Even though I certainly don’t think of myself as being much of a fashionista, I do like to try and look stylish, hence the blog name ;-) However, as much as I’d love to be able to buy lots of beautiful designer ware, my budget is never ever going to stretch that far. What I’ve tried to do is embrace my own personal style on a budget. Here’s some of my tips!
Embrace your personal style
As I just said above, the most important tip to begin with is to figure out what your individual style is. Have a look through your wardrobe, what do you wear the most often and why? Once you have a strong sense of what you like and what suits you your less likely to spend money following trends that don’t work for you. You know what they say – money can’t buy you style, and its not what you wear sometimes but the way you wear it!
If your not sure what your personal style is then start looking for inspiration. Pinterest is an excellent place to start. I love my style pin board for collecting images of outfits and styles that I like, which in turn helps me to think about what clothes and accessories I need to add to my wardrobe to get those looks. Check out some fashion blogs (Bloglovin is a good place to find some new ones), Chictopia for awesome street style and of course good old fashion magazines – just don’t let the airbrushed ultra skinny models put you off ;-)
Do a wardrobe review
At least twice a year (usually spring and autumn) I review my wardrobe. I put away seasonal clothing, get out old clothing, look at what I have and make a list of what things I would like (after getting inspired of course). Again, this means that I am less likely to buy things that aren’t going to work with my existing wardrobe or get things that don’t suit me.
Create a wish list and stick to it
I’m a big fan of having a ‘wish list’. I find that it helps me focus on what I need and stops me from making rash purchases. Left to my own devices I’d probably have a wardrobe full of grey hoodies, striped tops, floral dresses and nothing to go with them! When I go out shopping or if I’m looking online, having a wish list keeps me on track and reminds me that I don’t need yet another stripy tee! If you do happen to see something you just love that your thinking about buying on impulse think if it will go with at least 5 other items in your wardrobe first.
Check out eBay
I will be doing a post on how to sell your stuff on eBay as a couple of you have requested this, but eBay is also fantastic for picking up a bargain. You can get some great items that have hardly been worn at a fraction of the price they are in the shops. I think the key to being able to find gems on eBay is to be specific in your search – for example, instead of searching for ‘jeans’ search for ‘jeans size 12 boot cut’ so that you don’t have to trail through hundreds of pages! You can also check out eBay fashion outlet for more savings. I’ve picked up some great vintage inspired pieces on eBay like a gorgeous white cotton top which is one of my favourite things in my wardrobe.
Charity shops / vintage shops
I used to be quite dismissive of charity shops in particular, but they are an excellent source of style on a budget! When I think about some of the gorgeous clothes I’ve donated to shops its reminded me that other people are doing exactly the same thing. Recently I got a pair of Topshop jeans for £4 and they fit perfectly! With charity shop and vintage shops just remember that the trawling through rails of stuff is all part of the fun :-)
My home made head band that I wore for a wedding
If your prepared to get creative you can make and alter a lot of your own clothes and save a fortune. Changing buttons on cardigans can give them an usual twist, try an iron on transfer to re invigorate an old tee shirt or sew a panel of vintage floral fabric on to a cotton top. Use your imagination and there’s so much you can do with a needle and thread!
You can completely change the look of clothing depending on how you accessorise it. I use this technique to get maximum wear out of everything in my wardrobe. Just changing jewellery, shoes and a bag can make an outfit completely different. In the past instead of buying a new outfit for a night out I’ve just completely reworked it by changing the bag, shoes and jewellery, everyone thought I had gone out and bought a whole new outfit!
Know when to save and when to spurge
Being on a budget doesn’t always mean being cheap. Some things you need to invest in to make savings further down the line. I tend to spend more for better quality wardrobe staples which for me include things like black trousers, knee high boots, gym wear (cause I wear it so much!) and under ware. I tend to pick up ‘on trend’ items cheaper because I know that I’ll probably be over them within a couple of months.
Buy your clothes where you buy your food
Ok, this is a weird one but I’ve noticed that you can pick up some really lovely pieces at extremely good prices from the supermarket fashion lines such as Florence and Fred @ Tesco, Tu @ Sainsbury’s and George @ Asda. Some of their stuff may be a bit dodgy but they do have some gems. I was in Tesco on Monday and they had a range of beautiful dresses for just £10 each. I was sorely tempted, but taking my own advice as above, they aren’t on my wish list so not for me!
Shop smart in the sales
The sales are great but if your not smart about them you can end up with a wardrobe full of crap. Just cause its cheap doesn’t mean you should buy it. I tend to have a look on stores websites before the sales start so I have an idea of what I’m looking for. I also I use these guidelines before getting things in the sales:
- Would I have bought it full price?
- Is it on my wish list?
- Can I return it if I decide I don’t want it? (some shops don’t offer returns on sale goods)
- Will it go with at least 5 things in my existing wardrobe?
Hope those tips have been helpful! What are your fashion on a budget tips?
Other posts in the On the Cheap series: