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Chic Shopping on A Budget ( & Hustle + Halcyon Turns 2! )

Seeing Stars with Blogger Payton Sartain of Hustle + Halcyon

Hustle + Halcyon turned 2 YEARS OLD yesterday!

I just want to start this post out with a big THANK YOU to all of you beebus girls! Y’all are the reason I get to do this as my JOB, & I can’t express how much I appreciate each any every one of you people.

Over the last two years, I’ve had the chance to connect with so many other bloggers & readers.

My favorite thing about having H+H is hearing from y’all! It makes my entire day to receive your snaps, e-mails, comments, & general love.

Y’all are seriously too cool for me, STOP IT!

I’m going to do a post ( probably tomorrow or on Sunday ) about the things that 2 years of blogging has taught me. Sound good?

Shameless plug, but if you aren’t already signed up for my e-mail list, you can do so HEREDon’t worry, I won’t spam you with messages. I send out a weekly “what’s new on H+H” newsletter that will now include weekly favorite products, sales, & fun inspiration.

Also, if you’re not following on Instagram yet, you can find that HERE. My Instagram & the H+H newsletter are the two best ways to keep up with what’s new on the blog!

Seeing Stars with Blogger Payton Sartain of Hustle + HalcyonSeeing Stars with Blogger Payton Sartain of Hustle + Halcyon

I can’t wait to see what year 3 of blogging brings about! THE EXCITEMENT IS REAL.

Switching gears to today’s topic: chic shopping on a budget.

I would consider “affordable” to be under $100 for things like jeans & pants, jackets, shoes, and statement tops & dresses.

Usually, I can find cute things I MUST have for way under $100.

That being said, I don’t like compromising fit & quality for the price. I’d rather pay a little more to get that perfect fit & solid product quality, because I’ve become quite the picky bitch in the last couple of years.

Keep in mind that I’m just sharing my affordable shopping tips with y’all. These are only my opinions, & my preferences might not fit your personal style. Staying true to yourself is the most important.

Shop This Look

Seeing Stars with Blogger Payton Sartain of Hustle + Halcyon Seeing Stars with Blogger Payton Sartain of Hustle + Halcyon

My TOP 3 TIPS For Chic Shopping On a Budget


Like I said, I DON’T compromise fit for price. It takes time to find affordable clothes that also fit well, but it’s worth the search. I absolutely will NOT buy something that is affordable & cute on the rack if it doesn’t fit properly. In the end, it’s not worth the money, because I know I won’t be reaching for it very often.

Personal style is all about feeling comfortable & confident in your clothing while showcasing your aesthetic/personality. I’m totally over clothing that I have to worry about fitting properly, because I don’t feel comfortable in it. Clothing that makes you look & feel BOMB is IMPORTANT.

If you’re like me ( AKA: you have a difficult body & nothing ever fits right ), find your go-to brands that make clothing for your body type, & stay loyal to those. I can’t tell y’all how many CUTE AS HELL things I’ve ordered online & promptly sent back because the fit isn’t right. I look at everything from the neckline to the waist placement to the color of the clothing on my skin tone.

In addition, ALWAYS buy clothing for your size. I’ve actually started sizing up in high-waisted jeans/pants to ensure the butt fits, even if the waist ends up being a tad too big. The pants I’m wearing here are 1 inch larger than my normal size… because I prefer just a little too loose to noticeably too tight/having ANY AMOUNT of muffin top.

If you’re going to be picky about something when it comes to affordable clothing, make it the fit.

Seeing Stars with Blogger Payton Sartain of Hustle + Halcyon

Never Sacrifice Quality

For me, gone are the days of the “I look like I should be in Vegas” bandage dresses, tight, jersey knit tops, & ultra-stretchy, nearly-athleticwear “jeans.”

Buh-bye high school & college. I’ll miss you & your 12-shots-of-vodka-appropriate attire.

Quality is difficult to nail. You’re looking for affordable, not cheap-as-fuck. That means you can still shop at Forever21, but you’ll need to do some digging to find the hidden gems ( I pride myself at being VERY good at F21 gem-finding ).

Checking for good quality means, of course, looking at the fit first. Then, I check the fabric to make sure it at least appears expensive & substantial. Lastly, I check the hemlines on the product to make sure they’re all clean & straight ( if that is the way the clothing is designed ), because nothing looks cheaper than a fucked up hem.

If the quality sucks, DON’T buy it or SEND IT BACK immediately. You don’t need that shit in your life.

Some things I, personally, like to stay away from:
Jersey knit tops with lace/sheer/textured inlays OR lace on the edges ( this is very difficult to do “correctly” )
That weird thin “sweater”/”knit” material that mall brands use ( cheap, cheap, cheap )
MOST product with words written on it ( I don’t need a T-shirt that explains my love for macaroons, k? )
Anything with a disney character ( literally never okay )
Anything ruched ( google “ruched top.” I just think it looks so… bleh. )
& embroidery on jersey knit material ( usually not for me ).

Seeing Stars with Blogger Payton Sartain of Hustle + Halcyon

Mix Budget Finds with More Expensive Staples

I’m all for shopping on a budget, but I do like to have my more expensive, staple pieces. I usually like to spend a little extra money on bags & shoes.

I DIE over my little Celine Nano Tote ( literally wear it every day ), but I also like less-expensive-but-still-expensive brands like Rebecca Minkoff, Gigi New York, & Sancia ( most recent OBSESSION ).

BTW: you can shop designer bags on sites like Trendlee, The Real Real, or Tradesy to get the quality bag of your dreams for much cheaper than retail price. Just a lil’ tip.

As far as shoes, I’m into buying middle-of-the-road priced shoes. Brands like Matisse, Vince Camuto, & Free People are my go-tos for quality, trendy shoes.

Mixing affordable pieces with high-end staples makes an outfit look all-around more expensive, in my opinion.

Seeing Stars with Blogger Payton Sartain of Hustle + Halcyon Seeing Stars with Blogger Payton Sartain of Hustle + Halcyon

My Top Places to Shop for Shopping on a Budget

I find that F21 has a much better selection online. I’m currently loving their thick knits, easy maxi dresses, and night-out mini dresses & rompers. It’ll take some looking & some being picky, but you can definitely find some great, expensive-looking things at Forever21. They’ve REALLY upped their game lately. I’ll link a couple of things from my most recent F21 raid below.

RevolveYes, They Have Affordable Clothing!
Revolve carries a number of brands that are very affordable for statement pieces & staple pieces alike. You can find clothing, bags, shoes & accessories that are pretty damn affordable on Revolve. I’ve found some VERY cute under $100 favorites on their site!

Nasty Gal
K, I’m clearly obsessed with Nasty Gal. NG carries some more expensive lines, but definitely don’t overlook their less expensive brands. I find that they have a nice selection of “going out” dresses/rompers & SO MANY crazy, affordable accessories.

Again, ASOS has some more expensive things, but their affordable products are NOT TO BE MISSED. I’m loving their activewear, swimwear, and loungewear recently. ASOS also has some really fun, affordable accessories for the gal on a budget.

Seeing Stars with Blogger Payton Sartain of Hustle + Halcyon

I hope this was helpful for y’all! Like I said, I’ll get more into celebrating H+H’s birthday in a few days.

I’ve been wanting to cover shopping on a budget for awhile now, so here ya go!

If y’all ever have any real-time questions while out shopping ( sometimes it’s TOO difficult to decide to-buy or not-to-buy ), feel free to snap me ( payton_sartain ), & I’ll try to get to your Q ASAP!

Let’s be honest, my phone is basically attached to my hand at all times ( still working on this ), so I’m relatively easy to reach.

Talk soon, babes. xx

7 Responses
  • Milex
    01 . 19 . 2017

  • genevieve
    01 . 20 . 2017

    Red is fire on you! you should wear it more beebus. loving the look
    xo genevieve


  • Maru Conti
    01 . 22 . 2017

    The shirt is so cute!


  • erica
    01 . 30 . 2017

    Your photos are always so stunning!! What camera and lens do you use?!?!

    • paytonsartain
      01 . 30 . 2017

      all of my photographers use different cameras and lenses! I’m not exactly sure!

      Thanks so much babe! xx

  • Krista Williams
    02 . 06 . 2017

    Hi love!!

    just found your blog from my friend, paige who said you’re dope and i have to agree!

    love love this post and how cute/chic you look!


    • paytonsartain
      02 . 07 . 2017

      Eeee yay!! Thanks beeb! I’m checking out your blog as well! xx