10 ways to dress smartly for less

Bargain-lovers, rejoice! You don't have to sacrifice style for affordability.

By Heather Buchan

Shopping tips 1 to 4

You don't need to spend a fortune to be a style maven. And you certainly don't have to forgo style in order to save money. You simply need time, patience and some tips. Budget limitations can force you to become more creative in what you wear and how you wear things, so read on! Armed with the following shopping tips, you're sure to turn heads without breaking the bank.

1. Go vintage
Vintage stores are great places to find retro-chic styles at bargain prices. Another bonus: you'll be hard-pressed to find someone else wearing the same thing as you at your next party. For listings of secondhand clothing stores across Canada, go to www.shopincanada.com and type in "used clothing."

2. Be sale savvy
Boxing Day is not the only time of year to snag bargains. In fact, most sales extend far past Boxing Day throughout the rest of January and into February. And end-of-summer sales generally take place in late July, before the fall clothing hits the racks. Be sure to also check out the fashion section of your local newspaper for listings of special clothing sales going on in your area.

3. Shop consignment
Many first-rate deals on secondhand designer clothes are found at consignment shops. Generally, consignment stores stock designer bags, shoes, clothing and accessories that are almost new and only a few years old. The best part: items are usually 50 to 75 per cent off what they would have cost brand-new. Check your local Yellow Pages under Consignment Shops or search the Web for stores near you.

4. Accessorize
Nothing ties an outfit together like an eye-catching belt, a colourful scarf, a unique piece of jewelry or a gorgeous pair of shoes. When buying accessories, give careful consideration to their suitability with most of your wardrobe. There are many cheap knockoffs of designer accessories today so you can have fun playing around with different looks without spending a fortune.

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