Learn the hottest tips and tricks on how to be stylish on a budget to look fabulous without overspending!
“Fashions fade, style is eternal.”
Yves Saint Laurent
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HOW TO BE STYLISH ON A BUDGET: THIS IS HOW I DO IT!
Do you think that in order to be stylish you need to spend a lot of money? Think again!
Fashion trends change all the time and it can be financially challenging to follow them. The key is to find the right balance between the old and the new, between the classics and the novelty.
How to be stylish on a budget?
Follow the steps below to become a Fashion Queen who doesn’t spend a fortune!
CLEAR OUT YOUR WARDROBE
Firstly, go through ALL of your clothes. Yes, I mean the ones in your wardrobe, in your spare wardrobe, in your loft, and in your garage!
Find out what you have and what you don’t have. Whilst doing that, you will most likely find some long-forgotten gems buried deep in your wardrobe.
I found this white faux fur jacket which my mum bought for me years ago and I’d never worn it!
Identify the items that you are not likely to wear (because you don’t like them anymore and you just simply wouldn’t buy them again, or they no longer fit you) and clear out your wardrobe.
To protect our precious planet, don’t throw away any unwanted clothing as it can be sold, donated, or recycled.
You will get less money for your items at a car boot sale than if you sold them online, but you will be able to get rid of more clothes in one go.
Donate the pieces that you were unable to sell to a charity shop or retailer’s collection bank.
You can also arrange a clothes swap evening with your friends with some nibbles and Prosseco.
That way you can have the thrill of getting new clothes without spending any money and also clear out your wardrobe from the items you don’t wear! It’s also a great excuse to catch up with your friends.
If in the process of clearing out your wardrobe you find some clothes that are too worn to sell, swap, or donate, you can recycle them at your local recycling center.
You can find some more great tips on Love Your Clothes website.
Once you have sold/donated/recycled your unwanted clothing, tidy up your wardrobe, and organize it in a way that you know exactly WHAT you have and WHERE. This will allow you to be more creative when putting your outfits together.
Make a list of what you need to buy; a physical list in your notebook or on your phone, not an imaginary one in your head!
If we write something down we are more likely to follow it whilst lists created in our heads are less reliable and more fluid.
HOW TO BE STYLISH ON A BUDGET? SET A BUDGET FIRST!
Set yourself a realistic monthly budget for clothes and stick to it. That’s it. No excuses!
Your monthly budget for clothing will depend on your individual circumstances but if you want some guidance, most financial experts recommend it to be around 5% of your net monthly income.
SHOP THE BASICS
Buy the basics first, they will be the foundation of your wardrobe.
Invest in timeless classics like a trench coat, a good quality blazer, a white shirt, a perfectly fitted pair of jeans, and a classic black dress that complements your body shape.
Pay attention to the quality of materials that these items are made of as you want them to last!
COOLING OFF PERIOD
After buying something new, don’t remove the labels straight away. Check the returns policy and find out how long you have to return it.
Try it on again after a few days and see how you feel about it. If your deep fascination with the item has even slightly evaporated, you should return it.
HOW TO BE STYLISH ON A BUDGET: DON’T OVERPAY!
Buy in final clearance and out of season. By final clearance I mean at least 70% off the original price, avoid the temptation of buying when it’s anything less than 50% off.
When shopping online, search for discount codes as sometimes they are available on top of sale prices.
We all know how profit margins work in relation to the actual cost of producing an item which is its real value.
Think about how you would feel if you paid £89.99 for an item that’s later reduced to £12.99! This has happened to me more than once. It made me feel like I flushed my hard-earned money straight down the toilet!
HOW TO BE STYLISH ON A BUDGET: BUY PRE-LOVED CLOTHES
Buy pre-owned items in charity shops/thrift stores/second-hand shops and online. It’s like a treasure hunt as you can find some real vintage gems, designer pieces, or brand new items with labels!
The most popular places where you can buy second-hand clothes online are Vinted, Depop, and eBay, where you can often find items from current collections still with tags.
Another exciting option is visiting your local charity shops. By shopping at charity shops you are looking after the environment and donating money to a great cause. It’s a win-win situation all around!
