Being fashionable is a great way to express yourself and let your personality shine through. Fortunately, there's no need to break the bank in order to do so, as these tips on how to be fashionable on a budget will demonstrate.
It's natural to want to keep an eye on your spending while also keeping an eye on your appearance. In fact, striking a balance between allowing your sense of style to shine through and taking control of your finances is a great way to ensure your money management is long-term sustainable.
Fortunately, when money is tight or you're simply on a tight budget, looking great doesn't have to be expensive.
Using affordable fashion options, in particular, can be one of the best options for updating your wardrobe. Continue reading to find out how to look sophisticated on a budget in more detail.
How to Look Fashionable on a Shoestring
1. Make use of cash back apps
When it comes to clothing – or anything else, for that matter – there's no reason to pay full price these days. With so many apps available that aim to help you save money, all you have to do is install them to help you cut your fashion costs.
Ibotta is a good option for this. This app gives you money back when you shop at over 500,000 online and physical stores, including many clothing and accessory retailers.
To get started, all you need to do is sign up for Ibotta. You'll also receive a free $20 welcome bonus simply for downloading the app!
2. Receive automatic discounts on your online purchases
There's nothing stopping you from combining the savings from your cash back app with the benefits of another app.
Honey is an excellent example of this. It's an app that automatically finds the best online shopping deals from over 30,000 websites.
It also searches for coupon codes in real time and automatically applies them at checkout with a single click. All you have to do is install the free Honey browser extension and you're ready to go.
3. Create your own personal style
Is this something you've done: you're wandering around a store, see a discounted shirt from famous brands on the racks, try it on, think it's "fine," but it's on sale, so why not, buy it, and then shove it in the back of your wardrobe, never to be worn again?
To begin, the same.
Second, it should go without saying that this isn't exactly a winning strategy when it comes to looking fashionable on a budget.
This is not exactly a capsule wardrobe. Instead, it shifts you away from having an overstuffed closet full of items you may or may not wear. You'll then be encouraged to build a leaner wardrobe out of items that aren't necessarily the cheapest on the market, but that you actually like – and look good in.
It's a great strategy for saving money while also looking more expensive with pieces that actually match your personal style.
4. Create a capsule wardrobe
If the concept of a curated closet doesn't appeal to you, how about the ever-popular concept of the capsule wardrobe?
This has gained popularity in recent years, particularly as people become more aware of the benefits of minimalism. Not only can this be a great money-saving trick, but having less stuff is also a great way to reduce your overall stress levels.
Wendy Mak's book The Capsule Wardrobe shows you how to create 1,000 outfits from just 30 pieces to get you started. As you can probably tell, this can be a very effective way to be fashionable on a budget.
5. Go scavenging
Thrift shopping is perhaps the most obvious idea if you're looking cute on a budget – but that's because it works!
You might be surprised at how easy it is to find big-name brands at low prices when shopping at thrift stores. However, depending on where you live, your mileage may vary. Remember that the general demographic of the area where the thrift store is located will influence the sizes, selection, and prices.
Stop by your favourite thrift store and strike up a conversation with the cashier to see if they can give you the inside scoop on when new items arrive. Greater popular thrift stores will see "new" items scooped up in a depend of hours, so if you're seeking out stylish garments on a price range, this could be a good manner to get ahead of the crowd.
6. Begin thrifting online
You don't even need to leave your house to reap the benefits of thrifting. Instead, there are now a plethora of online stores selling high-quality clothing at reasonable prices, allowing you to save significantly on many of your favourite items.
Online thrifting is, in my opinion, by far the best way to look fancy on a budget. After all, it means you're not limited to the clothing options available in your neighbourhood. Instead, you have access to almost the entire country as a source of great deals.
Most of these websites sell bags, clothing, jewellery, shoes, and a variety of other items. You can also search by designer, size, clothing type, and other criteria.
The best site to use will be determined by your search criteria. For example, if you want to look rich without spending a lot of money (well, not too much), you should probably go for secondhand designer pieces. Poshmark is most likely the best option for this.
However, if you want to dress classily on a budget but don't care about name brands, a site like Mercari might be a better fit.
Look for ideas on blogs, passers-by, or magazines. Knowing how clothing pieces will look together as a whole can help you save money when putting together outfits where each one is an ensemble. Allow yourself the time and space to define and visualise your personal style.
One clever trick is to create something akin to a Pinterest board. Playing around with different looks online is free and the simplest way to get started. This allows you to save all of your brilliant ideas and have them ready in just a few clicks when you're ready to start putting these looks together.