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
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!
HOW TO BE STYLISH ON A BUDGET: THIS IS HOW I DO IT!
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 they 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 a large amount of 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 centre.
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 organise it in a way that you know exactly WHAT you have and WHERE. This will allow you to be more creative with 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!
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 by the item has even slightly evaporated, you should return it.
Buy in final clearance and out of season. By final clearance I mean at least 70% off the original price, avoid temptation of buying when it’s anything less than 50% off.
Before you press that “buy” button search online 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 how you would feel if you paid £89.99 for an item that it’s later reduced to £12.99! This has happened to me more than once, true story! It made me feel like I flushed my hard earned money straight down the toilet!
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!
By shopping at charity shops you are looking after the environment and 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 my second hand purchases below.
The blow 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 favourite white jeans (great condition, brand unknown) and summer dress (fantastic quality, brand unknown) were all purchased at UK charity shops.
Some charity shops offer online shopping, e.g Oxfam, however from my experience it’s much better to visit the shop if you want to find some real gems that slipped through the net.
If you prefer to shop from the comfort of your own home, I have recently discovered Micolet which is a great place to shop second hand clothing online.
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 tasselled 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 mark down 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 Wear the Walk.
It’s a monthly subscription service with 3 different packages that grant you access to a number of items per month. You get to keep your items for 30 days and when you’re done, you just send them back via free postal service.
A very affordable option is to buy designer dupes. And no, I am not trying to get you in trouble and encourage you to buy fake designer pieces.
There is a difference between a knockoff designer bag, also known as imitation bag, and a dupe bag, also known as a designer inspired bag or designer look alike.
Dupe products are referred to by this term because look like the designer version of the product without passing off as the designer item.
Knockoffs, also known as designer imitations or replica products, bear the logo and proprietary imprints that are not sold or produced by the luxury brand. These goods are designed to deceive people into believing that the product is authentic which is illegal. You could get in trouble for buying these products or supporting those who sell them.
Dupe products on the other hand are perfectly legal and they can be found all over the major hight street retailers so you can shop away!
And honestly aside from losing out on the designer logo and branding, you’d be saving hundreds if not thousands of dollars by shopping for a designer dupe.
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, necklace or a pair of textured tights.
- Buying something just because it’s been reduced from £59.99 to £5.99. Have a think first 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 it. It’s simply a waste of your money. This is especially important when shopping for designer dupes; 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 colour 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 favourite retailers gives you back a percentage of your spend once your purchase is confirmed.
Now you know exactly what to do in order to be stylish on a budget!
And remember – if your hair and shoes look fabulous, you can get away with wearing pretty much anything! 😀
This post contains affiliate links. This has not affected my editorial decision-making process.
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