The Broke Girl’s Guide To Shopping

When you’re all out of cash but still have to look good


Do you, like me, often find yourself with more month at the end of your money? 

While the best choice of action would be to hole up at home whenever possible to avoid spending a single cent, being an adult often also means putting on clothes that aren't PJs and getting out of the house to, well, work. 

But how can you get clothes without cash, right? Well, style isn’t determined by how much you spend on an outfit — it’s really all about finding the right pieces that suit you, and loading up on classics and basics that will last a long time.

So, from broke girl to fellow broke girls out there, here are the best places to hunt down clothes for work, the weekend or a party, that won’t break the bank.

1. Cotton On

Cotton On is the ultimate one-stop shop for all your style needs. The Aussie label stocks wearable and trendy apparel, accessories, and shoes (from sister brand Rubi) at reasonable prices. The best part, however, is whenever they have a sale. With everything going at $5, $10, $15, this is the best time to go crazy without hurting your wallet. 

2. H&M

H&M’s prices range from a couple of dollars to hundreds, if you’re shopping their premium or collaborative collections. While they have plenty of inexpensive clothes, the best thing to buy from H&M are their accessories. Most of the jewellery costs no more than $10, and range from subtle everyday pieces, to statement designs that will instantly elevate your outfit.

3. Lucky Plaza

Don’t dismiss Lucky Plaza. If you have the patience to look through racks upon racks of clothes, it’s a shopping haven filled with items going from as low as $5. Also, look out for a flea market routinely held on level four — it’s a treasure trove of vintage finds and second-hand buys. For an idea on how dirt-cheap things can get, I’ve personally bought a top for a mere $0.20. 

4. Far East Plaza

Far East Plaza has a reputation for being a tween hangout, but there are actually plenty of brick-and-mortar versions of blogshops there that sell classy, modern pieces for women of all ages. Be sure to check out their basement level, where prices are usually at their lowest. You can easily find shoes there for just $9.90. Once you have a little bit more dough, be sure to explore the many locally-designed labels situated there as well.

5. New2U

This thrift shop run by the Singapore’s Council of Women’s Organisations is a great place to find pre-loved clothes, shoes and bags, for just a couple of dollars. Of course, as with anything vintage, what you pick up here will probably not fit perfectly, so grab yourself a sewing kit to make minor alterations at home. And if a couple of bucks isn’t already cheap enough, the thrift store also holds half-price sales often — check out their Facebook page to stay updated.

6. Salvation Army

Salvation Army’s Praisehaven Mega Family Store is quite literally a shopper’s haven. Every corner of the huge space is filled with apparel, homeware and knick-knacks you never knew you needed. You can easily find t-shirts, jackets and trousers for less than $10. If you're looking for a pair of mum or boyfriend jeans, dig through their wide range of denim for a pair at a fraction of the price.

7. Editor’s Market

Local label Editor’s Market has a wide range of chic, classic pieces that won’t set you back. But if you want even better deals, grab your friends and bring them shopping with you. Editor’s Market offers discount rates when you buy three or five pieces at a time, bringing low prices even lower.

8. Zalora

This online multi-store stocks plenty of local and international labels with varying price tags, so you’ll always have something new to buy. While it’s easily overlooked, be sure to look through Zalora’s eponymous label as well — they have plenty of inexpensive basics and trendy designs that are of a great quality.

For more on Fashion, head here. Or check out You Can Now Feel Your Partner’s Heartbeat In A Ring or Raf Simons Goes Retro With New Adidas Collection

sign up for our newsletter

Sign up to receive a weekly round-up of the latest fashion, beauty and lifestyle news!

By signing up, I consent to Elle’s Terms & Conditions.


you will love this

we also recommend

you’ll love this