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Budget-Friendly Style Tips From a Local Fashion Blogger & Mom [My interview with ChsMomblog]

by Allison McCleary on March 20, 2018 in Advice, Beauty & Fashion, Motherhood

I think that most of the time I look decently put together. I own a pair of cute booties that I wear a lot, and I try to find flattering, easy tops that are easy to throw on when I’m running out the door. My clothes are 100% either from Target or Old Navy, which is totally fine, but there’s nothing really interesting about them. When I go out on a date with my husband, I will most likely wear a Loft black sweater and maybe a leopard scarf if I’m feeling feisty. So basically, I could use a little help.


Savannah on the left, me on the right in said leopard scarf

My friend Savannah is also a local mom of two little kids (two kids under the age of 3 actually!) but she is somehow able to put together the most stylish, fun, and unique outfits, AND at a total steal! She buys most of her clothes at a huge discount, which is seriously shocking because she looks like a million bucks. After I found out about the crazy deals she was getting, I had to bug her for some tips. Plus, she’s a local fashion blogger (BohoAndBows.com) so I knew she could help answer my fashion related questions!



Have you always been a thrifty shopper, or has starting a family made you cut back on what you spend on yourself?

I have to answer both to this one. I really became a “looks for less” enthusiast in college when I realized I had caviar taste on a ramen budget. I discovered that with a  little creativity and style, you could make a $30.00 outfit look like $300.00. Now, as a mom, I’m all for some treat yo’ self wardrobe pieces, but when clothes shopping, I definitely spend less on myself because adulting and kids – am I right?!

What are your top three tips for shopping on a budget?

  1. Prep with some inspiration. Look at the high-end designers, trends, or favorite Instagram style blogger looks that you love before you go on the hunt for looks for less. It’s easy to be overwhelmed when you’re shopping as a mom period (insert screaming kid in buggy here), but especially in places like a thrift store where you have to do some sifting and searching. So, if you have some inspo “looks” in mind, it really helps focus and narrow the search for similar pieces or styles.

  2. Shop for the fun, “trendy” and the “one time wear” looks you need at budget friendly stores. I always say skip spending a lot on super trendy styles you like or want to try because they are just that – trends that will come and go. Then you won’t feel so bad for dropping major bucks on that sequined crop top that seemed like a good idea at the time. Also, shop for the “one time wear” pieces at a lower price point. Things like the dresses for the multitude of weddings I’ve been convinced myself that I’d wear again and never have.

  3. Don’t be afraid to shop around and price match for pieces, especially online. It’s amazing what a little Google search will do. But, ALWAYS do your research and read reviews on an online retailer, especially if the deal seems too good to be true!

What are your favorite Charleston second-hand stores for finding stylish clothes?

Honestly, Goodwill can be a gold mine if you take the time to sift through for the treasures. I also love Ensemble Consignments downtown. Also, let me speak my love language and say that Amazon has some killer affordable stylish clothes and accessories!


Um…Savannah got this dress for THREE DOLLARS at Goodwill


What pieces in our closet are worth spending the big bucks on?

I always say spend and splurge on quality staple pieces that can be worn throughout different seasons and coordinate with almost anything.

Things I splurge on:

  • A good pair of quality jeans- they are such an everyday item that will last for years, and denim never goes out of style!

  • A staple shoe (wedge/sandal/bootie) depending on the season, that you find comfortable and stylish and can be thrown on with a dress, shorts, or jeans!

  • A tailored blazer with a great fit can be thrown on with any outfit for an upgrade and worn with a tee, to work, or a night out on the town.

  • LBD- a little black dress is such a transitional, quintessential piece of a wardrobe and is always there when you just have “nothing to wear!”

Where does your style inspiration come from?

Is everywhere an answer?! I take inspiration from everything, from my favorite high-end designers, Insta-style bloggers, to simply picking a look I love based on the mood I’m in!

What are your favorite Instagram accounts to follow for style inspiration?

AH, this is a loaded question. I love following a plethora of diverse Insta style bloggers (pretty sure all of them are moms and a lot are local!) but some favorites are:

Charleston Blonde (Jaime Huffman, local) for beautiful, quintessential charming southern style.

Uptown with Elly Brown (Elly Brown) for super chic to casual looks, honest mom/kid product reviews, and relatable mom topics.

Xoxoijoelle (Ireana Joelle, local) for the loveliest personal inspiration, affordable style, and curvy girl looks to die for.

Charleston Shop Curator (Andrea Serrano, local) for the style guide and insight to shopping all of the amazing boutiques and stores Charleston has to offer.

Jennifer Lake (Jenn Lake) for ALL things COLORful, glam, girly, and dreamy. Think if rainbow row had a style Insta- this would be it.

Sassy Red Lipstick (Sarah Tripp) for pops of pink and patterns, body positive style, and casual chic, glam looks.

Miss Tara Belle (Tara Belle, local) for more edgy, chic, street style looks and accessories.

Megan Ann Mcfarland (local) for all things interior style and design.

What are your top three must-have accessories?

  1. A Statement earring

  2. Big/fun Sunnies

  3. Bold lip

They don’t all have to be worn at the same time, but with one or two of these, I feel like you can give any outfit an immediate upgrade!


What’s your favorite excuse to get dressed up in Charleston?

Definitely date night with my hubby, or dinner with friends! Mostly because I enjoy the look on my husband’s face when I’m in something other than workout clothes and not looking like an extra from The Walking Dead.

What’s your go-to “mom uniform”?

My go-to mom uniform is typically skinny jeans, tee, with a fun slide or loafer shoe. And not to be forgotten, a messy bun and big shades, always.


What style advice do you have for our CMB readers?

I’m a big believer that TRUE style is not about what you wear, it’s about who you are. Remember, you wear the clothes, they don’t wear you. So no matter the price tag, brand, or trend; kindness and confidence are the most valuable, beautiful accessories a girl can possess. If you carry those with you always, you can pull off any look.

Anyone else inspired to dig through the racks at Goodwill? Follow BohoandBows on Instagram for more inspiration! Here’s to a more fashionable spring!

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