Millennial life has its pros and cons. On the pro side, we’re a generation that appreciates the finer things: millennials have expanded the boundaries of street fashion and high fashion in a wide variety of different directions. A millennial woman has a lot of options for dressing in the latest styles. But that brings us to one of those unfortunate cons: millennials tend to have less cash on hand.
Yep, that’s right: millennials didn’t kill a ton of different industries on purpose. It’s just that millennials have to be careful about what they spend. That affects a lot of areas of life, and fashion is no exception. To look her best, a young millennial woman needs not only to spend, but to spend wisely. And that starts with shopping in the right places. So without further ado, here is our list of the best places for millennial women to shop.
The online boutique
Online shopping has transformed the world around millennials. In 1996, when the last millennials were born, Amazon was in its first full year of operation. A lot has changed since then: the humble online bookstore that got off the ground back in the 1990s is now a behemoth that is leading a massive tidal wave of ecommerce growth.
So it’s no surprise that millennials like to shop for lots of stuff online, including clothes. And that’s a great idea, because online shops have lower prices than their brick-and-mortar counterparts. With great return policies, it’s easy to swap stuff for the right sizes or try out more daring choices risk-free.
Of course, big ecommerce giants like Amazon aren’t exactly known for their high-fashion options. So millennials should focus instead on smaller online boutiques like Saved by the Dress, because that’s where the sweet spot between quality and price will be found.
Early hipsters loved their thrift-shop clothing, which was perfect for an era that embraced lo-fi art and highbrow irony. But dressing in really old, beat-up stuff is not the right play these days. So does that mean the low-cost second-hand purchase is a thing of the past?
Thankfully, no: there are still ways to shop second-hand goods and save big. What you need to do is recognize what good fits and high-quality materials look like. Familiarize yourself with fashion cycles, too, and know whether you’re looking for stuff from the 70s, 80s, or 90s. Knowing what to look for both quality-wise and fashion-wise will help you pull the good stuff off the racks while ignoring the junk.
Another smart move is to skip the down-and-out thrift shop fare and look for a more upscale second-hand shop with a more curated clothing selection. Such spots can have much better stuff while still offering reasonably low prices.
Any shop you want (at the right time)
Knowing where to shop matters. But you can expand your shopping options by quite a bit if you understand a related concept: when to shop.
If you’re shopping for a classic piece that won’t be out of style next season, consider making your purchase out of season. Getting a swimsuit in winter or a coat in summer will limit your selection, but if you find the right piece, you’ll get it for much less.
And keep your eye out for sales. Black Friday will have plenty, but lots of stores (including some very high-end retailers) have their own big annual or semi-annual sales, too. A shopping destination that might usually be outside of your budget could be within your means a couple of times per year. Stay aware of when certain stores have regular sales, and you’ll look more fashionable than most folks with your budget.
Shopping isn’t something that many millennials can afford to do recklessly. But it can be a lot of fun, and it can help you transform the way you dress. Shop wisely, and you’ll look smart in more ways than one!