Keeping up with fashion trends can be exhausting and very expensive. So, how does one do it without breaking the bank?
Selecting the right pieces and knowing when and where to get them is important.
Here are some tips to look stylish on a budget.
1. Clean appearance
Look clean and neat. Take care of your skin, nails and hair. This way, even cheap clothes can look great on you.
It is not necessary to splurge on expensive facials or skincare treatments (unless one has a skin condition that needs dermatological treatment) or pricey makeup and hair extensions.
Just look fresh, dress simple and live a healthy lifestyle. Eating well, drinking water, exercising regularly and grabbing a good night’s sleep can give a healthy glow and a nicer appearance.
2. Dress right
Dress right according to your body shape. Clothes that flatter your body shape can make them look and feel great, regardless of the price tag.
Try on clothes before buying. It helps to explore different sizes, styles and colours to find something that is the right fit, makes you feel comfortable and brings out your self-confidence.
It will also save money on buying replacements for mistakes.
3. Avoid fast fashion
According to Investopedia, fast fashion is used to describe clothing designs that move quickly from the catwalk to stores to meet new trends. Fast fashion allows mainstream you to purchase trendy clothing at affordable prices.
It allows you to follow the latest trends and buy more fashionable clothes more frequently. Yes, fast fashion is cheaper, but there are drawbacks to buying cheap.
First, the temptation is to buy more and more, far beyond your needs.
Secondly, the quality may be suspect, meaning you will likely have to buy new clothes more quickly to replace worn out clothing. Not to mention that the latest trends fade with every season and each season leads to more spending.
Third, fast fashion is very bad for the environment with tons of clothing discarded every year, not to mention the pollution caused by the production of cheap clothing.
Focus on buying classic styles and basic pieces that are always in style – T-shirts, jeans, simple skirts and plain jackets.
Check that the material and the tailoring is good. Pick solid colours that are easy to mix and match while looking elegant. This creates a timeless chic style without the need to buy every latest fashion trend available.
4. Buy during sales or clearance periods
One way to shop for clothes on a budget is to buy them during the sales season or on clearance promotion.
Browse the out-of-season clothing rack, where prices have been slashed to clear the store’s stock.
Be mindful when shopping during special sales because it is easy to lose control and end up buying more.
Just as one does for grocery shopping, list the clothes that are needed instead of buying without a plan. Planning can help save money and avoid spending on unnecessary items.
5. Shop in thrift stores
Try a thrift shop where perfectly good clothing at super low prices can be found. Thrifting can be exhausting and will take up a lot of time (if one is determined) but a gem could be added to a collection of fashionable clothing.
Other than physical stores, owners sometimes sell preloved items on the internet.
Check out Mudah (Google Play, App Store) and Carousell (Google Play, App Store) for used items in good condition at much lower prices. Some of them are branded items that were originally very expensive.
6. Declutter your wardrobe
Old jeans? That hat that you haven’t worn in years? It can be surprising to find the wonders that lie within a wardrobe. Declutter and reorganise your wardrobe regularly so you know what you own.
As renowned organiser Marie Kondo said, keep things that spark joy. If old clothes still fit well and look good, reuse them, especially if they are vintage and have a timeless design.
Things that no longer fit or have faded can be donated to a charity that re-sells them for profit or to any non-governmental organisation that accepts used clothes for the needy.
Or consider selling unwanted clothing that is in great condition to thrift stores or online at Mudah and Carousell.
7. Mix and match your style
Mix and match existing accessories and clothes. Even old clothes can be elevated with the right accessories (which don’t cost a lot of money).
Find accessories or jewellery that can add a stylish touch. A necklace, vintage print headscarf, jeans jacket, baseball cap or a belt can add flair and change up an outfit.
Changing a blazer to a cardigan and heels to sneakers can take an outfit from career style to casual outing.
Think of outfits as entire combinations and change items to match the look of the day instead of changing the entire outfit and wasting money on buying for every look and style.