budget · closet · clothes · DIY · fashion · style · tips · tricks

Look Good, On A Budget


Everyone wants to look stylish and put together. That is a universal truth. But not everyone has the sources to buy the latest trends. So they think that they have to make do with what they have and succumb to basic wardrobes that does not show off their tastes. But the truth is that, when it comes to fashion, money does not really matter. What matters is your taste.  You may have fewer numbers of clothes, but if they are the right ones, being stylish is easy. Have a look at these following tips to figure out how to dress stylishly, within your budget.

What To Buy

  • The trick to staying stylish on a budget is to be smart about your wardrobe. Buying something pretty just because they are in your price range is the biggest no-no. You might not even wear it because it doesn’t go with anything else in your wardrobe, and the accumulation of such pieces can fill up your wardrobe.
  •   If you get the basic pieces of your wardrobe right, it will be much easier to put outfits together. The basics clothing necessities may vary from one person to another, depending on their lifestyle, financial position, career position and moral values.
    If you consider a young Indian girl, in school or college, the basics necessities will be
1.       2 pair of jeans- a black and a dark blue wash
2.       2-3 basic solid color camisoles – black, white and nude shade
3.       Some basic t-shirts, kurtis and tops.
4.       One or two good basic dresses
5.       At least 2 patiala bottoms- in black and white
6.       At least one classic anarkali suit

For the guys, this could be 2 pairs of jeans, some basic T-shirts and casual shirts, one or two pairs of formal trousers, good set of kurta-pyjama and maybe even a sharp blazer.
  •  Although you are on a budget, there are some things it is better to splurge on. These include the formal “festive wear” clothes- anarkali/ kurta-pyjama, a good bag and the correct fitting pair of jeans. All these are things you are not going to repurchase all the time. So save up and buy the best quality ones, so that they will last you for a longer time and help you save money in the long term.
  • The next step is to identify the items you can buy cheap and can help transform your look easily. This includes accessories and shoes. For girls, jewelry such as a great pair of earrings or a statement necklace can instantly make an outfit look a whole lot different. For both girls and boys, scarves and shoes are the other options. You can buy them at cheap prices; especially while street shopping at cheap prices. Tying scarves in different styles and switching out different shoes are a great way to look different all the time.
  •   The art of layering is godsend for the budget conscious. If you have the right basics, and learn to layer the same clothes in different ways, you will never repeat the same outfit, ever. For example, you can wear a crisp white shirt beneath a light knit, black sweater one day, with the collars and cuffs of the shirt showing through and you can wear the same clothes the next time, by wearing the sweater inside the shirt, and leave the shirt unbuttoned and  roll the sleeves up. This is a basic example. You can try layering in numerous ways, according to your creativity and sense of style.

Where To Buy/How To Buy

  • “Buy clothes for the life you live, not the life you want to live”. This is the most common mistake everybody makes.  People often buy glamorous clothes hoping that they can make their life more glamorous. If you buy many stilettoes and hardly have the chance to wear them, you are wasting money and storage space as well. Instead, buy cute flats or wedges you can wear day in and day out, and look cute while living your day to day life.
  • Look at the clothes you have before going shopping; Take into account what you already have and what you need. Do this every time before going shopping, so that you don’t end up buying things similar to what you may already have. Also, make a list of things you need. A proper written list is needed. You might forget the things you absolutely need, once you see something really pretty.
  • Always set a budget before going shopping. Have a look at your accounts/ funds and see how much you can afford to spend on clothes at a time. It is better to go shopping at a time when you have the funds, rather than spending money when you are in a fix and regretting later.
  •   If you cannot afford to shop for all the things you want at a time, buy one or two things you really want and let it be. You can always go back and get other clothes when you can do it without any regrets.
  •  One idea to get more for your money is to start going through clearance bins and scout for sales. You can always buy great items at ridiculous prices during these. Sure, sometimes they may be last season’s trends. But they might make for a more eclectic wardrobe.
  •  The next one is to look for sales and coupons on online stores. A lot of people on a budget go through the online shops looking up clothes sorting through it according to their budget. But a lot of them forget to look at the sale or clearance section.  They are always present in such sites and they always have crazy reductions. The sale items in Koovs.com, jabong.com and yepme.com are great for the budget shoppers.
  •  Another idea is to go shopping at your nearest factory outlet, factory surplus or do street shopping. There is always a place for street shopping in most major cities, like Commercial Street in Bangalore, Sarojini nagar in Delhi, Coloba Causeway in Mumbai. They always have great pieces at amazing prices. All you need is the patience to scour through the many clothes. At most of these places, you can get a reduction from the price they say by bargaining.

Making the most of your purchases                                   
  • Take care of your purchases. Remember the fact that you are paying precious money for each piece of clothes you own. Wash the clothes according to the directions, be delicate on them, and always iron it inside out. Make sure that you do not just stuff it into your wardrobe, but fold it neatly and store. This can give you more space and let your clothes look new for longer.
  •  Always be organized. Keeping your clothes organized, will not only help keep them in better condition, but also help keep all your clothes visible, and you do not end up losing some great pieces of clothing in the mess.  If you keep your wardrobe unorganized, every time you spring clean it, you will be sure to find some clothes that you didn’t know you owned.
  • You can always recycle your clothes with the changing trends, or when you get bored of them. If you have a little patience and the ability to cut and sew, there are millions of DIY ideas on pinterest and other sites that can help you. If you are a creative person all on your own, you can try out ideas for yourself.
  • Learn to sew. If you want something in particular, but are not able to find a cheaper alternative, you can always get some fabric and make it on your own. This is a great way to get the things that you want and still be within you budget since fabric is a lot cheaper than readymade clothes.
  • Have the perfect fit for your clothes. Sometimes, you may buy a piece of clothing even though it is not the perfect fit. The trouble with ill-fitting clothes is that it can draw attention to the fact that you are making do with what you have. So it is always necessary to get your clothes tailored to perfection.
  •  Even if there are ways to recycle clothes, there are some pieces that you will never wear again. So go through your clothes at least every 6-12 months that you know you won’t wear again. You can give it to somebody else as hand-me-downs, or you can give it to charity. This will save precious storage space and can let you know what you need to purchase.


2 thoughts on “Look Good, On A Budget

  1. This is a good post! I agree that one needs to prioritze spending. I prefer to spend money on jeans, jackets & shoes as I get the most wear out of them. But even then I buy them during Sales. Things like tops, tees & shirts I prefer to buy much cheaper. And F21 is a good place to get accessories. It is priced well and their stuff is very trendy!


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