I recently hit some discount stores in the DFW area with the challenge of creating an evening look (that I would really want to wear!) for under $35.  After shopping just two stores within 30 minutes, I found three great pieces to complete my look, without blowing my budget.  Here’s how I did it:

Statement Dress

Ross Dress For Less

Photo Credit: Lauren Bailey

I started my search at Ross and immediately hit the dress rack.  When putting together an outfit on a budget, it is important to get the most out of your money.  So I was specifically looking for a dress with some serious detail.  I found this great black and grey piece for $10.99.  Since the dress has a belt attached, I didn’t feel that I needed to drop more cash on accessories.  Instead, I found my dress and a great belt accessory for one low price.

Standout Shoes


Photo Credit: Lauren Bailey

Finding the perfect pair of shoes to compliment my dress was the next task on my agenda.  Because discount stores are often next door to one another, I was able to conveniently walk over to Marshalls and peruse their shoe selection.  I walked right past the new arrivals and began scouring the shoe clearance rack.  In my experience shopping for my clients and myself, even though Marshalls has great discounts, their prices are often a bit higher than Ross’s.  If you are sticking to a strict clothing budget, your best bet is to focus on the clearance sections.  There is always great merchandise to find, as long as you are willing to do the legwork.  I found these black evening shoes for $10.99.  They have great bow details on the toes and a nice platform to make my legs look super long.  You can’t beat that!  Plus, because they are basic black, I know that they are a great investment that I can wear for many evenings out to come.

Attention Stealing Bag

Photo Credit: Lauren Bailey

My final task was to finish out my evening look with a killer handbag.  While buying my dress at Ross, I saw this amazing leopard bag for $11.99.  Since I wasn’t sure what style of shoes I was going to end up with, I waited to pick up the purse.  With my dress and shoes complete, the purse was the final addition to my outfit.  Best yet, the chain strap can be worn over the shoulder or tucked into the purse for an altogether different look.  I love versatile pieces!  And since leopard print is one of my favorite trends, I know that I will be pleased each time I carry my new purse.

The grand total for my evening outfit was $33.97.  Challenge yourself to find an outfit for under $35.  It’s a great way to express your fashion creativity!

Lauren Bailey is the owner of Flawlessly Fashioned, a wardrobe consulting and personal shopping business based in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. She works with clients of all ages, helping them to develop a flawless wardrobe that fits their lifestyle and career preferences. Learn more about Lauren at www.flawlesslyfashioned.com and follow her on Flawlessly Fashioned’s Facebook page for daily fashion tips.