Dressing on a Budget: 3 Simple Tips for Fashionistas!

Life can be frustrating when you have a head for fashion but no money to spend on upgrading your wardrobe. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, all you need to do is realize that being broke and looking stylish aren’t mutually exclusive.

Yes, you can dress well even when you’re on a tight budget! If you’re ready to know how, read on for three simple tips to bring out the fashionista in you.

Dressing on a Budget: 3 Simple Tips for Fashionistas!
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Get Your Basics Right

It’s important to have basics that you can count on for all occasions. These pieces form your core wardrobe, enabling you to look great at all times and allowing you to mix and match effortlessly.

Here are some essentials you should have:

  • 4-5 camisoles, undershirts, or t-shirts in neutral colors like black, grey, brown and navy
  • 1-2 formal shirts
  • A couple of cardigans in neutral colors and one in a bright color
  • A formal skirt
  • A cocktail dress
  • A couple of summer dresses and casual skirts
  • A couple of leggings or tights in neutral colors
  • 2-3 pairs of jeans in different styles or colors
  • A black or brown trench coat or pea coat
  • A pair each of black or nude heels, black or nude flats, statement heels in a bold color or print, boots, and sandals

Apart from these, be sure to have a couple of silver, gold, and pearl necklaces and studs, 1-2 leather belts, some brooches and scarves, a couple of watches, and a couple of good handbags and wallets.

Aim for Classics

Fashion should be fun, so don’t stop yourself from buying the latest trends. That being said, don’t follow trends blindly; what’s in vogue now may not stand the test of time. As you’re on a budget, you certainly can’t afford to spend a lot of money on something only to have it sitting in your wardrobe months later due to it falling out of fashion.

To ensure you have a wardrobe-full of wearable clothes, pick classics. Here’s a list to help you:

  • White t-shirt
  • White blouse
  • Crewneck sweater
  • Pencil skirt
  • Little black dress
  • Leather jacket
  • Skinny jeans in a dark wash
  • Black pumps

Do note that today’s trends may be tomorrow’s classics. So if you come across something that you have your heart set on, do give it a time machine test- if you think it will stay in fashion for quite a while, go ahead and buy it. If you’re unsure about spotting classics, look for apparel with clean, minimalist lines. If buying patterns, go for stripes, polka dots, or leopard.

Once you have all the basics and classics, don’t be afraid to jazz up your wardrobe with a handful of trends!

Dressing on a Budget: 3 Simple Tips for Fashionistas!
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Buy Wisely

Whether you’re out to buy basics, classics, or the latest rage, be sure to spend your money wisely. Read on for some shopping tips:

  • Assess your wardrobe first. Note down items you need to buy or wish to have, this way, you won’t go about purchasing unnecessary things or items that won’t go with the rest of your wardrobe.
  • Stick to a color palette if you’re just starting out building an impressive wardrobe. By doing so, you will always have items that match well with each other, and you’ll be able to create varied outfits.
  • When you see an item you like, consider if it will pair well with at least three items in your wardrobe. Also, favor items that can be used to create more outfits.
  • An easy way to look well-dressed is to wear clothes that fit you well. So make sure you’re buying the right size every time. Try on clothes before buying so you get an idea about the fit. If need be, get clothes altered at the store or head to your tailor’s.
  • Tailored clothing costs more, but if you have the spare cash, do give it a shot.
  • Always opt for quality over quantity. Three t-shirts for the price of one can seem to be too good an offer to refuse when you’re on a budget, but don’t give in if the quality isn’t up to the mark. Check the fabric, seams, lining, zippers, and buttons, and you’ll be easily able to tell if clothing is well-made or cheap.
  • Check clothes for tears before buying. If buying items from the clearance section or second-hand, make sure they don’t look old or worn out.
  • Patience is a virtue, especially when you have to shop on a budget. So if you see something you really love and know that it won’t get sold out, wait to buy it- you never know if you might get it at a discounted price a month or two later!
  • Along the same lines, buy clothing out of season to get good discounts.
  • Check out store websites and compare prices online to snag the best deal. Browse websites like freebies.org to save money on cosmetics and food and spend on quality clothes.


If you’ve tried everything you possibly could to look well-dressed on a budget but have failed miserably, you now know better! Implement the tips given here right away and you’re sure to build the wardrobe of your dreams soon enough.

(Image Credits: 1, 2)

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