Where to Shop on a Budget

Happy Fashion Friday loves! When I first came to the US it was for my Masters at USC and you know the student life, it’s like living on a dime. That is where I first started looking for places where I could find chic but affordable pieces. I no more live the student life but finding cute pieces for an affordable price gives me an adrenaline rush 😉 Why you ask? Well, if you walk into places like Mango, Banana Republic, Express, of course, you will readily find pieces that are right on trend. I don’t get a kick out of that. But shopping at places where you don’t expect to find fashionable clothing/accessories adds excitement to my shopping experience. That’s why shop there! And today I’m going to share my secrets with you. If you are looking for the same or just want to shop on a budget, read on!

Nordstrom Rack

I didn’t shop as much at Nordstrom Rack before I moved to San Francisco.  Now I go there almost as many times as I go to the gym 😜 Because it’s literally next to my gym, less than 10 mins away from home. You may think Nordstrom Rack wouldn’t have any latest pieces, but trust me I have found some of the most on-trend pieces in the sale section at Nordstrom Rack. Like this Free People dress. The puffy sleeves and the exaggerated square neckline is a micro-trend you must have noticed going around. And I found it at Nordstrom Rack in the sale section.

TIP: If you are shopping the sale section be prepared for a hunt! They have a lot of stock and its not always organized. But that rush you get after finding THE piece you were looking for makes the hunt worth it!

$34 Free People Dress | Target Bag | Marshalls Adidas Sneakers


This one no surprise. You guys know I love Target. Since the past year or so Target has stepped up their Fashion game big time. Their collaborations with Who What Wear & Victoria Beckham are/were some of my favorites. Not only is the stuff at Target affordable, its super on trend. Especially the Who What Wear Collection. If I were still working my corporate job I’d buy everything from that collection. Out of all the places that I’ve listed here today, I think Target is my favorite because it’s so accessible (of course affordable).

TIP: Go on their website and check to see if the item you are looking for is available at your local Target or not. You can filter by the store location you want. This is something that I’ve learned from months of shopping there. Vice versa you can also check the collection available at your local Target before you go. So you know exactly what you need to get. Otherwise, we all know what happens if you go to Target without a list! You come back home with the entire store. 😂

Entire outfit from Target | Amazon Sunglasses | Nordstrom Rack Earrings


Amazon is my second favorite place to score affordable and chic pieces. Amazon has changed our lives, right? I don’t know for better or for worse 😉 but it has definitely changed the way we shop.

IMO Amazon is the best place to shop for designer dupes. More often than not you’ll find what you are looking for on Amazon. The only issue is you can’t be certain of the fit and/or quality. Most of the pieces that I’ve ordered have worked out for me but you can never be 100% sure.

TIP: Read reviews for sizing & quality. OR if you don’t feel like doing it the hard way I’d highly recommend shopping from Colette’s Shop. She is a San Francisco based blogger who does all the hard work (for you) of finding on-trend affordable pieces. You can also follow her on Instagram here.

Amazon-Feminist-T-shirt-velvet-skirt-Target booties-Ross-backpack
Amazon T-shirt & Skirt (under $15)| Target Pink Booties | Ross Pink Backpack

Forever 21 / H&M

Both these shops may not come as a surprise to you but both these places are mostly known for their super on trend fast fashion. But I have bought some of my favorite staple pieces at Forever 21 & H&M. When shopping here I highly recommend shopping online. Because they have tons of stock & most of the times it’s not organized. Plus, these are super popular spots for teenagers too so there’s always a long queue for fitting rooms.

TIP: If you shop online make sure you know your top, bottom, and dress sizes well. They may not always be the same.

$7 Forever 21 Dress Earrings | Amazon Sunglasses


I started shopping at Ross when I was at USC because that was the only place I could afford to shop at, at the time. I’m not a big fan of Ross clothing but their outerwear can be really good. I found this really awesome lace-up denim jacket there for about $20! SCOREEE, right?! You can easily see this jacket at Zara or Urban Outfitters for much more than $20. Another thing I love buying at Ross is shoes. Most of the shoes they have are name brand so you can trust the quality. You can also find some on-trend home decor items in Ross too. When my sister did the interior design of my San Francisco loft we found some awesome gems there.

TIP: All Ross stores don’t have the same stock. So check out a couple and I guarantee you will find something you love.

$20 Ross Denim Jacket | Nordstrom Rack Betsey Johnson Dress


Marshalls is very similar to Ross but I think the quality of the clothing they carry is better than Ross. Marshalls is at a higher price point in clothing as compared to Ross but you can see why when you try on the pieces there.

TIP: Check with a store employee on which day they re-stock their pieces and shop on those days. You will find the best pieces on that day.

$25 Marshalls Adidas Sneakers | Target Dress | Ross Denim Jacket

If I had to choose ONLY ONE STORE to shop from for my entire life, I think I would choose Target! Which one would you choose? Let me know in the comments.

I hope these tips help you! Thanks for reading!


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