Fashion is an integral part of our lives. The way we dress reflects who we are as people and lets us show off our creativity to the world. But fashionable clothes, shoes, and accessories can be expensive, and not all of us have thousands of dollars to spend on the latest trends.
For people operating on a shoestring budget, looking fashionable every day can seem like an impossible goal. But it doesn’t have to be. You can look like a fashionista without having to spend a fortune by thinking outside the box and making smart choices. Here are some designer tips for how to be fashionable on a budget.
Swap With Family and Friends
If you have older siblings, you inevitably remember the hand-me-downs you wore as a child. And if you have a sister (or sisters), you probably remember borrowing each other’s clothes from time to time as a teen. If you want new clothes without spending any money, consider asking one of your close friends or family members to do a swap!
You can thumb through each other’s wardrobes, pick out pieces you like, and swap them temporarily. You can also permanently swap unwanted clothes, assuming the other party wants what you don’t want (and vice versa). Swapping clothes allows you to try out new outfits for the low, low cost of free. Think of it as a trial run!
However, keep in mind that you and your friend or family member need to wear similar sizes and have similar tastes in fashion for a swap to work without a hitch.
Thrift stores are magical places. You can find a wide variety of clothes, shoes, and accessories for super low prices. Some people are hesitant to shop at these stores because the thought of wearing a stranger’s used clothes unnerves them. But even those who don’t want hand-me-downs can shop at thrift stores because not everything you see there is used!
In fact, much of it is new. Many clothing stores will drop off their unsold or overproduced items at thrift stores instead of tossing them in the trash. That means you can get brand-new clothes for a fraction of the price they would be at a retail store. The key to securing these fantastic deals is to do your shopping at the end of every season. At the start of spring, you’ll find a lot of coats, scarves, gloves, and boots, and in fall, you can get new swimwear at a huge discount.
Check for Online Discounts and Deals
Online stores are always having deals, discounts, and promotions that can save you money. You can find these deals by checking the store’s website and social media pages or searching “discount code (store name)” on Google or another search engine.
However, online stores aren’t the only ones that have deals, discounts, and promotions. A lot of stores with physical locations also have occasional promotions and deals. You can usually find these by checking their websites. As a rule of thumb, sales are most common around holidays and at the start and end of every season.
Add Some Accessories
Another designer tip for how to be fashionable on a budget is to accessorize, accessorize, accessorize! Accessories are an inexpensive way to spice up your existing wardrobe. Shop online or in-store for bags, belts, glasses, gloves, hats, jewelry, scarves, and other fun accessories.
A scarf and beanie can instantly transform any outfit into a cozy fall look. A sun hat and sunglasses are perfect for summer. Metal jewelry is classy and sophisticated, while wood accessories convey a warm and natural feel.
Mix and Match
When you have the time, empty out your closet and drawers to take inventory of what you have. Divide items into piles based on clothing type and color. Most clothes and accessories are extremely versatile, so you can mix and match them to create endless combinations. Combine clothing of complementary or contrasting colors and styles to create a cohesive look. Separating your clothes into piles makes it easier to find items that could potentially match.
For example, a lot of the clothes in your green pile will look amazing with clothes in your blue pile, while your reds will pair excellently with your yellows and oranges. You can combine clothes based on style, too. Pair your sleek black miniskirt with your metallic off-the-shoulder top and some neutral heels for a party look. Or combine a patterned blouse with blue jeans and sneakers for something more casual.
Are you bored of the clothes in your closet? It might just be because you’re styling them the same way every time. Just as there are countless ways to mix and match clothes, there are countless ways to style them. Here are a few ways to breathe new life into clothes that you’ve run ragged.
Jeans and Pants
Something as simple as rolling up the bottom hem of your pants can completely transform the way they look! Rolled-up pant hems are great for more casual spring and summer looks. You can also iron patches onto your jeans or use iron-on vinyl to personalize them. Don’t forget to use belts and sashes to accessorize!
You can also accessorize your skirts with belts or sashes. If you’re feeling bold, you could add pleats to one of your skirts or cut a daring slit down the side.
There are plenty of easy ways to modify shirts. Roll up the sleeves, tie the hem into a bow, tuck them into your skirt or pants (or untuck them, if you usually tuck), or pop the collar of a button-down.
Give and Take
How many of the clothes, shoes, and accessories in your wardrobe do you actually wear? If your answer is, “Not many,” consider cleaning out your closet and selling what you don’t want or need.
This way, you can make money—and room in your closet—for new clothes. Sell unwanted clothes on sites like Etsy or Poshmark or to thrift stores and consignment shops.
At Sidecarcafeandbar, we understand how hard it can be to look fashionable when you don’t have much room in your budget. That’s why we have trendy clothes, shoes, and accessories for sale at affordable prices. Come and shop at our online store for fashionable boutique handbags and other amazing deals!