If you love dressing up and are constantly on the lookout for ways to elevate your style game, you might come to a point where you’ll reach a style impasse. How will you be able to inject your outfits with a little more panache without forking over hundreds of dollars? How can you look as stylish as your favorite fashion icons even when you don’t have a fashion-house budget?
For fashion aficionados who want to look like a million bucks on a tiny fraction of that amount, here are some useful style tips. Stand out and look perfectly put together, all without exhausting too much money or effort!
Focus on Getting a Few Quality Pieces Over Lots of Poor-Quality Ones
As with most things, quality beats quantity when it comes to clothes and accessories. Keep this in mind and choose to invest in style staples that you know you’ll wear often. This means you should only shop hosiery, tops, pants, and underwear made from high-quality materials.
These items will do more than simply elevate the aesthetic appeal of your outfits. They can also serve as building blocks for the classiest of ensembles for years, as long as you follow the wash and care instructions on the labels.
That said, it’s true that buying these kinds of items will at first seem too expensive upfront. However, buying clothes made of cheap fabric results in higher expenses in the long run, since these clothes get easily destroyed over time and need more frequent replacement.
Learn How to Mix and Match with the Right Patterns and Fabrics
Dressing well while on a budget also involves understanding how to combine different textures and styles of clothing. This is the secret to making outfits seem like they’re brand new every time.
Try matching muted or neutral tones with more adventurous patterns so that the latter can pop without looking overdone. Or, see what effect it has on your outfit when you mix textures. Pair a plain cotton fabric shirt with a leather or suede skirt, or flip things around and wear a ruffled sleeveless top with a plain solid-colored pencil skirt or bandage skirt.
You can even combine items that are the same color or that occur in the same family of hues as long the materials are of a different texture. That strategy will prevent the outfit from looking like a one-note number. As long as you know how to mix and match properly, you can give old or budget clothes a more premium and upgraded feel.
Buy Versatile Accessories to Play Around With
Statement pieces and accessories can elevate and change any look. Indeed, pairing various accessories such as headwear and jewelry with the same outfit can give it a totally different vibe. To give you some ideas, stud earrings are good for everyday wear, while fancy necklaces are best for formal outfits. Meanwhile, a neutral-toned leather watch can be used both for the office and for casual days.
Whether you’d like to spend a little extra on a few accessories or thrift a large assortment of pieces from vintage clothing stores, flea markets, or clothing exchanges is really up to you. In truth, you’ll be able to find interesting items from both premium stores and bargain establishments. Regardless of where you source your accessories, try to experiment with various combinations of what you have. Doing so will sharpen your fashion sense and help you unlock many different ensembles, each with its own unique sense of flair.
Schedule Shopping Trips During End-of-Season Sales or Other Large Promotional Events
One fashion tip that will help you maximize a limited clothing budget is to shop during end-of-season sales, buy-one-take-one campaigns, or other promos. For this shopping strategy, make it a point to engage with salespeople, download fashion store apps, or subscribe to the newsletters of your favorite clothing brands. This is where you’ll find key info about when the next sales are and what kinds of items you can score at cheaper prices.
Some establishments even offer extra perks during the sale season. For example, they may let you reserve items under your name which you can check out on the day of the sale itself. Alternatively, they may offer you freebies or extra discounts on additional fashion items when you spend a certain minimum amount on your order total. Sometimes, the discounts are small; other times, you may just score excellent bargains. Either way, you’ll be able to save money that can be used on other essentials or put towards your savings.
Save Money and Find Interesting Clothing Items Through Clothing Swaps
For a cheap and fun way to score interesting clothing items—some of which may even become the MVPs of your next high fashion-inspired outfit—try joining a clothing swap. On top of being able to find eye-catching items that you don’t already have, you’ll be able to offload clothes you’ve outgrown or that you no longer need.
Indeed, few things will be as satisfying as a great clothing swap with someone else. After all, both parties will be able to gain something without spending too much money or being wasteful.
One of the keys to reaching good agreements during clothing swaps is to make a list of things your wardrobe needs more of, then prioritize claiming those items among the countless pieces the other parties may be willing to exchange.
Do a closet inventory to determine which clothes you can toss into the swapping pile and which ones to retain. Then, trade away with your new clothing swap buddies.
As you may have learned from the tips above, the secret to looking classy on a budget is getting the most mileage out of the clothes you can afford to buy. You will also be able to save money by looking for viable alternatives to full-price items in retail stores, like items in bargain stores or items that are on the sales rack.
All in all, just remember to be purposeful about both your styling and your spending. Once you have that in mind, it will be both easier and more fun to take your outfits to the next level!