Signature Style: Creating a Stylish, Budget-Friendly Wardrobe

Top Left:  Kelsie Dagger leather boots with Merona Target animal print trench coat. Target sequin top with J.Crew necklace and New York and Company boot-cut jeans. Calvin Klein trench coat, See by Chloe leather clutch (from Paris) and TJMaxx discount Calvin Klein pants. Bottom Left: Ann Taylor Loft Jacket and blouse, Target skirt, Marc Jacobs watch, Target print belt.  Michael Michael Kors neon green dress, Forever 21 necklace, Stylemindchic Boutique earrings. Tahari blouse, Michael Kors Bag, New York and Company boot-cut jeans.

As I was looking back over some of my fashion posts, for the 'How I Wore My' series, I realized that most of my fashion looks have a theme. My best kept secret for creating a stylish, budget friendly wardrobe is to mix it up. High to low price points, or even medium to lower price points, if I can find my higher end item on a discount. Each one of the outfits above has a little secret and, as you can see in the list, I'm mixing designer labels with good quality basics.'s how I can afford to travel to places like this. ;)


On my recent trip to San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, I wore this outfit to date night dinner at Flora Farms Here. I was pleasantly surprised at the comfort and quality of this skirt from Target. I always look for strong seaming, buttons that are sewn on securely and quality fabrics. This silky skirt is wash in cold and tumble dry, or drip dry, and perfect for traveling.

Top: TJMaxx (designer discount) Maxi Skirt: Mossimo from Target Sandals: Michael Michael Kors sale at TJMaxx Bangle: Trina Turk (full price-my 50th birthday present to myself) Sweater: Trina Turk on a crazy good sale on Amazon $25.00 yes....regularly over $200.00 #score

I am joining the 'How I Wear My' series in this 'high low' outfit this week with my black maxi skirt.

Each of these neutral tops looks equally perfect with a black pencil skirt, black skinny jeans or dark denim. I zhush up my neutrals with accessories, like chunky jewelry, bright scarves and wraps.

A pretty watercolor print scarf from my

I invest in blouses, tops and sweaters to pair with my basic black 'workhorse' of a pencil skirt, skinny jeans and boot-cut dark denim. If my purchases are quality and hold up I can wear them often. I've found that price is not always the indicator of quality when it comes to fashion.  Honestly, how many black pencil skirts do I really need?

For spring and summer colors, I add basic white crop pants, white boyfriend jeans and a white denim skirt to the mix.

Don't skimp on leather accessories unless you are looking for something trendy. This continues to be my workhorse of a Michael Kor's bag here and I use it year round. Another tip is to consider the cost per wear of an item before you purchase. Using this bag nearly every day for the last two years makes the price much more reasonable.

I once made the mistake of paying nearly $650 for a suit, back in late 1990's. It was sable brown, with matching jacket and pants. I've blocked out the brand name but I know it was a good one. Somehow I thought owning that luxurious suit would fix my life after a major heartbreak. It ended up taking me months to pay it off, the color never looked right on me and it always reminded me of that painful time in life. I ended up giving it to a friend who was starting over in a new career. Overall it was a mistake for me, but a good life lesson learned. #luxury purchases will never fix your life.


Shopping in Rome here in navy blue lace dress and headband from Target, Michael Kors watch and vintage jewelry.

My secret for creating a stylish, budget-friendly wardrobe, when considering whether to splurge on an item, is to remember what else I could do with that money. For me, saving for travel is my motivator. I may likely skip an expensive purchase, or find it at a discount, to save that money for the pleasure of travel.

     I've learned that I value the 'experience' more than the 'thing'. 


Paris, July 2011

“I’m not afraid of heights…have you seen my shoes?” – Carrie Bradshaw

Though I've never pulled the trigger on a pair of Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutins or Jimmy Choos, like Carrie Bradshaw, I've flirted with the idea.

Shoes are most definitely my weakness......

eye candy for the feet.

I'm still working on controlling my shoe crushes but then I remember how much I enjoy traveling to places like this Travel.

My final tip is to check multiple websites if you find an item you like. One of my favorite sites for a comprehensive look for fashion pieces is Shopstyle.

What are your favorite tips for creating a budget friendly wardrobe? Happy stylish Monday!

Curated Collections at my Stylemindchic Boutique!