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Dressing well, even when you’re staying within a budget, can get expensive quickly.

I’ve been using Stitch Fix for a couple of years and I love it! I’ve never been a fashionista (in other words, I’ve been known to dress like a soccer mom – and not in a good way), but Stitch Fix makes it possible for me to look (and feel) good.

But it can be expensive, even when you select “send me the cheapest option” for every item of clothing.

Since using Stitch Fix, I’ve figured out a few ways to use it to stop dressing like a soccer mom while still staying within my budget.

How to Use Stitch Fix Without Blowing Your Budget

I use Stitch Fix in three main ways to save money on my clothes.

1. Use Stitch Fix to fill in your wardrobe

Stitch Fix is a great way to save money if you’re trying to buy something for a specific event. You’ll only receive five items in each Fix, so there’s no chance that you’ll end up randomly buying five pairs of sandals when all you really wanted was a dress.

When I place an order, I often do it with a specific event in mind, like a family vacation or one of my husband’s work events. I tell my stylist about the event and give her an idea of what I’d like to wear (a summer dress that’s casual,  an outfit that I could wear to a bridal shower, etc.).

Instead of spending hours at a mall, going through clothes that I don’t need or aren’t appropriate for the event, I’m able to get clothes that are perfect for what I need.

I also save money because I won’t end up buying “little impulse purchases” that quickly add up.

Each Stitch Fix delivery comes with five pieces chosen specifically for you by a Stitch Fix stylist.

2. Figure out the cost per use of your clothes

Although the clothes you receive in your Stitch Fix delivery may be more expensive than you’re used to paying, it’s still worth it.

Have you ever bought a semi-cute shirt off the clearance rack, only to hate it when you get home?

One way to save money when buying clothes is to find the “cost per wear.” If you buy a pair of jeans for $50 but wear them 100 times, they cost you $0.50 each time you wore them.

On the other hand, if you buy something at a discount, if you never wear it, it’ll end up costing you more than your favorite pair of jeans that you splurged on but wore every day.

3. Build a wardrobe of clothing staples

Another trick to saving money with Stitch Fix is to use it for specific things, like adding a few staple pieces to your wardrobe if you recently changed sizes or need some new jeans or seasonal clothes.

I tell my stylist exactly what I’m looking for (no stripes, washable shirts, a dress that doesn’t look too “dressy,” etc.). I also redo my style profile regularly to show my changing tastes and what I have in my closet.

If you’re going to buy wardrobe staples, it makes sense to buy higher quality items that fit well and will last for a long time. After paying $25 for jeans for years, I finally realized that spending a little more on something that fits perfectly and lasts longer than two months is worth it.

Don’t be afraid to get very specific with your stylist, either. I’m pretty sure my stylist rolls her eyes when she sees my “jeans that don’t give me muffin top” requests, but at least she knows what I’m looking for (and I won’t receive jeans that would look better on a teenager).

Each Stitch Fix delivery comes with a style card to help you pair your new clothing into cute outfits.

Bonus: Refer a friend

My friends know that I get my clothes from Stitch Fix. My sister-in-law has even come over to borrow “only your Stitch Fix tops” because she knows they’ll be cute.

If you tell a friend about Stitch Fix, email them your “referral link” so you can save $25 on your next Fix. It’s a win for both of you!

If you’ve struggled with being more fashionable while staying within your clothing budget, try using Stitch Fix to round out your wardrobe without breaking the bank.

Related reading:

Is Stitch Fix Worth the Hype?

How to Have More Style

How to Break Out of Your Fashion Rut