Hey, pretty lady! Two things I know: fashion and frugality. So let me show you how to have a better wardrobe on a budget. (Yes, it’s possible!)
Walk To The Back Of The Store First
Stores are so good at placing the latest and greatest items at the front of the store to get you to slowly immerse yourself in aisles and aisles of clothes. While your energy and focus is still high, go to the back of the store where the sale racks are lingering, and hit up the clearance racks first.
You can always come back to the other, regular items later- they’ll still be there in a week when your budget allows, but sales and lingering clearance pieces won’t be there for you to come back later. Before you get totally distracted- head to the back of the store and ensure you snag a deal.
Shopping Without A Plan is a Fool’s Errand
I don’t go clothes shopping without a plan, EVER. If you’ve made it a habit to shop out of boredom, you may need to really reign in why you’re at the stores in the first place. Remember, stores are there to help you get the latest and greatest- and most stores function get you to shop “fast fashion” a.k.a items that are made cheaply and are intended to not hold up for long because they’re going to go out of style.
While cheap and fast is great for retailers, it’s killer on your wallet. You end up buying in a frenzy without actually building a wardrobe, you’ve simply filled a closet. To save money, you need to be intentional and have a vision to where your wardrobe is headed. So, how to have a vision for your wardrobe? Read on!
Take the time during a slow weekend, to go over your closet- what items are you lacking? Bust out your iPad or phone and Google accessories that would make sense or log onto Pinterest to find items that coordinate.
Obsess A Little To Find Your Staples, Take Your Time
There are a few staple pieces that everyone should have, and you should totally obsess until you find the perfect thing you’re after. For me, I looked for over 2 years for the perfect pair of nude pumps. I knew that with the right pair of heels, I wouldn’t need to fuss- they’re my comfortable and beautiful go-to that I paid a bit more for to get a quality pair.
There will be items in your wardrobe (and no, they don’t have to be expensive to be good) that you should take your time on- like the perfect pair of dancing heels, or a little black dress you will get some mileage from.
If it’s not perfect in fit (and tailoring wouldn’t work) or it’s uncomfortable, put it back! Don’t settle for less than perfection for staple pieces, it will save you a ton.
Prune Your Wardrobe By Playing Dress-up
Not sure what to keep and what to pitch? Take each piece of your closet, and while still on the hanger, see what it’ll coordinate with- like playing with the outfits of a paper doll, line them up on your bed or hang them on a door to see what pairs well together.
Can you dress up a sweater with three different pants or tuck it into a pencil skirt? What is the outfit missing to make it work?
At that point, you can tailor your closet to really versatile outfits that can be restyled a few different ways, or you’ll find those odd pieces that just don’t play well with others and need to get donated. To get the most bang for your buck, play with restyling pieces several ways.
Repurpose & Mix Styles- Dress Up & Dress Down
To build on the “paper doll” way of mixing up your wardrobe (where you restyle and match up different pieces to create several looks with a few core pieces)- you’ll also want to keep in mind if items can be dressed up or dressed down.
For instance- if you have jeans and a t-shirt- you can dress it down with comfy shoes for grocery shopping, or dress it up with kitten heels, a statement necklace and a blazer, for a casual date night. If you have a cocktail dress, you can play down the formal look with flats, a casual handbag and less jewelry.
To simplify your wardrobe and your shopping budget, focus on pieces that could be used for multiple purposes and easily transitioned for different events.
Find What Makes You Confident- Not Trends
Trends are not your friend. Well, they are, but when you’re on a budget, trends distract you from having a gorgeous wardrobe. You know your figure, you know what types of shoes you actually like to wear. You know what colors look great on you- and if you don’t, take the time out of your busy schedule to find out.
Build a baseline of confidence enhancing pieces that flatter your body type and your style. Consistency in your wardrobe not only means that you’ll save money and time, but it will also make your a fashion icon in your social circles. Plus, confidence is sexy.
My go-to lately has been a black top, Lucky Brand jeans (in a few flattering cuts) and a few pair of my favorite flats from TOMS.
Yes, like Steve Jobs, I’ve found what works for me. I like lots of black, and I like fun, flashy accessories to dress up, but most of all, versatility for me is COMFORT. I no longer have headspace for crop tops, the latest color trends, crazy leggings or bulky sweaters.
I have cuts and colors I gravitate to, and when I deviate from the formula, it’s gotta be for a showstopper! Yes, it may feel boring, but if you’ve found your authentic style, you’ll never be bored, you’ll feel fierce.
See! Purchasing a beautiful wardrobe on a budget is actually possible. Told you so!