Budget Wardrobe Tips: How To Dress Well On A Budget

We all want to look good, but most of us don't have an endless supply of money to do so - I know I don't! Today, I want to share the ways I've built my wardrobe slowly and thoughtfully over the years without breaking the bank or sacrificing style or quality. In short, you don't need a lot of money to look stylish and dress well, even if you're on a budget. Thanks so much for watching! xx

  • Set A Budget - My first tip is to set a budget and figure out how much you can realistically afford to spend on clothes every month. I love doing this, and having a number in your mind helps prevent impulse buys that you can’t really afford and also helps you better prioritize where and how you want to spend that budget and even help you figure out a saving plan that can get you the coat you’ve always dreamed of. For example, let’s say you can afford to save $20 every week. That makes $80 a month and $1,000 a year!

Now, to make your budget stretch as far as possible, I recommend doing a few things.

  • Shop Out Of Season - First is shopping out of season. At the end of every season retailers heavily discount their items to make room for new items and you can score some amazing deals. I also recommend shopping for coats while on vacation in a warm climate where coats are rarely needed. Often times the same coat will coat much less down south - that’s how I got my Brooks Brothers camel coat which retails for over $1,000 for under $300!

  • Set Your Priorities - Next is to set your priorities and figure out what you want to spend your money on and how you can save other places in order to do so. If you want to have more money to spend on your wardrobe, obviously you need to spend less in other areas. I’ve been doing this since I started working and making my own steady money when I was 15 and I regularly chose saving more money over buying expensive things so that my money would go further. Also, when I was living in NYC I chose to live in Brooklyn so that I could spend much less on rent and more on other things. This allowed me to spend more on my wardrobe but also have more expendable income for museums, restaurants and trips. Little things like bringing your lunch to work, making coffee at home and canceling subscription services you don’t need are some very easy ways to save money.

  • Shop Second Hand & Vintage - You know how much I love shopping second hand and vintage and it’s my top way to build a wardrobe full of beautiful pieces without breaking the bank. Often times you’re able to find things that are practically brand new (sometimes even new with tags!) for a fraction of their traditional retail price.

  • Make A Wish List & Don’t Waver - Physically writing down and planning the things you wan to add to your wardrobe (especially more expensive purchases) is a wonderful way to cut down on impulse buys and help you figure out if something will work with your existing wardrobe before you buy it. In my experience, a little thought and planning now can help save you a lot of wasted time and money in the long run and it’s certainly allowed me to stay focused on saving for one great piece instead of 5 meh pieces that I don’t actually want and forgot about a day after leaving the store.

  • Quality Over Quantity - When it comes time to actually buy something for your wardrobe it’s so important to understand what makes a quality garment and buy the highest quality you can personally afford. This may mean you can only buy 1 new thing a season, but it will also mean that if you choose things that are well made, and suited to you and your tastes it can last longer so you won’t need to replace it soon and may even be able to have things in your closet for years.

  • Don’t Invest A Lot Into Something Until You’re Certain You Love It - This is so important to ensuring you don’t waste your entire clothing budget on an expensive “investment” piece that you won’t actually wear. For example, I love blazers but it took me years of wearing and styling thrifted & less expensive blazers before I decided they were a worthy wardrobe investment. Likewise with scarves. I purchased and experimented with scarves under $10, $20 & $50 before I scaled up and bought a second hand Hermes silk scarf for $200. Then, a few years later I knew it would be a worthy use of my money to purchase a Sabina Savage scarf.

  • Reinvest In What You Already Have - Reworking what you already have is a great way to stretch your wardrobe budget and give a piece new life - without spending a lot. You can dye things, change the buttons, add lace and patches etc without breaking the bank.