Fashionista on a Budget

I absolutely love fashion and shopping. Live and breathe it.

As I explained to my husband, Chris one day: “You like sport. You play sport, you watch sport and you talk about sport. I like fashion. I go shopping, I research fashion online and I talk about fashion.”

I don’t hide my purchases from Chris. Mostly because he’s not one of those kind of husbands who gets upset when his wife goes shopping and also because I don’t usually spend a lot on what I buy.

I’m a budgetista.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to be able to pick up an item of clothing or pair of shoes or handbag and not have to look at the price tag, but that is just not my reality. We have a mortgage, renovations to finish, an investment property and bills galore. A heck of a lot of shit to pay for – just like everyone else.

So for me, the challenge lies in finding items that are good quality, suit my style and fit within my budget.

I love to hit up chainstores such as Target, Big W and Kmart. They are seriously treasure troves that, with a little bit of digging, will turn up all sorts of gems without costing the earth.

I’m also a big fan of lay-by. It’s a great way to get what I want without having to fork out the entire amount at once. You can break it down into fortnightly or weekly payments, or simply do what I do and make sure you’ve got the total amount ready to roll by the due date.

As for the more expensive brands I like, such as Country Road and Witchery, I tend to wait for a sale. These days, you really don’t have to wait that long as there seems to be a sale every few weeks, so I can usually nab the item(s) I’ve had my eye on for a fraction of the cost (for example, a Witchery dress I scored recently for $39.95 – keep your eyes peeled for that one to appear on the blog in the near future!).

Back to what I want to share with you today.

This summer I’ve picked up some great little dresses for next to nothing that I’ve been wearing at every opportunity (as most of you who follow me on Instagram will have seen – sorry!)


{top left: Emerson by Big W dress ($29) / top right: Kmart dress ($15) / bottom left: Kmart dress ($15)}

I’ve also picked up a few more pieces for work from Big W in recent times, so expect to see them very soon too!

Are you a chainstore chick like me? Which ones are your favourites?

I’m linking in with Wardrobe Wednesday by the fabulous Kimba Likes.


  1. says

    We are soul sisters! Or at the very least, shopping sisters!

    I’m a bargain lover and certainly have my fair share of chain store pieces in my wardrobe.

    Would you believe I have some things from Valley Girl (of all places!) which always receive compliments?

    I think if you stick to cuts + colours that flatter you and accessorise an outfit well, anything can can be made to look good – whether it cost $10 or $100!

  2. says

    Love these outfits Sonia. You have really shown that a great look is affordable on any budget. I picked up a couple of great strapless Maxis from Target this summer which have been winners and an great price.

    Love it, the Kmart dresses in particular really suit you. x

  3. says

    Yep, a definite chain store chick here. LOVE LOVE LOVE bargain shopping, especially when they go so low! BTW, I’m going to have to run into KMart…I’m really loving those two dresses you got from there. I thought they were separates to be honest!

  4. Lisa mckenzie says

    I am a bargain shopper as well ,I have no choice unless it is something I really really want and save up for I love big w especially the Peter Morrisey range,my orange sandals are from there and they were $8 I think and really comfy and cute.I like Katie’s too as their sales are always great ,you don’t have to spend a fortune to look good that’s for sure Sonia xx

    • Sonia says

      Peter Morrissey has done brilliant ranges for Big W. I want my husband to go and check out his new menswear!

  5. says

    Definitely a chain store chicky! And I also enjoy a bit of op shopping – it’s amazing what you can find. Though some op shops are starting to put their prices up to the point where I think, no thanks, I can buy that new for much the same price!

    • Sonia says

      I have honestly never been op shopping Janet – can you believe it? I think some stores cash in on the fact that “vintage” is so popular…and it can be quite questionable as to what they define as “vintage”!

  6. Sally says

    Love love, love a bargain. I trawl online to find what I like and wait for it to come on sale. I find Sportscraft is great for online sales. Country Road and Witchery also great!! I have lots of Target in my wardrobe too, boyfriend jeans for $19! They also have some linen tees and tanks which are a great bargain…..I get a real rush from a bargain lol…..

    • Sonia says

      What a great idea – do your research online and then wait for a sale! Love your bargain hunting skills, Sally.

  7. says

    I really do not understand why women feel the need to hide their purchases when they are making money and the rent, bills and everything is paid for, it annoys the hell out of me. End of rant.

    I LOVE Kmart! Thank God I live at the back of one as I’m constantly buying stuff in there. I also buy a lot of Millers, the odd Valley Girl, Ice, Big W and have a tonne of stuff from op shops, but they’re getting way too expensive these days.

    For accessories it’s where I find them whether it’s jewellery, which I also make a tonne of, or bags and shoes. Ebay is a big contributor to my accessory collections as are all chain stores.

    • Sonia says

      You really can find brilliant bargains anywhere, can’t you? If you’ve got a keen eye you can pick up some real gems (pun intended)!

  8. says

    Love all your dresses! They’re so pretty and fun! Love the term, budgetista too. I’m right there with you on that! I am a sale/ clearance queen! If it’s not on sale or marked down, I’m probably not buying it, unless it’s at a discount store.
    I found the cutest boots a KMart a while back, I agree they have definitely changed for the better in the last few years.

  9. Mish says

    My hubby says I can smell a bargain a mile away! I picked up a beautiful Peter Morrisey for BigW top the other day for $10 – the discount shopping goddess was smiling on me that day :)

    I agree, you can make anything look high end, you just need to style it properly & that includes your hair & makeup; which I must say always looks fabulous!

  10. Abbey says

    Love your style Sonia! Love your #everydaystyle posts on Instagram.
    And I hear you about watching the budget! Considering cancelling my Harper’s Bazaar subscription because those days of frivolous spending is looong gone!

    • Sonia says

      Oh thanks Abbey! Mags like that are like fairy tales to me – lovely to look at dream about, but that’s about it!

  11. Victoria devine says

    Some of my favourite pieces are from places like Temt, Paper Scissors & Valley Girl. An amazing pink leather look jacket I bought for $24 gets so many comments every time I wear it!
    I also find because these shops have such high turnover of stock you rarely see anyone else wearing the same items – the downside is I find myself checking out their new stock every week!


  1. […] sandals have been worn with summer dresses (as seen in last week’s post), printed pants and tanks, and jeans and t-shirts. In fact, the only times I’ve thrown on my […]

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