- By Michelle McCormack

Putting together an entire outfit for under $50 bucks, EASY, this is how I shop! I’ve been putting together budget outfits that look like a million ever since I got old enough (and confident enough) to know that I can make things work – if I work it.

Using my beautiful friend Meike Hale as a moving mannequin, we hit a charity shop, a corporate megastore and everywhere in between, sourcing the grooviest gear we could find.

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FINAL PRODUCT

Photo Credit: Michelle McCormack

Here’s how we patched together this whole outfit for under $50 ($46 to be exact).

Photo Credit: Michelle McCormack

This $2 neck tie is from the new Goodwill shop in Jamaica plain that replaced a chain sneaker store in the center of town and believe me, it is way more citizen-appropriate. Let’s just say you’re way more likely to see people sporting your grandmas vintage pumps or grandpas blazer in this neighborhood, than Air Jordan’s. Neck tie’s make a great accessory in place of your usual necklace.

A SHIRT

Photo Credit: Michelle McCormack

H & M is one of the best chain stores to shop if you have a limited budget, no time and have to look like a million bucks. They also seemed to have somehow broken the impenetrable couture barrier by carrying such hallowed brands as Lanvin, Comme Des Garcon and Versace. And these are exclusive deals, just with them. How’d they do it? Grab this great tank (available in a variety of other colors) for just $5.50.

TROUSERS

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Photo Credit: Michelle McCormack

Forever 21 offers great pieces you’d never think to wear on your own, but then you see on one of their mannequins and it becomes an instant have-to-have. This particular location on Newbury looks to have more square feet than any other retailer on the prestigious street – which can’t be cheap. But the clothes are! Check out these mustard colored pants for just $19.50. So they’re absolutely relying on sheer volume, secured by offering consistently innovative – yeah, that’s the word – innovative – gear.

LID

Photo Credit: Michelle McCormack

Urban is one of those stores where you really don’t mind sacrificing quality because the styles are so rocking. I’ve had more than a bag/skirt/scarf or two begin unraveling after a few wears.  Yet I keep going back, spending more than I should, because I know I’ll find something awesome, in a bind. Take this hat for example, a stylish and yet affordable accessories for only $5!

ARMWARMERS

Photo Credit: Michelle McCormack


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When I approached Elizabeth’s table at SoWa Open Market I immediately got that feeling of missing out on something. This girl gets to spend her working days piecing together random organic materials to make must-have, impulse buy pieces. Gloves, scarfs, armwarmers, pins, patches, etc. I can honestly say I like everything she does. These fun arm warmers sell for $14.

WHAT’S YOUR SECRET?

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Tell us in the comments where you source fab gear for less.
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Michelle McCormack is a Facebook expert and blogger at  LoveTheCool. LIKE her Facebook page Secret Boston and FOLLOW her Tweets at @MichelleMMM