To give you some inspiration and prove there are some real gems out there, have a look at some of my second-hand purchases below.
The mysterious and unique brown leather bag was bought in the cutest thrift store, Threads Resale Boutique, discovered in Morro Bay during my US road trip. It’s a real antique gem!
I would love to know the story of this bag, where it came from, and who it belonged to!
The below Joe Browns coat (brand new with labels), Jaime Mascaró shoes (vintage find), my favorite white jeans (great condition, brand unknown), and summer dress (fantastic quality, brand unknown) were all purchased at UK charity shops.
SHOP AT ONLINE OUTLETS
Online outlets are a great place to find real bargains:
- ASOS OUTLET and MANGO OUTLET offer exclusive promotions and special prices.
- OFFICE OFFCUTS is where you can find one-off exclusive last pairs and ex-display shoes.
- SHOEAHOLICS are part of the Kurt Geiger Shoe Group and offer great deals on designer shoes and handbag brands at up to 60% off their original price.
- THE OUTNET stocks an unparalleled selection of previous-season designer fashion from 350+ brands at up to 75% off.
FOR THE DESIGNER LOVERS
Fancy a designer piece for a fraction of the price?
I recommend a trip to TK Maxx as they offer up to 60% off RRP and even more in clearance.
You could also find a designer sample sale in your area.
I went to a designer sample sale (up to 90% off) some time ago in London and bought a few amazing pieces, e.g. the below CHLOÉ buckled boots for £100 (original price £1060) and Miu Miu green tasseled suede sandals for £50.
They were originally being sold for more (CHLOÉ boots for £250 and Miu Miu sandals for £120, so still quite expensive) however in the last hour there was a final markdown so I left with these beauties and a big smile on my face!
Another idea is to visit a designer outlet like BICESTER VILLAGE near Oxford, or an online designer outlet, like previously mentioned THE OUTNET, to shop previous-season designer fashion at discounted prices.
You could also rent designer clothes, for example from My Wardrobe HQ.
THINGS TO AVOID
Shop smart and avoid:
- Spending a lot of money on seasonal trends. Mix your wardrobe classics with seasonal accessories, like statement earrings, necklaces, or a pair of textured tights.
- Buying something just because it’s been reduced from £59.99 to £5.99. Have a think first about whether you would actually wear it and how you would style it.
- Shopping at vintage shops as they tend to be massively overpriced, the same applies to charity shops in central London. especially in areas like Chelsea.
- Buying low-quality clothes made of flimsy fabrics and with skimpy stitching that falls apart the first time you wear them. It’s simply a waste of your money. This is especially important when shopping for designer-inspired items; make sure to check the reviews!
- Buying clothes you are not 100% sure about. If you have any doubts like “Is it not too short/long?”, “Does this color suit me?”, “I don’t feel comfortable sitting down in it”, then you should stay away. Only buy clothes that you are 100% sure about and you really, really love.
EARN CASHBACK WHEN YOU SHOP
Whenever possible, buy online through websites like TopCashback.
Clicking through these websites to your favorite retailers gives you back a percentage of your spending once your purchase is confirmed.
Now you know exactly what approach you need to take in order to be stylish on a budget.
Apart from the long term strategy of changing your shopping habits described above, there are some tricks that will help you look expensive instantly.
HOW TO LOOK EXPENSIVE ON A BUDGET
- Make sure that what you’re wearing fits perfectly. Even the most expensive clothes will make you look terrible if they don’t fit.
- Wear black. It’s an elegant, timeless, and neutral color that goes with absolutely everything.
- Pay attention to your choice of footwear. A pair of good quality, stylish shoes can really make an outfit.
- Your handbag should be of good quality and neutral color.
- Match your shoes to your bag. Coordinating your shoes with your handbag will make you look super chic.
- Wear natural makeup. Just enough to emphasize your best features without the products being clearly visible on your face. Too much makeup looks cheap.
- Make sure your hair looks fabulous. If your hair looks fabulous, you can get away with wearing pretty much anything!
- Wear turtlenecks, blazers, and sunglasses – they will make your outfit look expensive and elegant.
I hope you have enjoyed these tips on how to be stylish on a budget.
Thanks for stopping by!
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