Shopping for Bond-inspired clothes on a budget doesn’t mean you have to settle for cheaply made, low-quality items. But it does mean you have to be a little more strategic about how you shop to make sure you’re getting high-quality pieces at budget-friendly prices. Here are 007 tips to help you find the best budget options for your Bond-inspired wardrobe.
001: Shop Online
When you’re shopping on a budget, it’s helpful to be able to shop as many stores as possible so you can take advantage of great deals before inventory runs out. Online shopping is the easiest way to do that, which is great news for those of you who don’t live next to mega shopping centers. Keep in mind though that online shopping is easiest with brands you’re already familiar with because you know which sizes you wear in those brands. You should also get familiar with each store’s return policy in case you need to return an ill-fitting purchase.
002: Don’t Pay Full Price
This is one of my hard and fast rules of clothes shopping. Almost everything goes on sale at some point so you shouldn’t get tricked into paying full price unless you know it’s the only way to buy what you want. Even higher-end stores put clothes on sale at the end of the season. Most stores have sales every weekend but the best sales happen over 3-day weekends, so take advantage of those.
003: Shop on the Weekends
This is an extension of rules 001 and 002. Always shop on the weekends because that’s when stores have sales. A lot of sales kick off online on Thursdays, so shopping online sometimes gives you a full day head start over the in-person shoppers. If you miss out on something because the sale ends before you can buy it, just wait until the weekend and check again. Chances are it’ll be back on sale and there may even be a bigger discount. Holiday weekends are an especially great time to look for big bargains.
004: Research Ahead of Time
When your shopping is based around sales, it’s helpful to “window shop” online ahead of time so you know what stores have the items you want. When the weekend sales roll around, go back to your favorite items and see what kind of discounts there are.
005: Sign Up for Emails
Hear me out on this one. I know we all get too many emails as it is but the automated marketing emails are a great way to learn about sales ahead of time. And you often get “sneak peeks” and extra discounts as a newsletter subscriber. Sure it’s annoying to get a hundred sales emails a week but you never know when an email is going to get you the best price on something you’ve been wanting for a while. For me, the benefits are worth the inconvenience. If you’re really worried about cluttering up an important inbox, I recommend setting up a separate email account you can use to subscribe to sales emails.
006: Be Patient (and Lose Your FOMO)
There are sales every weekend but that doesn’t mean the items you want will be on sale every weekend. Or that every sale is worth taking advantage of. I ignore any sale that isn’t at least 30% off but I start getting really interested at 40% off. Once the discount climbs past 40%, the likelihood I’ll make the purchase goes up exponentially. Waiting to buy something until there’s a good sale can sometimes mean missing out on something you really like if they sell out before you get one. It sucks when that happens, but you have to accept the possibility if you’re shopping on a budget.
007: Save for the Expensive Items
Just because you’re shopping on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t (or shouldn’t) buy the occasional expensive items. I recommend making a list of your “really wants/must haves” — the items you absolutely don’t want to buy an alternative for. Then, start setting aside a little extra money every paycheck or every month. That way, when you do pull the trigger on the expensive item, it’s not going to be a shock to your budget because you’ve already planned for it.
Bonus Tip: Set Realistic Expectations
It’s easy to find budget-friendly alternatives to a lot of high-end items but “budget friendly” changes depending on the item. You can find a lot of clothing staples relatively inexpensively. Things like shirts, trousers, belts, ties, socks, swimwear, sunglasses, etc., shouldn’t cost you more than $100 and a lot of great options are available for under $50. On the other hand, suits, footwear, outerwear and watches are often going to cost you $100-$200, even for budget-friendly alternatives. Knowing where to save and where to spend will help you make the most of your clothing budget.
There you have it! My 007 tips for shopping on a budget. These are the tried-and-true methods I’ve used to build my wardrobe for more than a decade. I’m confident they can help you find some great budget-friendly alternatives to Bond-inspired looks.
What do you think? Do you have any budget shopping tips I missed? Sound off in the comments below!
4 thoughts on “007 Tips for Shopping on a Budget”
First of all, congratulations on the launch!
You are spot-on with all your recommendations – especially patience. If you wait long enough, there will be budget-friendly alternatives to almost everything we see on the screen.
I mean, we are STILL talking about clothing Craig wore 15 years ago (not to mention what Connery wore 50 years ago!). So many of the looks are timeless and won’t go out of style in 10 minutes. If you give it some time, someone will come out with a “close enough” alternative to give you the look you want at a price that makes sense to you.
Again, congratulations! Can’t wait to see how things progress from here.
Thanks so much for your kind words!
Fashion is definitely cyclical –– just look at the new collections from Orlebar Brown as an example. Like you said, it’s only a matter of time before someone comes out with the right budget-friendly alternative.
One thing I would add is to find a tailor that is willing to work with you on making the alternative a bit more of a screen accurate fit. This could be a bit more of a bump towards being “more Bond like” and less like cosplay, in my opinion.
I absolutely agree that having a good tailor or seamstress to alter your clothes is essential. Tailoring adds the extra touch of refinement when buying off-the-rack products.