How many ways can you wear it?
This is a tip for both when you're shopping and for items you already have in your closet. I think I speak for everyone when I say that we've all been out and have seen a top, dress, skirt, jacket, etc. that we thought would make our lives happier and more complete. However, the price tag is just not what you're looking for, and you're not sure if you should buy it. Here's what you do: think about the items in your closet and see if you can pair it with the new item. Challenge yourself to come up with at least 5 outfits. If you can, then it might be worth it. If you can't, then put it back.
Do you already have it?
Sometimes, when I buy something, I'll come back home to put it into my closet only to see something in there that's almost the same. Then I get a headache thinking about the drive back to the store and going through the return line. Before you go out to do some damage, really look through your closet to be familiar with what's in there.
Know what to invest in.
It's great to get high quality pieces, but constantly gathering an entire on-trend wardrobe with high quality pieces can drain your bank account. Invest in quality pieces that are classic, and will remain relevant for at least two years. An example would be a winter coat or a great fitting pair of jeans. For pieces that you only plan on wearing for one season, see if you can find it for a bargain. If you have all day, make it a game to see if you can find what you want for under $10.
Check the sale section first.
I can't remember the last time I went into a store and bought something for its full retail price. I always check the clearance or sale section first to see if I can fill my shopping high for a low price tag.
Go to your local consignment store.
I love consignment stores because I get to constantly recycle my clothes. I bring in items that I don't wear anymore and sell or trade them in for cash for credit for new clothes. My closet isn't bursting at the seams, and I can constantly wear "new" clothes. My favorite: Crossroads Trading Company.
Check thrift stores.
If you have the time and the patience to sift through some racks, then thrift stores are a great place to find some gems. Most of my closet comes from thrift stores, and I've saved thousands of dollars on things I've been looking for by spending some time in thrift stores. Stay tuned for a "How to go thrifting" post.