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Smooth Sailing Shopping Tips because Every Outfit Needs an Anchor

How exciting is it when you learn something new that makes your life so much easier?  Maybe you discovered a shortcut driving to work, online banking, or you just baked the most amazing red velvet cupcakes from a recipe you saw pinned on your newest addiction, Pinterest. There are fashion shortcuts too, so you don’t have to splurge or devastate your budget to dress your best. In no particular order, here are a few of my budget friendly shopping secrets below:

1. Search for designer staple pieces at bargain prices from stores like TJMaxx and then pair them with vintage clothing. Or once you find your anchor piece, re-style your existing wardrobe and filter through discount stores for some major steals to compliment your look.

2. An outfit is 50% clothes, 50% styling. I just made that up, but the truth is the Real Housewives of Orange County and Beverly Hills prove that spending millions on a wardrobe can still make a person look like a cool 20 bucks.

3. If you love designer clothes, check consignment shops or second hand stores. My favorites in San Francisco are Crossroads Trading Co. and Cris which has every designer you could think of from Gucci to Pucci at super discounted prices.

Below, is one of my favorite recent dresses shot at the port of San Francisco with a Carnival Cruise Ship in the background. 

One of my favorite trench’s from Crossroads Trading Co. I usually don’t go out with my legs so wintery white, but I’ll have a “How To” Youtube video coming soon showing celebrity red carpet leg tricks.

Budget Friendly Styling Tips: For men & women, don’t spend your entire paycheck on an outfit. You need a focus (anchor) piece first. This dress was from a little random Orange County store for $22. Then build around your anchor with accessories and shoes.

(Sidenote) If companies wonder whether fashion bloggers sell their products; I saw these Zara heels on just a few of my fave blogs including Atlantic-PacificThe Fancy Teacup & Vivaluxury last month. I thought they were so cute; the next day I went out and bought them.

If I’m buying a dress like this that’s not the best quality, I look for details that might make it look more expensive. Check for nice original patterns or solids (try avoid knock-off designer print which can look cheap). I also liked the the front vintage-looking flaps & the matching material belt on this dress. 
Ring – F21, gold bracelet- H&M (old), watch- Michael Kors, bangles-F21, handbag- LV (present)
Dress – 2Hearts, trench- Juicy Couture, nails– OPI – Charged Up Cherry

Photos by Thomas Delgado Photography

Speaking of shortcuts in life, I have to mention Carnival Cruise Lines. Carnival may offer enticing deals, but I would highly recommend sailing with a different cruise line. After an awful experience on one of their “fun ships” a few years ago, I highly recommend doing your research into other lines before taking a cruise. Sadly, after hearing about the Concordia Cruise ship disaster off the coast of Italy, I wasn’t shocked to hear it was owned by the Miami-based Carnival Cruise Lines. That company needs a life saver, and fast!
If you have your own budget friendly styling tips or a favorite store where you always find trendy clothes at great prices, let us know. 🙂 
Have a great 3-Day weekend!
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  1. LifeStyle Journal says:

    Great post!! I always love to read the post about smart shopping. I’m smarter shopper now than befor but I really want to spend less money but look fashionable.
    Thanks for the post!!!
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  3. CottonCandyINK says:

    amazing outfit

  4. What a beautiful dress on you and I love all your accessories! So pretty! 🙂 Great tip about Carnival too…I’ve heard this from others as well!

  5. gorgeous!!!

    Love from South Africa


  6. Kaitlin Mattingly says:

    this is so adorable.
    i totally adore that watch!

    xo kaitlin

  7. Kitchen Beauty Benefits says:

    this is awesome! loved the ensemble a lot! better w/o the trench coat although it’s fab on its own as well! you are beautiful 🙂

  8. Adore your trench & gorgeous arm candy!
    Have a fab weekend xoxo

  9. Coral and Coast says:

    Love this look! xo k

  10. Girlie Blogger says:

    Great fashion tips. Thank you. That dress looks gorgeous on you. San Francisco makes such a beautiful backdrop.

  11. beautiful dress !

  12. Beatrice Balaj says:

    I LOVE your outfit. So classy and fun!
    Those heels paired with the polka dotted dress scream: classy. 🙂


  13. You look beautiful! I just discovered Crossroads Trading Co. a few weeks ago and I’m officially in love. The Wasteland is also a favorite! I really like the print on your dress, it’s very different. 🙂


  14. markedbeautyblog says:

    That dress look amazing on you! Classy & gorgeous!
    Thanks for the post! xx

  15. Corinna (Dresses Only) says:

    TJ Maxx really has some great offers! Good choices for your tips. And a lovely outfit 🙂

  16. Biser Sable says:

    The dress is really beautiful and looks amazing on you!<3

  17. that is a stunning dress!


  18. fashion BOOM says:

    i’m in love with your outfit

  19. KayJay at Refined and Polished says:

    Great tips! Love how you paired the jewelry. I’ve never been much for thrift store shopping or consignment stores, but I want to start.

