How to Be Fashionable on a Low Budget: Tips and Advice
Joey McDowell is an experienced writer and editor originally from the Dallas area. A firm believer in a well-balanced lifestyle, Joey applies this forward-thinking approach as the editor-in-chief of The Idea Trader. He travels extensively to find compelling stories and insightful individuals.
I think on some level, we all want to be fashionable. We all want to feel confident in our clothes, and at the same time, we want our clothes to be a reflection of our personalities.
But if you naturally have a taste for the finer things in life, then you might feel inclined to buy designer clothing, which of course can cost a pretty penny.
But having an unlimited wardrobe budget isn’t the only way to make sure that you can rock your personal style on a regular basis.
This article will explain how to be fashionable on a low budget. A big part of the formula is looking for ways to get the clothes you want at a price you can afford.
But it’s also about finding other ways to create your own unique sense of style and feel comfortable in whatever you’re wearing.
If you're looking to nail down a business casual look, check out this article for guidelines.
Find Your Style
Before getting started on collecting clothing that fits your style, you’ll need to figure out exactly what your style is, and what items can be a part of that style.
Try not to let a single brand or designer decide your style preferences. You’re an individual, and chances are you have your own unique sense of taste that’s the result of many different influences.
Let’s take a look at a couple of ways to hone in on your style so that you’ll be able to buy clothing more strategically.
Seasons are a common tool used to help guide you with regards to what colors you should wear to compliment your natural hair and skin color.
And while you certainly don’t have to adhere to these guidelines, they can certainly help out if you’ve been feeling stumped on what colors you should try to focus on for your wardrobe.
You can take an easy online quiz like this one to find your season, or you can speak with a stylist who will most likely be able to suggest a few colors soon after meeting you.
Finding people whose sense of style you admire can also help you find your own personal style and purchase pieces that adhere to it.
If you already have a celebrity whose style you watch carefully, pull up a few different pictures of them, from promotional photos to awards show appearances and everything in between.
Rather than taking note of which designers they’re wearing, try instead to focus on the colors they choose, how bold the styles are, and how confident they look when wearing a particular outfit.
More importantly, how many of these outfits look practical and could be used in multiple settings and situations?
But you don’t have to limit yourself to celebrities. Your fashion inspiration could come from anyone in your life, from close personal friends to fictional movie or TV characters.
You should also feel free to combine different styles in your own wardrobe, especially if you need lots of versatile outfits.
Now let’s get to the meat of finding outfits that you’ll love and wear again and again.
For starters, you should always look to buy used. If you’re buying clothes brand new, then you’re likely to run up against a few different problems.
For one, brand new designer clothes are incredibly expensive, and sometimes they’re not even well made.
And any new clothes that you can find for very little money are most likely from a fast-fashion company that focuses only on making cheap imitations of current trends, meant to be thrown away after just a few wears.
This kind of clothing can be dangerous to the environment and can also prevent you from building a reliable wardrobe that could last you for years to come.
As an alternative, check out some local consignment shops. The clothes on offer are curated by the store’s employees, who tend to know looks great and what will sell.
You may be able to find some designer clothing for relatively little money.
You’ll find something you love while supporting local businesses and preventing a piece of clothing from being added to the landfill.
There are also many different clothing resale websites that offer essentially the same service, just on a much larger scale.
These sites allow individuals to sell clothes in their possession. You’ll be able to see the size and designer of each item, as well as detailed photos of each item, before buying.
And down the road, if you feel like selling off a few of your own pieces for some extra cash, you can set up your own account with the site and put your old clothes on offer.
If you’re on an incredibly tight budget, then thrifting for new additions to your closet may be your best option.
Chances are you have several thrift stores in your city or town, all of which are likely to receive new clothing and items on a regular basis.
It’s definitely much more difficult to find designer pieces in a thrift store, and even if you do, they’re not likely to be in very good shape.
However, when it comes to thrifting, we recommend focusing less on finding clothing from recognizable brands and just looking for clothes that you like personally, regardless of who made them.
Don’t be too shy to try a few things on and make sure that each piece fits to your liking.
At the end of the day, you could take home a bunch of new clothes while spending very little money in the process.
More Than Just the Clothes
As a closing, we just wanted to remind our readers that looking and feeling fashionable is about much more than the clothes you wear.
It’s about finding clothes that speak to who you are as a person and projecting confidence while you’re wearing them.
Just think back to high school. There was probably a guy or gal who had their own very specific way of dressing, and they probably seemed pretty cool as a result.
That effect wasn’t all thanks to the clothes. On a more insecure person, unique style can make for a real challenge when going out in public.
But if you really like the way you look, your mood and expression can be a hundred times more important than the clothes themselves.