Shop like a news anchor: How to save big on clothing

affordable on-air Amazon dress

Have you ever sat down watching the Today Show or Good Morning America, spotted something fabulously fashionable, and thought… I’ve got to have that?  Maybe you’ve wondered how your favorite news team is able to afford a seemingly endless supply of colorful, on-trend dresses, skirts and shoes. Do you wonder how they shop?

Let me let you in on a little secret, we have a strategy.

From top TV talent to those you see locally, we spend a LOT less on clothing than you might think. There’s no doubt image is part of our job, so we take shopping seriously.  The right look keeps viewers and managers happy. The wrong one will land you a host of “what were you thinking” emails.

Here’s the kicker. Although a stylish wardrobe is a requirement of an on-air job, it’s not a tax write-off and only the rare employer is willing to chip in. Television news is a notoriously low paying industry, especially for those in the early stages of their journalism career. By necessity we’ve become a thrifty bunch.

news anchor shopping secrets

Green Dress (only $30) | Similar Heels

Here’s how we shop and save:

  • Discount/Off-price retailers are your new best friend

You can find the same brands at T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and Ross Dress for Less as those you’d snag at a store like Macy’s, but for much, much less. The trick is patience and persistence. There’s no telling what you’ll find, or if they’ll have your size available. If they do and you love it, grab it immediately; it won’t last.

I make a point of visiting at least one discount retailer every other week to peruse new options. For example, at most T.J. Maxx locations, you will find replenished stock 3-5 days a week. I certainly don’t buy things each time I visit; I just like the hunt.

While I supplement my wardrobe with the occasional “trendy” item—scooped up from stores like Forever 21 or H&M—the bulk of my wardrobe comes from discount retailers. They might not have much ambiance, especially at Ross, but they offer designer quality that will last. It also pays to make friends with the sales team. Start a casual conversation and ask what day the store gets its new merchandise in. They may also tell you when markdowns typically happen. That insider information will help you score the best deal possible.

**Note: Ross is especially great for shoes if you wear a size that’s not high in demand. In fall, I scooped up the ruffle pumps below for less than $15! Unfortunately, they did not last at that price. Here’s a similar pair from Target.

ruffle pumps and clutch

  • Amazon dresses are the best and “sharing” is caring

Do you remember hearing about the “meteorologist dress,” an item spotted at TV stations across the country? If not, this will clue you in. Since it can be tough to know what you’re getting when you purchase clothing online, we are not shy about telling each other what works.  In fact, we often trade reviews about affordable Amazon dress options in Facebook groups.  People Magazine may worry about “who wore it better,” but we know there are enough days in the year for all of us to wear it well.

Be sure to read the fit instructions very carefully though.

Most Amazon dresses run small, so you will want to size up. I usually wear a 0 or 2 in dresses and opted for a small in my green 3/4 sleeve dress. It’s my new favorite. The fabric has a very nice stretch to it, super comfy! Like most Amazon dresses, it’s unlined, but nylons or—better yet—Spanx tights (this is my favorite reversible pair) can take care of that.

affordable green amazon dress green Amazon dressaffordable green Amazon dress

Green Dress (only $30)| Similar Ruffle Pumps (under $30)

Here are links to a few of the Amazon finds garnering rave reviews in the anchor/reporter community right now. Not only are they tested and approved for various body types, most are under $30 even $20!

—-Get the Look—-

                          

                                                                             

                     

                                                         

  • Don’t be afraid of small imperfections

Find a clothing item you love, but notice a small snag or stain?  Take a good look to assess if it’s something you can fix or easily spot treat.  If so, ask for an additional discount.  This has netted me an extra 10-15 percent off every time I’ve asked.

  • Clothing rental services

If you want a really wide range of options to showcase the most current looks and trends, rental services may be worth a try.  I haven’t pursued this myself, as I would rather spend money on an item I can keep in perpetuity, than shell out funds for rentals. That said, plenty of news anchors use services like Rent the Runway Unlimited, Rent the Runway Update, Stitch Fix or Le Tote and have given them a thumbs up.  I was curious about how the various programs work, so here’s the skinny:

Rent The Runway:

You pay $159 a month (that includes shipping and insurance) and select four items to be shipped to you.  You enjoy them for as long or short a time period as you want. When RTR processes your return, a spot opens up for something new and you get to choose another item or items.  You are automatically charged each month until you cancel. There’s no doubt the $500 or $1000 dresses you will find through RTR will have a look and fit that’s hard to match.  On the other hand, be warned. Your size may not always be available. In addition, while every item has been professionally dry cleaned, they have been worn before. Some customers have reported (very slight) wear and tear. RTR Unlimited has a special offer (below) to celebrate the new year right now. RTR Update sends you one monthly shipment to refresh your wardrobe at $89 per month

  • Use the code FIRSTRTR for $99 for first month (usually $159)

Le Tote:

Le Tote is a personal styling service that sends you a tote filled with clothing, accessories or both. You get to keep your tote items as long as you want.  When you ship them back, you get a new box.  It costs $59 a month (free shipping and dry cleaning). Le Tote lets you create a virtual online “closet” or wish list by selecting items from its collections. You can read more on its blog here.

