right about now.
An unexpected take on the basic black tee.
Here for more sheer pieces (especially ones that are this affordable).
Best worn crossbody, ICYWW.
Looking for a plain black bag? You can’t go wrong with this Mango pick (with a very on-trend faux-croc finish).
Let’s get one thing clear here…
Another affordable boot style I’m thinking about pulling the trigger on.
Paloma Wool’s graphic tees are so good.
The wide-leg trousers I’ll be wearing to work on the regular.
The boot style of the season, at a price point too good to refuse.
Tortoiseshell detailing continues to be big news.
Need a new jumpsuit? I think I’ve found your next purchase.
A subtle way to wear tie-dye.
These are just dying for a mixed-print moment, no?
A fun new piece to add to your jewelry box.
Did I mention fashion’s tortoiseshell obsession?
Psst—you don’t have to tell anyone these are pajama pieces.
Looking for more affordable fashion finds? Next up, see 21 under-$46 shopping picks that look way more expensive than their price tag would suggest.