Brand Vs Budget: Fashion Edition

Want to shop to your heart’s content but worried about budget? Follow our advice on brand vs budget and find out how you can get your hands on designer brands with an affordable price tag.

Top tips

Whether you’re shopping in-store or online, make sure you consider these key things before you shop:

  • Set yourself a budget and stick to it
  • Don’t impulse buy
  • Shop around
  • Make the most of discounts and sales
  • Consider the pros and cons of brand vs budget…


Customers tend to opt for more expensive branded clothes because of the better quality. Generally, this is correct; more expensive clothes are made of better-quality fabrics and have steered away from the fast fashion industry.

When it comes to buying your next winter coat, or a pair of shoes to wear to work every day, this is when you should consider spending a bit more money on these essentials. Additionally, splashing the cash on an item you’ll get good wear out of is more justified and will be worth it in the long run.

However, some customers buy designer clothes because they want to show off the label. Is it worth paying hundreds of pounds just to have a trendy branded label on your next tee? The answer is probably not.

Man looking through clothes on clothing rail


Shopping on a budget may be best for more basic items including a white tee and men’s boxers. Most people take one look at the chaotic clothes rails in the likes of Primark and other high-street brands and are ready to run a mile. However, taking the plunge and sifting through their clothes is definitely worth it and you’re guaranteed to find some great deals.

Here are some shops perfect for budget clothes shopping:

Affordable fashion

  • ASOS
  • H&M
  • Topshop / Topman
  • New Look
  • Zara
  • Next

Cheap and cheerful

  • Primark
  • George by Asda
  • Matalan

To make your budget shopping even more efficient, don’t just settle for the first thing you see. You may find a trendy top in Topshop, but there’s a duplicate for half the price in the New Look sale.

When shopping online, be sure to be on the lookout for discounts too. Quite often when you visit a brand’s website for the first time, a pop-up will appear giving you 10% off your first order if you sign up for their newsletter. Although you probably want to avoid having your inbox spammed with emails, make the most of this discount if you decide there’s something worth buying. Additionally, by joining a company’s mailing list, you’re likely to continue receiving discount codes going forward.

Whether it’s a 20% off discount or a free next day delivery code, make sure you use discounts as much as possible. If you’re a student, take advantage of student discounts with UNIDAYS, Student Beans and NUS.

Although these affordable brands come with a smaller price tag, bear in mind that the quality of the clothes on sale may be of an inconsistent quality. Therefore, be sure to try items on in store before you buy and avoid buying items with frayed hems.

Discounts on shop front display

Why not have the best of both worlds? Brand AND budget

You may decide to treat yourself if you want to invest in a high-quality piece that’ll be worth the money. If you’re looking for a designer item for a budget price tag, follow these top tips.

Shop off-season styles

Shopping for designer and branded items that are out of season means you can get great discounts on some stylish pieces.

By buying a coat in the spring and sandals in the autumn, you’ll be saving pennies and gaining a branded item. Although you may have to wait for a couple of months to wear your new item, it’s definitely worth it and a brilliant way to get your hands on designer brands.

Shop for classic pieces

If you’re buying branded items, remember to ask yourself if that style is likely to be fashionable in a year’s time. If the answer is no, you may want to rethink your purchase.

By sticking to classic pieces if you’re shopping with a higher budget, you’re more likely to get your money’s worth and wear that item again and again and again! Splashing the cash on a classic black winter coat that you’re for sure to wear makes a lot more sense than buying a sequin number that you know all too well will sit in the back of your wardrobe.

Second-hand shopping

Download popular apps such as Depop and explore a huge variety of clothes that people are looking to sell. Often people are selling the latest fashion trends for a fraction of the price and you’re likely to come across some big brands and designer steals for a budget price. You can also contact sellers and arrange to swap items.

eBay and Facebook Marketplace are also a great way to find stylish branded clothes at a lower price.

Although some serious rummaging may be involved, charity shops are full of great additions to your wardrobe. Take the time to hunt for good quality, designer clothes with a smaller price tag. Check out our guide to budget clothes shopping to find out more.

Check out TK Maxx

TK Maxx is definitely worth a look too. With a huge range of items both in store and online, you’ll be amazed at the branded clothes they have on offer at a fraction of the price. TK Maxx sells designer clothes, shoes, accessories, beauty products and home items for up to a massive 60% off the RRP. They also have a clearance section with further discounts.


Looking to update your wardrobe with our guidance on brand vs budget in mind? Our Love to Shop vouchers could make budgeting even easier for you.



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