Stitch Fix:

Stitch Fix is essentially a personal styling service. You fill out a style questionnaire, marking your size, look and price preferences; then choose the date you’d like to receive your shipment. You’ll be charged a $20 dollar styling fee (that $20 will be applied as a credit toward anything you want to keep). In return, you will receive five pieces of clothing, shoes or accessories to try on at home. You have three days to decide what to buy and what to send back. You are only charged for the items you choose to keep.

So, there you have it… A little window into our affordable shopping strategy.

Do you have any great money-saving style tips? I’d love to hear them!

—-Lindsay

27 COMMENTS

  1. Emily Fata, www.EmulatingEmily.com | 23rd Jan 18

    All of these outfits are so gorgeous! I love each of these dresses–it’s going to be hard for me to decide which one to get! 🙂

  2. Erin | 23rd Jan 18

    Amazing!!! Your style is inspiring! Thank you for the tips!

  3. Victoria Martin | 23rd Jan 18

    Very interesting article!!

  4. Megan B | 23rd Jan 18

    Thank you for sharing this! What a gorgeous collection of professional outfits – seriously news-anchor worthy.

  5. Dia Darling | 24th Jan 18

    I love this dress! Ross is my worst kept secret. Anytime someone asks me where I got whatever I’m wearing i go into a full rant about how “Ross is amazing. You have to hunt but it’s worth it.”

    • laveremis | 24th Jan 18

      Glad to hear I’m not the only one who is Ross obsessed! It’s the greatest as long as you like digging!

  6. Drake Conan | 24th Jan 18

    Wow, This is a perfect gift for my wife, I should start looking for clothes like this. I have to look into Amazon.

    • laveremis | 24th Jan 18

      Hey, Valentine’s Day is coming up right? She’d love it!

  7. Liz Gen | 24th Jan 18

    Those are all fine pieces! Love that green dress you’re wearing and the shoes. You look fabulous!

  8. Melinda | 24th Jan 18

    All those dresses are beautiful! I would love to have any one of them. I’m glad you’ve been able to figure out a more economical way to stay stylish for your on-screen career.

    • laveremis | 24th Jan 18

      Thanks Melinda, you should definitely give Amazon dresses a try. I think you’d enjoy them!

  9. Patricia | 24th Jan 18

    I love shopping at T.J. Maxx, and although I have never shopped for clothes on Amazon, I might give that one a try because those dresses are beautiful. Thank you for the tip on the sizing up.

    • laveremis | 24th Jan 18

      What would we do without T.J. Maxx? Amazon was a surprise to me too, but I have certainly been pleased.

  10. Jocelyn @ Hip Mama's Place | 24th Jan 18

    Those are awesome shopping tips that I definitely appreciate and can use in the future as I shop for clothes. I always wait for sales and discounts before buying an item.

    • laveremis | 24th Jan 18

      I so agree! Even when I’m shopping at discount retailers, I prefer to wait for items to go on sale. Happy shopping!

  11. Czjai Reyes-Ocampo | 24th Jan 18

    Gorgeous selection of dresses! I hardly wear dresses, but will keep Amazon in mind should the need arises. 🙂

  12. Shell | 24th Jan 18

    Wow this dress is absolutely stunning in you! This is actually my favorite color so I would love to pick up this charming dress!

  13. Lisa Rios | 24th Jan 18

    That green looks stunning with your eyes and hair color. It is important to shop smart, and I always like finding good deals. Less spending equals more saving, right?

  14. LavandaMichelle | 24th Jan 18

    Your style is so pretty, this was a very inspiring post.

  15. Elizabeth O | 24th Jan 18

    Some absolutely great ideas here for people on a budget. The green dress is gorgeous and it really suits you, you are killing it girl!! 🙂

  16. Vasundhra | 24th Jan 18

    These outfits are stunning! While it needs a lot of patience, shopping at discount stores is so much fun. I have managed to find some great items from high-end brands at my local discount stores.

  17. Evelyn, PathofPresence | 25th Jan 18

    Cute!! This looks amazing on you, but I am sure MANY things look awesome on you and blah on another. Thanks for sharing your secrets as to where to get the deals. I’ have learned! xo

  18. Erica D Ardali | 25th Jan 18

    Not only is the dress chic but the kelly green color is really flattering.

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  22. Jeans | 23rd Sep 19

    What’s Going down i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I have found It positively useful and it has helped me
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