Style-obsessed gals love fast fashion. And that's part of the problem. Shopping the high street stores is inexpensive, it provide tons of selection and these stores often pull trends right off the runway. The downside is that everyone now shops at the same spots ... and ends up looking kinda the same. Although you might love your latest Zara purchase, it's harder to adore when your co-worker and best friend also have the same item.
Rather than abandoning these shops all together, just utilize a new strategy. There are a few tricks to shopping at your favorite stores that can leave you looking unique and keep people wondering where you scored your latest find.
Click through the slideshow to see some great finds from fast fashion stores and learn a few tricks to shopping high street.
1. Try Unexpected Fast Fashion Stores
Instead of hitting the usual suspects (like Topshop and Zara) try other destinations that aren't as high traffic for picky fashionistas, but still offer tons of options. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/20/walmart-target-best-stores_n_1688038.html?1349217665" target="_hplink">Stores like Kohl's, Chico's and Talbots</a> can require some hunting, but since they are less-frequented the chances of someone else having your item is decreased. Taylor Haircalf Skinny Belt, $44 <a href="http://www.anntaylor.com/ann/product/ANN-Must-Have-Outfits/SEP1031M/Haircalf-Skinny-Belt/289639?colorExplode=false&skuId=11833529&catid=cata000023&productPageType=fullPriceProducts&defaultColor=1479">Anntaylor.com</a>
Try Unexpected Fast Fashion Stores
Chico's Luster "Diva" Pullover, $109 <a href="http://www.chicos.com/store/browse/product.jsp?maxRec=263&pageId=1&productId=570058983&viewAll=&prd=Luster+Diva+Pullover&subCatId=&color=&fromSearch=&inSeam=&posId=2&catId=cat40036&cat=New+Arrivals&onSale=&colorFamily=&maxPg=17&size=">Chicos.com</a>
2. Shop The Men's Section
The women's section is chock-full of great finds ... but what about the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/23/menswear-mens-clothing-for-women_n_1819463.html?1349217395" target="_hplink">men's section</a>? There are tons of pieces you can wear from the men's side of the store that are both unique and stylish. The best part? None of your (girl)friends will be in the same look. Zara "Saffiano" Leather Briefcase, $89 <a href="http://www.zara.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product/us/en/zara-us-W2012/269247/928553/SAFFIANO LEATHER BRIEFCASE">Zara.com</a>
Shop The Men's Section
Old Navy Men's Military Jackets, $57 <a href="http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=85238&vid=1&pid=250891&scid=250891012">Oldnavy.com</a>
3. Shop The Sale Rack
Some of the best pieces are often overlooked by most consumers. Hitting the sale rack is a great way to choose items that were less popular and often more special. An extra hour of hunting through bins can mean you'll score something no one else has, at a great price no less. Forever21 Checkered Knit Sweater, $15 from $22 <a href="http://www.forever21.com/Product/Product.aspx?BR=f21&Category=sale_women&ProductID=2087533742&VariantID=">Forever21.com</a>
Shop The Sale Rack
Lyell "Fletcher" Flatform Sandal, $29 from $59 <a href="http://www.urbanoutfitters.com/urban/catalog/productdetail.jsp?id=24929523a&parentid=SALE_W_SHOES">Urbanoutfitters.com</a>
4. Get A Piece Tailored
Sometimes the problem with an item you find at a high street store is the fit. Just because something might not be the most flattering cut doesn't mean you can't make it perfect. Take <a href="http://www.allure.com/beauty-trends/how-to/2007/How_To_Get_Your_Clothes_To_Fit" target="_hplink">a piece to the tailor</a> and have it altered to fit your body like a glove. Not only will it make your clothes look more expensive, but it'll totally change the way a garment hangs and can make it unrecognizable. Topshop High Neck Swing Dress By Boutique, $130 <a href="http://us.topshop.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?beginIndex=0&viewAllFlag=&catalogId=33060&storeId=13052&productId=6718762&langId=-1&categoryId=&searchTerm=dress&pageSize=200">Topshop.com</a>
Get A Piece Tailored
Gap Classic Two-Button Blazer, $98 <a href="http://www.gap.com/browse/product.do?searchCID=25781&vid=1&pid=908375&scid=908375002">Gap.com</a>
5. Avoid Prints
Although it can be tempting to get your fill of<a href="http://www.glamour.com/fashion/blogs/slaves-to-fashion/2012/02/3-easy-tips-for-pulling-off-a.html" target="_hplink"> prints </a>from fast fashion stores, this can be dangerous. Although it is easy to camouflage a plain t-shirt or a pair of jeans, a print from a mass retailer can be spotted instantly and is much harder to style in different ways. American Apparel Unisex Oversized Fisherman Turtleneck Sweater, $135 <a href="http://store.americanapparel.net/rsakwft.html?c=Green">Americanapparel.net</a>
Mango Double Breasted Wool Coat, $59 <a href="http://shop.mango.com/US/p0/mango/new/double-breasted-wool-coat/?id=73000554_15&n=1&s=nuevo&ie=0&m=&ts=1349216523760">Mango.com</a>