1. Do not buy patterned bottoms, unless it's a classic pattern, such as polka dots, stripes, or leopard. I get many people ask me if their floral skirt from 1990 is still in style....OF course it's not, unless you can find the same print currently in the mall, it's probably not in style anymore. So my rule of thumb is to buy solid colored straight skirts, because they are a classic style. Granted, some colors go out of style, but I don't spend over $15 on colors I know are seasonal.
2. Don't spend a lot on trendy items. For example, the bubble necklace was a big trend this past year. J.Crew's version was over $100 when it first came out..I bought mine off eBay for $12. I knew it was a "trend" that wasn't going to last forever, therefore I didn't invest my money in that. Another example, I am currently looking for a gingham shirt, but I know it's a current trend, therefore I'm trying to find one less that $15, because I know it won't be in style very long. Make sense?
3. I use my jewelry, accessories, and tops as my trendy pieces. Reason is, these items are often the cheapest to buy. I always find cute trendy shirts from TJMaxx for $12.99, and if they go out of style in 6 months, I didn't break the bank trying to be trendy! :) I also buy my jewelry from Rue 21, Forever 21, or offline, to get the latest jewelry trends, but also not pay more than $10 on a necklace or bracelet.
4. Invest in your solids. I'm not going to lie, if I find a solid mustard skirt for $25 and under, I'm buying it! To me, it is an investment, because I will wear it all fall and next fall. I spend money on pieces I know I will wear on a weekly basis. Solid Cardigans or blazers are also a great investment. I have a cardigan in almost every color, because I wear one almost on a daily basis. They are definitely worth $20 to me.
5. Throw away clothes you haven't worn in 6 months. Unless, it's your winter clothes and it's summer, if you get to the end of fall and notice you didn't touch 4 of your long, plaid frumpy skirts that you don't look your best in, then donate them to Goodwill or consign them! Don't cling on to clothes! You don't NEED that oversized sweater from college...Give it up! ;) When I got married to my husband, we did a fashion show, and told me yes or no to every item that I wasn't sure about and I tossed them!