How to Perfect Style on a Low Budget

Style on a low budget

You should never have to break out your savings for a nice outfit. Fashion is forever but style isn’t. Styles are constantly changing which means your clothes are too. Unless you know exactly what works for your body and you have consistently been wearing the same style for the past two years, do not break bank for clothes. There are many ways you can save your money and still look fashionable.

1. The closest mall is in your room

It is so easy to forget that everything you may want or need is already at your disposable. I suggest going through your closet at least once every 1-2 months to throw out what you no longer wear and to also remind yourself what you do have. Someone once told me that my closet should be representative of who I am: a 10. So look through your closet and get rid of pieces that are not ranked a 10. Haven’t worn it this past year? There’s probably a reason for it. Toss it! Does this piece only work with one specific outfit that you wear once every few years? Toss it too! Your clothes aren’t there to decorate your closet, they are there to decorate you. It’s also important to remind yourself of what you already have because too often, you will waste your money on similar purchases.

2. Put what you find on hold

When you do find what you like, do not buy it right away. Impulse buys can quickly eat up your money. If you find something in the store, put it on hold and take a day or two (depending on store policy) to decide if you really want it or not. The same goes for shopping online – keep it stored in your “shopping bag” for a few days. There is much more leniency with online shopping because your products are guaranteed to not run out within a few days. I have even come back a week later to purchase the things that have been sitting in my shopping bag. If you find yourself unable to think of anything but the item after 2 days to a week, then maybe it’s worth it. Most times you’ll forget about the item the next day and you will have saved money!

3. Always check out promotions

Some stores ALWAYS have promotions and it’s good to know when they usually happen. For example, Tobi has a 50% off sale very often so try not to buy the item right away because chances are, there will be a sale a week later and the item will still be available for purchase. If you’re shopping online, Google promotion codes for that site before you check out to see if you can save any money. Keep in mind to not succumb to every sale you see! Just because there is a sale, it doesn’t mean you’re actually saving money.

4. Check with a friend before you buy

My friends are my personal stylists. They remind me that I do not need to buy a polka dotted dress when my closet already has a polka dotted dress in a different color hanging. They tell me that a certain shirt style doesn’t flatter my body. These things are important: Never buy a product if it is not flattering to your body even if that certain style is “in” at the moment. When the next season comes, you’ll see that $150 shirt you bought last season hanging in your closet untouched.

5. Figure out the style that flatters you

Like I mentioned above, do not waste your money on pieces that don’t flatter your body shape because you will have wasted your money on something you feel uncomfortable wearing. Take some time to go try on several different styles. Just because you have a curvy body and the magazines tell you that peplums are the best style for you, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it actually is. There are other factors to take into consideration like comfort, height, confidence, etc. Once you figure out the style that caters to your body, you’ll stop wasting money you don’t have on clothes you won’t ever wear.

6. Stick to basics!

Simple works people! You do not need to indulge in expensive pieces to pull an outfit together. Solid colors work for every season. If you want to get a little creative, have some colorblock pieces that can be incorporated into several outfits. I have many basic chiffon tops hanging in my closet that can be worked into a night out in the city, to brunch, to school, etc. The key to a perfect style on a low budget is versatility and simplicity. Both you and your bank will be very pleased when you don’t have to buy a new outfit every time you go out. Basic pieces are also cheaper and are “in” every season.

Remember that you define fashion, not the other way around. Your style is whatever works for you and if expensive pieces aren’t working, don’t force it to.

Feature image: Orin Zebest, Creative Commons

Jenny Le
I'm an avid coffee drinker with a love for wine too. I love all things oversized and comfy, also known as my bed and the hundreds of unnecessary pillows. I get to live the best of both worlds in California and New York.