How to score the best finds at the lowest prices. 

By Katie Holdefehr
Updated March 11, 2019
Marshalls Shopping Tips from a Celeb Stylist, Melissa Garcia
Credit: Getty Images / Melissa Garcia

There's a good reason so many of us love shopping at Marshalls: you can find gorgeous designer clothing at a fraction of the original price. But while there are plenty of off-price gems to discover, navigating the racks to uncover the perfect blouse or the dress of your dreams can be a time-consuming task. To prove that it's possible to find amazing pieces, no matter if you have 30 minutes or a full day, celebrity stylist Melissa Garcia walked me through my local Marshalls store to help me hunt for an outfit to wear to a friend's upcoming bridal shower. In less than an hour, I (an admittedly indecisive shopper) had found a complete outfit—a feat I never thought possible. Here are the five Marshalls shopping tricks Garcia taught me along the way, and that you'll definitely want to remember for your next Marshalls run.

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Marshalls Shopping Tips from a Celeb Stylist, Melissa Garcia
Credit: Getty Images / Melissa Garcia

1 Block Off a Chunk of Time

Before you hit the store, Garcia recommends deciding how much time you can devote to the excursion. And remember, it doesn't need to be a marathon shopping spree. If you go in with a specific item in mind and are strategic about where and how you shop, you can find what you're looking for much faster than you think.

In fact, Garcia claims that she has gone into Marshalls in search of jeans and has left with the perfect pair in less than 30 minutes. The trick? Go directly to the denim section, and as difficult as it may be, put blinders on when you're tempted to delve into the handbag selection. 

Other times, when you don't have a specific item in mind, set a longer time limit to give yourself the freedom to explore and discover things you probably didn't know you needed. Both types of shopping trips can feel fun and productive, just be clear about your time commitment before you jump in. 

2 Scope Out the Designer Collections First

If your goal is to find high-end (yet off-price) designer pieces, save your time and head straight to the designer racks. Typically located near the front of the store, you'll spot curated racks with labels at the top indicating the designer. These racks tend to be more curated, and thus are easier to navigate, than the racks at the back of the store.

Pro tip: if you spot something you love in the designer section, don't wait to buy it. Because these racks are prominently located, they get a lot of attention and there's a good chance another shopper will scoop up that dress you're debating. (I've learned that lesson the hard way.)

3 Pull More Than You Need, Then Edit Later

The most life-changing shopping trick Garcia taught me? Don't be afraid to pull more options than you think you'll need. I tend to spend a long time debating whether or not to toss each skirt or pair of shoes into my shopping cart, but Garcia encouraged me to go ahead and add them to the cart even if I wasn't sure.

Once you're in the dressing room, don't feel pressured to try on every single item you pulled—but it gives you plenty of options to mix and match until you find the perfect outfit.

RELATED: The Shopping Hack That Helps Me Find the Best Things at Marshalls, T.J.Maxx, and HomeGoods

4 Don't Miss "The Cube"

If you aren't careful, it's easy to skip right by the Cube, Marshalls' teen section of the store. But according to Garcia, it's not to be missed. You may assume that a section dedicated to teenagers wouldn't have anything for you, but there are finds here for shoppers of all ages. "Don't be confined by the name of the section," Garcia says, as she walks me through the area, pointing out on-trend linen dresses that would be ideal for summer vacations. This section of the store is the perfect place to discover trendy pieces that will make your wardrobe feel fresh.

5 Check Out the Curated Sections

Instead of diving right into the racks near the back of the store, take a peek at the curated stories found around the store. For example, you might see a section that's dedicated to a trendy pattern, like camo or animal print, or an area that's organized by an of-the-moment color. The store's stylists curate these sections with the best finds based on seasonal trends—so all of the hard work has been done for you.

Not sure how to work the trend into your wardrobe? At the front of these curated sections, the stylists typically assemble a complete outfit to show you how to wear the trend IRL.