I feel like this is every girl’s struggle: how to look cute for under $50. There are definitely times for splurging like maybe, your wedding or on date night (PS. here’s what he really wants you to wear). And definitely for Monday’s palm print maxi! But for the every day (at least for me), it’s all about staying on a budget without actually looking like you’re on a budget. This is really tough to master. Here’s my thought process…
First, you gotta know where to go. Know the spots that never fail you. The stores that offer great quality and fit but at an affordable price. Personally, I’ve never been a fan of stores like Chicwish of Shein. If you don’t have a model figure, it’s really difficult to find items that fit well. Even if you have one body part that’s not “average”, it’s tough. Being 5’8″, I have a hard time finding dresses that don’t look like tops. With wide hips, it’s rare I can even find a size that can slip over them. So I stick to places I can trust, like Nordstrom. I know I can depend on them to stock great pieces, I can try on in store if need be, and if something just doesn’t fit, I don’t have to ship it overseas for an extra $30.
Second, familiarize yourself with brands. This goes for any kind of shopping (not just under $50 items). Learn what brands have cuts that work for your body type. I’m all about trying something new but I always have my favorite brands in my rotation. The brands that I’m always checking back to see what the next collection contains. At Nordstrom, some of my favorite budget friendly brands are Lush, Soprano, and BP. I know the styles are very forgiving and the products will last me through the next season. Here are some of my favorites under $50:
Third, don’t be afraid to acknowledge something isn’t working for you. I know that rompers, bodysuits, and one pieces are out of the question for me 95% of the time. With a torso that leaves me sitting taller than my 6’3″ husband, nothing fits. It gets awkward down there. Are you feeling me? Not cute. As much as I love the trends, I’ve learned at this point they just don’t work for my body type and I have to be okay with that. So if you don’t feel your best when you try on that dress for the first time, it’s okay. There are a million other dresses. We’re all different! If you don’t feel your best, you won’t wear it. Which means, you won’t get your money’s worth. My day job is in finance so I had to mention that, right?
Lastly, dress up your favorite outfit with accessories that are a little more of an investment but you can wear over and over again. This taupe trapeze bag is still under $70 and I feel like I’ve worn it with so many dresses lately (also seen here) . The color is just one of those great neutrals. They pair perfect with these wedges – how adorable is the tassel at the ankle? I included these wedges in my round up of the cutest wedges for summer but also found a block heel version here. Why not add some tassel earrings to balance everything out? I feel like adding earrings always makes it look like you tried.
Last but not least, I always like to add a bold lip. This Chanel lipstick was part of my post on my 5 favorite red lips and is still coming through for me on the regular. I reserve this shade for the weekend usually and stick to neutrals during the week for work! Now that I’m not working in the beauty industry anymore, it’s a little weird if I rock a bright red lip at the office. It wouldn’t be bad – just no one would appreciate it!
This is my formula for how to look cute under $50! Hopefully, it gives you a simplified list of things to think about next time you’re shopping. As well as a few new brands to check out!
A quick note on sizing for this dress – size up if you have broad shoulders or a larger chest. I ordered a Small (normal size) but found that I couldn’t snap it across the chest because my shoulders are so big. It’s a true wrap dress so you won’t even be able to tell if there is a little extra fabric on the bottom (you can cinch it). It will just look more flowy. Usually Lush runs true to size but I just happened to find the exception here! A medium would have been perfect for me and also more meet-the-parents appropriate! Nonetheless, it’s still a great dress at an amazing price!
*In partnership with Nordstrom.