How to Dress Well On a Budget?

How to Dress Well On a Budget

Dressing well is often considered an expensive and complicated activity. It is not that complicated and expensive. It all starts with considering what all you already have and then further shopping the great pieces for your closet. Get rid of what you don’t wear anymore and focus on adding neutral colors and classic styles that never go out of fashion. Instead of spending money on trendy and expensive pieces buy high-quality basics and wait for trendy accessories to be on sale. If we wear clothes with confidence and take adequate care of them, we can look amazing every day. I have seen people carrying such basic outfits with such a swag that they amaze everyone around them.

Well Organised Wardrobe

List all your Regular Activities

Consider a particular season or week and jot down all the regular activities that you dress for. Write the type of clothing that you require for each environment. When assessing your wardrobe, keep these clothing categories and activities in mind. 

  • Prepare a list like:- School(casual), Bailet ( bailey dress), Running( athletic wear), Internship ( formal ), pottery classes(messy old clothes)
  • This approach will help you avoid buying pieces that you don’t need such as “swimming gear”. You haven’t added swimming in your list but you were keeping these clothes “ just in case”. This will help you avoid that.
  • If you have an active lifestyle and dress very casually for school, try adding your wardrobe with Comfortable athletic apparel like running pants, dry-fit t-shirts and basics like plane blue, black denim, and striped tops. Don’t buy dresses or shoes which you plan to wear very occasionally.

Keep the clothes that fit you well and go along with your lifestyle

Start by taking out everything that you have in your closet, shelves, and drawers. Look at every outfit one by one and decide whether you need it or not. Create a heap of clothes that are best fitted and are appropriate for the activities you listed out. The reorganize your closet by folding/hanging clothes from your heap and keep them at a spot where you can easily reach them.

  • This approach is called “shopping your wardrobe”. Our wardrobe consists of pieces that we love but we don’t wear them often. Try this approach and you will feel that you have so many pieces that were just sitting in your wardrobe. You have so many clothes that you rediscovered by not even spending a penny. 
  • Create a pile of clothes that you don’t want, are too old or don’t fit you anymore. Get rid of these clothes by either donating them or selling them online or in a garage sale.

Get your clothes altered by a Tailor

If you own a pair of pants that are a little loose or tight just get it altered by your tailor nearby. Usually pants come with some extra cloth that is folded inside, which can be used when we gain some fat. If your long sleeves, skirts or trousers get them hemmed to your perfect length. If you have a pair of jeans that are torn from bottom get it trimmed into a short. 

  • Just because you like a piece never buy it just like that make sure that it is of proper fitting if it’s loose from the waist it can be altered but never buy a piece in which alterations are to be done on the shoulder area as they are the hardest to fix.
  • Give your old clothes a new look with some simple alterations. If you have old saree you don’t wear anymore get it stitched into a beautiful traditional lehenga, Hem a dress into a blouse, Use patches if your jeans are just torn from a particular area plus this gives your jeans a trendy look as well.

Throw your undergarments that don’t fit you anymore

Dressing starts initially with our undergarments. Throw bras that are too small or big as they create a mess under your clothes which is pretty visible outside your dress as well. Do the same with briefs, panties. If undergarments are not comfortable you can not be at peace. They are of crucial importance. Throw a pair of torn socks or mismatched socks.

  • When wearing suits, always aim to match your sock color with the trousers.
  • Measure your breast and purchase bras which are of the right size and style that you are most comfortable in.
  • If you are wearing a skirt which is see-through, no matter how expensive it is, it will give a cheap look Make sure to wear a slip underneath which will give your look some modesty.
  • Consider wearing perfect fitted shapewear under special occasion dresses, the shapewear will enhance your body posture and make you more confident about your look.

Investing in Right Clothing

Shop for clothes that suit your body shape

Accurately measure your body and determine your body shape. Once you know what your body shape is. Start searching online guides for how to dress based on your body shape.

Make notes of what stylists recommend these tips can be really useful as they know what they are talking about. Try different outfits based on what you should wear and what you should not base on your body shape. By this, you will know what looks good on you and suits perfectly on your body shape. This approach will help you limit your wardrobe choices and you will choose the most appealing outfits.

  • Body shape includes pear-shaped, triangular, hourglass, apple and more. Find out what describes your body shape the most.
  • While measuring your body keep a note of measurements on your smartphone so that they are available while you go on shopping next time. This will help you buy perfectly fitted clothes every time you shop.
  • We often buy for our future selves. How we want to look shortly. This makes us purchase small and tight fitted clothes, which we never wear as they are very uncomfortable for us. We shall buy clothes according to our current body shape and by this, we will look more stylish and feel a lot more comfortable

Choose classic styles rather than running after trends.

