You had some loose change lying around – while most of it came from exchanging cash for pizza, the rest of it was found immersed in between the couch and within your coat pockets. You decide to splurge on yourself for the very first time in ages – a bag from Gucci or Chanel seems exquisite, but even if you have to kid yourself with these luxuries, you know you can’t afford them for the time being. Do you know what seems perfect right now? New underwear and a couple of pairs of socks and stockings – yours have welcomed moths to party and there’s no way in a hundred moons that you’re going to wear them to work or at home.

Growing up is hard – we agree – it opens up a can of worms, making you realize that this can is actually homologous to your bank account that just cannot do justice to protect your savings. Life is hard when you’re on a budget – half of your salary is vetted out on your house rent and bills while the other half – if you’re lucky – is spent on food and basic clothing.

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You want to appear fashionable and look stylish, but as much as you hate paying your rent, bills and taxes, you know you can’t expect to see yourself in Chanel for a long time for now.

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Every day, you meet people from all walks of life. While there are a few who can afford the prime luxuries of life, there are others, who consciously or due to their monetary concerns, learn how to dab a bit of their war paint to look amazing and well, exquisite enough on a budget.

Even if you can’t afford Chanel right now, you can at least afford to take Chanel’s golden advice to look good, right?
In order to help you look good and fashionable on a budget, your fairy godmother and tooth fairy came together to help you channel your inner style icon so that you can wear your war paint with confidence and elegance.

Mentioned below are 7 ways that you can look fashionable on a budget.

1) Define Your Style

First things first – you can’t follow a trend hot off the ramp or cater to thrift sales or bargain racks if you don’t know what you’re looking for in the first place. This is a tough question, but it will solve half of your problems, then and there. Since our preferences change, it is better to ask yourself what you like to wear and see in your wardrobe occasionally.

The first step to defining your style is to create a basic framework that you’d like to follow – regardless of your budget. When you’ve defined your style, you can then assess the Internet for style tips or your fellow influencers or role models on how you can style the bare minimum to look effortless and chic. For instance, analyze a variety of styles and head over to your local boutique to try on outfits to see how you look in them.

Try out constantly ad browse till you make peace with the colors and cuts that might look good on your frame. Make a list of the things that help you look appealing and you’d prefer including into your wardrobe. Try to dedicate a month towards the expenditure of an outfit. For instance, you can keep May for buying a couple of pair of jeans and cater to tops in June. This will help you create your entire wardrobe with no dents to your budget or savings.

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2) What Do You Need

Check out different websites such as Pinterest for the styles you crave for. Try to keep your work and everyday routine in mind. For instance, let’s suppose you found a pearl necklace that appears to be a good investment for the long run. However, do you really need this pearl necklace when the only occasion you’re ever invited to wear a formal is either on Christmas or weddings that are quite rare in your circle, currently?

Is spending a hundred dollars on a pearl necklace a good choice when the options to wear it are so rare? Is this really a good investment, or should you spend the hundred dollars on basic staples to guarantee different looks for the rest of the year?

When you’ve decided on an outfit, you can then cater to Pinterest or Instagram to check how you can style your clothing to get maximum tries out of it.

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3) Assess Your Wardrobe

Why are you harbouring ‘old crap’ such as worn out tank tops, torn and treated jeans or accessories that you no longer cater to at the back of your wardrobe?

First things first, you need to assess your wardrobe with a couple of conscious questions: Do you need the clothing you’re holding on to? Do these accessories and outfits define your style or will they be better off in a junkyard?

  • Toss– Once you’ve analyzed your wardrobe critically, be sure to toss the clothing that’s tormented and tousled to such an extent that you can no longer wear it.
  • Give away– Donate the items that you no longer fit in and can fit someone who you know can benefit from it. Host a neighbourhood yard sale and sell those things off if you can’t find anyone to donate them to, or simply sell them to a thrift shop and earn money off your secondhand merchandise.
  • Swap– Find people who might be interested in swapping your items for theirs. For instance, if you no longer need your heels, then perhaps you can exchange them for a pair of boots with your best friend or someone down the block. The internet is a good place to start – upload your items on Facebook and invite people to swap your items for theirs.

