When you’re putting together a brand new look, you might be tempted to think you need to break the bank to get the right aesthetic. That’s not the case, though; while high fashion is often extremely expensive, style doesn’t have to cost the earth, and you can make yourself look stunning without overspending.
Through a combination of savvy spending, earning cash from alternative sources, and streamlining your budget, you can assemble outfits that will wow your friends and family without worrying about your bank balance. Here’s our beginner’s guide to fashion on a budget.
Don’t be afraid to look for alternative income sources
First and foremost, if you’re looking to put together some new and exciting outfits, don’t be afraid to sally forth and look for alternative sources of income. Picking up a side hustle could be a good place to start; why not tutor or blog for some more cash so you can afford the clothes you want? Alternatively, you could look for a reputable, trustworthy provider of quick loans so you can get the cash injection you need to buy that bag or those shoes that are going to supercharge your look. Don’t neglect potential alternative revenue streams!
Not only is shopping second-hand a great idea for putting together a unique and personal look, but it’s also more ethically sound. Of course, you’ll need to research the shops you’re buying your clothes from, but by and large, when you’re buying clothes second-hand, you’re giving them a new home where otherwise they might be unsustainably discarded or thrown away. You never know what you might be able to find by shopping in the charity shops and second-hand stores of the world, so make sure to check those before you commit to buying new!
Stay on top of your wardrobe
When you’ve got clothes you no longer use – especially if they haven’t been worn much – it might be a good idea to see if you can sell them. By carrying out regular examinations of your wardrobe, you can see if there’s anything that would be better-served in someone else’s collection, and you might be able to make some cash into the bargain. Make sure to be relatively harsh with yourself; ask yourself if you’re really going to wear those heels or that sweater again. You’d be surprised by what you might be able to sell, so consider everything for this purpose!
Look for Sales
Most major clothing outlets, whether they be online or brick-and-mortar establishments (and often both), will have periodic sales where clothing is often discounted to a frankly ridiculous degree. Naturally, it goes without saying that you should look for these sales wherever you can. Just hitting the high street and wandering past some of the clothes shops should give you an idea of how regular the sales can be, and everything, from shoes all the way through to coats and accessories, could be discounted. Keep an eye out for sales whenever you go for your next shopping trip.
Buy clothes from friends or family members
Life is difficult at the moment, and friends and family could well need all the help they can get just like you might. If that’s the case, why not offer to buy used clothing from them? If you’re roughly the same size as a family member – a brother, say, or a cousin – then you might be able to offer them some cash for items they’re no longer using. That way, you’re buying sustainably, giving money to someone you know is going to use it well, and gaining some great fashion items into the bargain. Make sure to regularly ask friends or family if they’ve got clothes they’re no longer using.
Build yourself a budget
If you want to know exactly how much you’re spending on clothes – and, more to the point, how much you’ve got left over each month to allocate for this purpose – then it’s definitely a good idea to build yourself a budget. Sit down and work out exactly how much money you’ve got coming in across your whole household (assuming you’re living with a partner or a family) and how much you’re spending. Whatever’s left over after you’ve allocated money to the essentials like food and bills is how much you’ve got for frivolities like fashion. Use that budget well!
Wearing understated clothing can be just as trendy and exciting as going full maximalist, and you can spend a little less while you’re doing it. Consider buying pieces that are relatively quiet and muted; plain colours and little ornamentation will go a long way when it comes to building a look for yourself. Of course, you can still spend a lot of money on understated clothing, so make sure you aren’t just spending according to the brand. You could stand to lose a lot of money unnecessarily by doing so, which is why being careful when shopping is important.
Repair clothing instead of buying new
When clothes start to wear down, it’s a good idea to try and repair them instead of simply replacing them outright. You never know what items could get a new lease on life if you just spend a little time sewing on extra buttons or fixing rips, and if you do it right, you can make the item look like it’s never even been worn. Sometimes, of course, clothing is completely beyond repair, but most of the time, it’s possible to salvage items like coats or shirts, and you’ll feel like you’ve bought a new piece just by the simple act of repairing an old one.