We have a habit of buying what is in trend as this makes us look more stylish and trendy but these fashion designs change very rapidly. These styles are short-lived and after that, we never even carry that clothing. For ex- bell-bottom jeans were very trendy in the early 90s but after one or two years they were out of fashion. We buy these designs to stand out but are these worth spending huge chunks of money and that too for such a short period. Instead buy pieces that will stick around for years and won’t change with changing trends.

  • The classic style includes a black leather jacket, a pair of dark wash jeans, and a grey trench coat.
  • Outfits like a blazer, jacket or coat can elevate a basic outfit.
  • Avoid clothes with Some special quality such styles are very short-lived like rugged jeans, baggy pants, netted shirts, etc.
  • Stop wearing extreme designer pieces as they are not suited for every occasion and are often worn once or twice in our whole lives

Purchase only solid-color clothes in your favorite color shade

A solid color piece will stay in fashion longer than any other printed or patterned design. Stick with neutrals like white, black, camel and grey. Choose brighter colors like saturated shades and jewel-tone shades. Start with what you have in your closet and work in that direction only, don’t mix and match different colors and end up looking like a fashion disaster.

  • Avoid buying cheap printed stuff, these prints fade away after two or three washes and end up looking very bad.
  • Now I agree wearing solids can be boring but here I use a smart approach buy solids of the color you love and that too in different textures like I love the color red so I buy shirts, T-shirts, faux leather jackets, woolen knitted sweaters they all look so different, you can use the same approach.
  • It’s generally easy to match with solid colors as there are no pattern clashes.

Purchase clothes that you can mix-and-match or layer along with your existing clothing

Make a small functional capsule wardrobe. Whenever you are shopping next time shop according to the clothes you already have. Buy clothes which are perfect for your existing set of clothes and match perfectly.

  • If you are buying a piece but you very well know you won’t wear it more than 3-4 times consider dropping the idea of buying it.
  • Look for basic coats and cardigans which can be layered with simple anything. Choose dresses and shirts which will match with your existing pair of jeans or pants.
  • If you have 20 tops, 8 pairs of jeans, 6 skirts, 2 pairs of shorts you can make nearly 300-350 outfits out of these.

Spend your money on high-quality wardrobe basics. 

Buy high-quality wardrobe basics that you will wear for upcoming years. Upgrade your holey underwear, torn socks. Aim for well fitted and high-quality pieces that are made for the long run and don’t wear off with a little wash. You can also use this strategy on other essentials like bags, shoes, etc.

Shop Frugally

Wait to buy trendy items until they are on sale

 Now that your capsule wardrobe is all set, you can still add some funky and classy accessories but there is a little hack to this. Usually, at the beginning of the trend these things turn out to be very expensive but as the season passes these items are reduced at a huge discount. Wait for the sale to come and grab it as soon as it gets on sale and an affordable price.

  • Waiting for the product also makes you aware that you want the product or you were going just with the hype.
  • There is a very good hack which I use by shopping at the end of the season. The end of season sale is the time when we grab very good deals as the retailers have already made the share of profit and want to get rid of the leftover stock due to storage issues. This opportunity can not be used in that season but if you are shopping at a winter end of season sale then you might get a very good and premium jacket at an affordable price.

Apply coupons and discounts while shopping

Now you must be thinking if the product is already on sale then why hassle for coupons, but many stores offer coupons that can be applied to any item. By applying these coupons you get an additional discount. Avoid paying full prices at the clothes you wanna buy. Make a habit of buying from the sale and clearance section only. When you shop online shop from discounts sections and if you particularly like an item and it is not on sale or any promo code can not be used on it, then add to your wishlist and wait for the sale to come. Avoid impulsive buys. There are many retailers which offer special discounts like student discounts. You can also sign up for the newsletter of your favorite brand. Brands send special discounts and promo codes to the subscribers of their newsletter.

Buy quality clothes from off-price retailers

Off retailers are known for the diversity of styles and have a mix of high and lower-end brands.

Browse these stores instead of going to high boutiques or designer brands. Always come with a shopping list so your search is restricted and you don’t get lured into the trap of excessive shopping. Don’t buy because the price of a product is low, Try and buy the clothing that fit you the most.

  • Popular off-price retailers in the US include Ross, Burlington Coat Factory, DSW, Stein Mart, TJ Maxx, Marshall’s.
  • Off-price retailers associated with department stores are Saks Off 5th, Neiman Marcus Last Call.
  • Do try factory stores and outlets as they run on heavy discounts.

Try shopping from thrift stores

Look for pre-loved pieces from Thrift stores. Many pieces still have their brand tag and were donated new to the thrift store. If you find a good piece that suits your budget and goes well with your wardrobe grab it.

  • Thrift stores have clothing that is either donated or is given under a consignment to sell. Make sure the product you buy doesn’t have any stains and holes and if it has zippers they are working correctly.

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