  20. Sarah Kate says:

    Girl, you are GOOD! I can’t believe that dress was only $22. Paired with everything else, you made it all look designer! (Of course, I’m no fashion maven, so tricking me is probably easier than most…)

    My high school reunion is this year and I definitely don’t have the cash to splurge on a fabulous designer outfit, but maybe I can put something together like what you did here and still look fabulous!

  21. Tinfoil Tiaras says:

    You are so beautiful- I love your dress- adorable and girl that’s as tanned as my legs ever get! 😉

  22. These outfits are so cute! X

  23. Lovely post…T J Maxx is one of my favorite places to shop!! Stunning outfit!!

  24. LOVE the outfit and I love how you accessorized… and I also have the same exact LV bag! Your style is amazing. xo

    If you could please help me win a contest by voting on my picture, I would greatly appreciate it! Log onto facebook and visit http://www.facebook.com/vincecamutousc then “LIKE” the page. Then look under the profile picture and click on Interview Style 101. Then scroll down until you see my picture with my name (Aya) and click VOTE! Thank you!

  25. Vonae Deyshawn says:

    First off I love the aside about Carnival. lol. My husband and I recently cruised with them at it was an awful experience! Thank God it wasn’t our first cruise or we probably would never cruise again.

    Anyhoo, love the post and outfit. So many people fail to use this simple principle. They spend their time shopping for new outfits for every occasion which is just a waste! My favorite thing to do is to mix new with consignment store clothing. I’ve found some amazing pieces at places like Goodwill, Red Balloon, and this amazing store here (Palm Beach, FL) called World Thrift. I must say that Palm Beach County is a mecca for shopping anyhow; It’s like it’s own little secret jewel. One of my staple stores is Francesca’s Collections; a little boutique style store out of Houston, TX. Their pieces are amazing and only come in in very small shipments. I also love Macy’s new boutique collections like the Rachel Roy and Bar III lines. Totally worth the money!

    Vonae Deyshawn

    • Hi Vonae, I’m glad you told me about your Carnival experience because that was my first and I tell everyone I’d never go on a cruise again 🙂 Maybe I’ll go on one again another day. Also, thanks for all the store tips…I will definitely check out Houston’s when I’m there & I couldn’t agree more about Rachel Roy & Bar III, those are some of my faves

  26. Lindo vestido
    look adorável



  27. Ashleigh Nicole says:

    Pretty dress!

    xo Ashleigh


  28. I love this dress! The print is gorgeous and the shape is very flattering! I love feminine, tailored silhouettes are my favorite! You look like a million bucks!

  29. Mariana Duval says:

    I love everything about this post: the dress, the shoes, the accessories, YOU! =) Oh, and Charged Up Cherry is one of my favorite OPI colors. Great post Savvy Spice!

  30. You are gorgeous! You just earned yourself a follower!

    If you like fashion, you will surely like my blog with finnish flavour ! I invite you to check it out, and why not follow it to support and be the first to know when I post 😉

    xoxo Heidi Caterina


  31. RaspberryBlonde says:

    love the dress, shoes and arm candy! you look fantastic!
    And thanks for such a sweet comment, you put a big smile on my face 😉

  32. love this post.
    i am nowhere near to be a fashionista but i love to dress up.
    i couldn’t agree more with your “anchor” concept.
    right now i am focusing on purchasing nice (not necessarily expensive) basic items for the new season. i like to have a good pair of cigarette pants, trench, functional and stylish bag, etc, then i’d build my outfits around them 🙂

    hope you have a great weekend!

  33. I love your posts Dale, I was cracking up at #2!! ha ha ha… how much an outfit costs alone is not what makes it look expensive it’s how you style it… I think you did an amazing job with this outfit, you look gorgeous and those heels… *sigh* I’ve been drooling over them, but since there is no Zara here I just have to admire them from a distance.


  34. beautiful heels, i really love this outfit!

  35. I love it all!

  36. great tips and thanks! I love thrifting and going to consignment shops! Fact of the matter, Memphis is one of the poorest cities in the US and it is hard to find fab things but I come out alright! Beautiful photos.

  37. Those shoes!!! OMG!! And that Handbag!! Gorgeous look! I notice that I always spend more money on shoes and accessories and most of my clothing is cheaper. I also shop my closet a lot! I don’t buy actual clothing very often. I feel that there is a good chance that I will outgrow my clothing (weight changes etc.) but I won’t or haven’t yet outgrown my shoes and accessories etc. That is my shopping strategy. Invest more in shoes and accessories. lol. Speaking of blogger advertising…. Someone from a store that I shop at (their corporate office, wont name any names) emailed me the other day telling me that I should put a link to their website when I wear clothing or accessories from their store so that I can better represent them. WTF! I am not affiliated in any way with this store. They wanted me to go out of my way to link their store with no compensation etc. I wrote back a nasty email saying that I am already advertising for free by just mentioning where I got the item and that I don’t get paid for blogging, it is a hobby. The nerve of people. Btw, I get my TB Revas from Saks, Nordstrom is good too (free shipping!). I always order a half size up and they do have a small breaking in period but once the shoes are broken in they are very comfortable. Sorry for the long comment lol.

  38. Sarah Whitney says:

    Great post and tips, love this look, very cute. Have a wonderful week dear!

  39. You look really pretty! I love the dress and all the accessories 😀

  40. Hey Dale! Thanks so much for the sweet comment on my blog. You have quite a lovely blog yourself, that I am now following! 🙂
    xo, Rachel

  41. Fashion Blends says:

    Thanks for visiting my blog and for your comment – so wow you did get 2 Jason Wu bags – Lucky you!!! I just managed to get that one dress…


  42. Vanessa@Luxuria says:

    I SO miss not having thrift stores here in Spain; I used to love rummaging through them when I lived in the UK. One reason I can’t wait to be returning home to the UK later this year.
    Yes, after reading about the Concordia and seeing images on the TV, I don’t think I will ever go on a cruise. I was always in two minds, but my biggest¡fear is drowning, so that incident just killed the idea altogether 😉

  43. You’re very beautiful with this outfit ! 🙂

  44. Mónica - Mes Voyages à Paris says:

    Hi dear, I love this dress! You have a new follower by Bloglovin!

  45. Vanisha @ Vanishas Life In...Australia says:

    I’ve got smarter at shopping as I got older and grew into my own style and found my way. Dale I love your whole outfit, especially those darling shoes! Hope you’re having a great weekend!

  46. ThePinkMargarita says:

    You look gorgeous doll! 🙂

    The Pink Margarita

  47. Beautiful dress and shoes!!!


  48. I love this dress! You look so gorgeous and happy in these pictures. Your shoes are super cute, too!

    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

  49. Ioana-Carmen says:

    love the shoes and accessories! check my blog and follow me if you want!


  50. I just moved to SF a little while ago I’ll have to check out those stores asap! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  51. I'm Just Me says:

    love the dress!! chic look!!
    thnx so much 4 the lovely comment 🙂

  52. Chocolate, Cookies & Candies says:

    I love trawling through thrift and consignment shops trying to see if I can dig up any treasures. I’ve found plenty over the last 15 years. It’s possible to dress well without forking out a fortune. I love prints on your dress. Beautiful color and texture!

  53. kelly marie says:

    beautiful dress, looks so nice on you!

  54. love love love the dress!!

  56. i love this post! haha made me laugh on the topic with “Housewives”! you look great!



  57. Beautiful photos! The print on your dress is so fun. I love the gold accessories.


  58. Sofia Gatchalian says:

    Great post!
    Hope we could follow each other! xx


  59. Very nice trench by Juicy – perfect staple here in the Pacific Northwest. Great choice to shop a the vintage shops. It’s a great way add glam to the wardrobe without breaking the bank. Very informative post.

    Thank you for stopping by today and leaving the nice comments. I’ll look forward to reading more from you as well.


  60. You’re so stunning! Like a bright star really 🙂 Adore your gold accessories


  61. I love sooo much your shoes!! And your jewels too!!

    Xxx Lizzie

  62. Leslie Quiros says:

    hmmmm I love everything about this outfit.. the print, the shoes and the bracelets.. just perfect!

  63. I regret not having bought those shoes 🙁 I tried them on,I really liked them and then I changed my mind
    tha last minute.I hate when that happens..They look great on you and actually the whole
    outfit is perfectly styled! 🙂 🙂

  64. Love this look…great mix of high/low fashion! Can’t believe the dress was only $22!


  65. The Key To Chic says:

    Such great style advice! I love browsing at Cris in SF, and visit Crossroads all the time. Your printed dress is such a gem, love the colors! Your photos are phenomenal!

  66. DeniseAngela says:

    thanks for your sweet comment on my blog & dropping by! I love to haunt consignment boutiques!

  67. You’ve styled this inexpensive dress very well-I’d have guessed it was from J Crew!

  68. these are great tips for me…i am not the savvy fashion shopper..thanks. you look great!

  69. QUEENIE G. says:

    love the look, classic:}


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  71. Sofia Gatchalian says:

    Thanks for following! xx


  72. Ana Costa e Silva says:
  73. Jenna Hughes says:

    love the trench coat and arm candy!


  74. Rocker Chic says:


    You look great agree looking good is 50% clothes & 50% styling that is a really
    Good point. I love your coat. You really look stunning.

  75. dale you look absolutely gorgeous! i love this dress on you the print is so vintage and adorable! i HEART your arm bling!! i love love how you layered those pieces together so cute!!

  76. welcome to my jungle says:

    This outfit is amazing. I really like the dress a lot.

    Thanks for your sweet comment. I follow you via bloglovin now.
    Have a beautiful day,



  77. Love your outfit 🙂

  78. So pretty!

  79. Ohh.nice dress.
    mind following each other?

  80. great outfit dear!

  81. TheUrbanUmbrella says:

    Oh my goodness, love that polka dot dress – so adorable!
    You are gorgeous and I love your style!

    Thank you so much for following my blog, I absolutely am following back!

    The Urban Umbrella


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