Stylishly Broke: Finding Cheap Digs in the City

Whenever I see photos from the runway or my favorite celebrity dressed to the nines, I think "Damn, it must be easy to look stylish when you're rich."

With designers, magazines, and celebrities manufacturing mainstream trends, it is easy to look good when you have the money to drop on brand name clothes. But, with a generation making their way through the world with more debt then cash, some amazing personal styles have grown out of a need to shop cheap.

Now, these debt mangled millennials are far from the first folks to create style out of pocket change. Poor folks have been making incredible fashion statements on limited funds forever. But now, more than ever, the amount of people who need to stretch their dollars and still look cute are ballooning at incredible rates.

So, my friend Melissa and I are here to show you that being broke does not mean forgoing fashion (and I'll even let you in on our favorite places to score dirt cheap digs).

(All the outfits pictured below cost 20$ or less, including all shoes and accessories).

Shirt and shorts from " 2$ Clothing Store" on Santa Monica photo cred: Kris Nelson

Shirt and shorts from " 2$ Clothing Store" on Santa Monica photo cred: Kris Nelson

T-shirt from the 5$ bin at Los Feliz vintage shop "Squaresville" photo cred: Melissa Amaya      model: Me, Kris Nelson  

T-shirt from the 5$ bin at Los Feliz vintage shop "Squaresville" photo cred: Melissa Amaya      model: Me, Kris Nelson

 

Sheer floral dress from "2$ Clothing Store", black booties (5$) "Goodwill"                                                              photo cred: Kris Nelson

Sheer floral dress from "2$ Clothing Store", black booties (5$) "Goodwill"
                                                             photo cred: Kris Nelson

Cutt-off jean jacket from "Goodwill" (4$), esleep shorts from "Urban Ore" (3$), floral nike's                                                                  from "Buffalo Exchange" (6$)                                                              photo cred: Melissa Amaya

Cutt-off jean jacket from "Goodwill" (4$), esleep shorts from "Urban Ore" (3$), floral nike's                                                                  from "Buffalo Exchange" (6$)
                                                             photo cred: Melissa Amaya

  Shirt from "2$ Clothing Store", cut-off's from "Goodwill"(3$)                                                              photo cred: Kris Nelson

  Shirt from "2$ Clothing Store", cut-off's from "Goodwill"(3$)
                                                             photo cred: Kris Nelson

  Crop t-shirt from "2$ Clothing Store", fake leather pants from "Rue 21"(3$)                                                            photo cred: Melissa Amaya

  Crop t-shirt from "2$ Clothing Store", fake leather pants from "Rue 21"(3$)
                                                           photo cred: Melissa Amaya

Sheer dress and metallic bathing suit from "2$ Clothing Store"                                                              photo cred: Kris Nelson

Sheer dress and metallic bathing suit from "2$ Clothing Store"
                                                             photo cred: Kris Nelson

Tank top from "2$ Clothing Store", pants from "Squaresville"(15$)                                                            photo cred: Melissa Amaya

Tank top from "2$ Clothing Store", pants from "Squaresville"(15$)
                                                           photo cred: Melissa Amaya

Shirt from "Salvation Army" (3$), leather shorts from "2$ Clothing Store"                                                              photo cred: Kris Nelson

Shirt from "Salvation Army" (3$), leather shorts from "2$ Clothing Store"
                                                             photo cred: Kris Nelson

As most folks know by now, thirft stores like Salvation Army and Goodwill are great places to find cheap clothes.  But, Melissa and I have found some sweet spots in LA, besides our regular haunts, to find stylish pieces for under 20$.

One of my favorite places is Squaresville in Los Feliz.  They are reasonably cheap for a vintage shop, with a price range of 5$-100$.  What is awesome about this store in particular is their 5$ bins.  These bins are full of buried treasures, including evening wear, summer skirts, and even shoes.

However, the best stop for cheap clothes in LA has got to be the 2$ Clothing Store in West Hollywood.  This place is nothing but a small room with a massive pile of clothes in the center.  Take off your shoes and jump right in and you'll be amazed at what you can find in the heap.  As the name would suggest, everything in the store is 2$.  Plus, sometimes they offer a 20 for 20$ deal, letting you score an entire new wardrobe at 1$ per piece.

Besides shopping around, one of the ways I have acquired so many great pieces with such limited funds is through clothing swaps! If your friends are equally as stylish as you are and you want to get rid of some pieces you don't wear any longer, organize a swap.  Have all your friends bring a bag full of stuff they don't want and raid each other's piles.  If you can find them, there are even some public clothing swaps that happen around the city!

My last tip is this: never underestimate the clearance section.  I have found some precious gems in the clearance piles of stores I normally would never think to shop in.  Check out the mall one day, you might be surprised at what you find.