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4) Second-Hand Merchandise is Okay

Try telling yourself that wearing second-hand merchandise doesn’t and definitely wouldn’t put you down the status ladder. There are plenty of thrift shops that sell outfits which have been worn only once or twice by their snooty owners. If you can find a good pair of ripped jeans for half the price that Burberry is selling, then perhaps, you’re the one who’s lucked out. If you’re lucky, you can get vintage clothing for a price of a pair of knickers at another shop – these thrift shops are hidden gold mines and shouldn’t be ignored.

Finding second-hand shops is tricky – usually, online merchants can rip you off with merchandise that appears good in pictures but isn’t nearly half what you’d expected it to be. If you’re buying second-hand material online, then ask for testimonials and proof for the outfits they’re selling. Secondly, try to look for places that are selling original items for the same price that aren’t of branded vendors. Always remember – try not to mix quantity with poor quality.

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5) Stalk Shops for Sales

Imagine what an investment your pair of jeans would be if you wait for the boutique to issue a sale mid-season? Stop paying full price for outfits that you can wait for and acquire in sales for half the original price. In order to stay on alert, here’s what you should do:

  • Ask the customer care support of your brick-and-mortar store if they have an online e-commerce platform that you can shop from. Lend your contact details to the website by catering to their email distribution list so that you can learn about their sales via updates and alerts.
  • Ask your vendor if they have a rewards program that guarantees discounts to loyal members and shoppers who are registered on it. Usually, brands will take the time to notify you via text messages and/or e-mails if you’re close to cutting the deal.
  • Save money for Black Friday and end-of-season sales. There are a lot of people, who despite being on a budget or not, save their money so that they can splurge at the time of these humongous sales. Make a list of things that you ‘want’ so that you can hit the shops for a magnificent shopping experience.

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6) Shop for Staples

Shopping for staples helps you recreate looks for days when you are unsure about what to wear. Playing mix-and-match with your staples will help you reach a toll of 120 playful outfits, at the very least. Let’s walk you through this properly.

  • Begin with a couple of basic t-shirts and woven tops such as checkered or gingham button-down shirts that you can pair with a tank-top or crop top. Fill your wardrobe with plain tees with crew or round necklines and crop tops so that you can mix them with any bottoms and shoes for a classic touch.
  • If you’re confused about your shoes, then begin with a pair of oxfords, bleachers, vans or canvases so that you can wear them with almost any outfit you desire. Basic footwear is an essential and put you off for a couple of years if you’re treat-wise about them.
  • Your lowers and bottoms should consist of a few basic short and long skirts, a couple of jeans – distressed and plain would do – and a couple of plain (black and white) trousers with a few lounging tracksuits to start with.
  • Your outerwear should consist of a basic blazer, a denim jacket, a couple of plain hoodies, plain cashmere or acrylic sweaters and sweatshirts that you can wear without any outfit concern.

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7) Stock Up on Your Fashion Accessories

Styling is necessary, and not everyone can afford a stylist. Be open to combinations as your fashion accessories can help you style any dull outfit – especially the one you create from your basic staples. For instance, if you plan on wearing a basic skirt with a crop top to a weekend date, then try to pair this with a denim jacket along with a pair of studs, a matching bandana and smokey-eye makeup or the grunge look. Wear your ballet flats or wedges, and take along a leather satchel to match with your outfit.

For this purpose, try to look for inspiration from Pinterest and Instagram. There are countless ways that you can style your outfits and wear them to your ease. For instance, you can wear a tee or a button-down shirt and tie a knot at the end or leave the first two buttons unbuttoned to create an off-the-shoulder look, respectively.

Similarly, according to the situation, you can either wrap your necklace around your waist (in case of the cropped up tee) or wrap a choker around your neck to shed some light on your toned shoulders.

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Choose accessories that are unique and can be paired with a multitude of outfits in your wardrobe. Track down YouTube for your basic DIY style tutorial and the thrift stores to chalk up on accessories. Use your imagination, for instance, you can use remaining pieces of clothing or simple ribbons to wrap around your neck as necklaces or make tassel earrings or studs yourself.

Try to be crafty and creative with your imagination so that you can wear your outfit a couple hundred times without repeating the same look again and again.

Author Bio:

Judy Robinson is a passionate health and lifestyle blogger. She loves to write on healthy lifestyle, fitness 101 and DIY related topics. Currently, she is associated with Sophie and Trey. Follow @judyrobinson for more updates.