I'm a big fan of supporting small/local companies as well as shopping secondhand when I can. I consign a lot and often use the money earned from the consignment shop towards new items - that way in a sense we're just "trading up" and not spending a lot out of pocket.
I thought I'd share some outfit details from a recent wedding we attended to show how you can pull these things together. This dress is Lauren by Ralph Lauren (I couldn't find the exact one to link, but here is a similar one - affiliate link), and I bought it second-hand at a NH-based consignment store called M&C. Because I had store credit from consigning some things there, I only had to pay a whopping 62 cents out of pocket for it! The leather "Buoy Block Clutch" is from Maine-based company Eklund Griffin, and while it can be considered an investment piece it's definitely something that's well-made and timeless and will get a lot of use for many years to come. Finally the gold necklace is from The Silver Wren on Etsy - a small shop that makes beautiful hand-stamped jewelry. I had this necklace made with our daughters' initials and love that I can wear it dressed up or down.
By spending your money wisely, you can get the most impact by saving big shopping second-hand and supporting small and local companies when you can. Happy shopping!