Fashion on a budget: Six ways to stay on trend without spending a fortune

If you want to dress according to the latest fashions, then you are going to have to expect the cost of your clothing and accessory budget to increase drastically. This is for many reasons, but perhaps the key one is the fact that every season brings a whole host of new treats to pick up so that you can feel ahead of the fashion curve and a trendsetter.

We are living in tough times. The coronavirus pandemic hit us all hard, and the financial crisis that is pretty much worldwide has heaped more financial hardship upon us. This means that, on the whole, we have less to spend on what might be considered luxuries, such as an ever-changing wardrobe.

If you have an eye for fashion and don’t want to have to go completely cold turkey on your habits, there are ways to stay on point without leaving your bank balance in a quagmire.

Here are some tips that should help you shop better and stay on the right side of your overdraft facility.

Shop smarter

One way to cut back on your yearly fashion spending is to adopt a more focused approach, so instead of shopping regularly, do so on a specific date and look to shop in a way that is more geared to quality than quantity.

One way to do this is to take a more dispassionate attitude to the act of shopping. For instance, look to delay gratification. Visit your favorite online store and select every item that catches your eye, pieces that really jump out at you and don’t hold back. Stuff them all in your shopping cart and then log out.

Return to the site after a few days or on one of your predefined shopping days, and then take a look at the cart again. You’ll be amazed at how you will now have a different perspective about each and every item, and you’ll almost certainly cut things down to a more manageable bundle.

Make accessories a key part of your outfit and ensemble

Making accessories a more prominent part of your outfit choices is an excellent way to keep your overall costs down, mainly because they can be used in multiple ensembles and also because, on the whole, they will cost less than clothing items and should last longer as well.

With this in mind, how about a pair of custom bracelets to give your look that additional bling and help make a real statement that turns heads? The personalized element may be a celebration of yourself or could perhaps spell out the names of your children, there are many ways to go down this route, and you’ll be able to pair the jewelry with any number of outfits you might wear.

Empty your wardrobe and declutter

When was the last time you really dug into the back of your closets, wardrobes, and drawers? It’s very likely that a bit of spring cleaning will help you when it comes to addressing your hoarding ways.

See what you have in the darkest recesses of your cabinets and make a judgment call on what to keep and what to remove from the equation.

This serves two purposes. Firstly you’ll no doubt find items that actually had been forgotten about, and secondly, by running this type of inventory, you’ll know what you genuinely need and then shop according to this rather than on a whim.

Shop at thrift stores and vintage outlets

Shopping online is an excellent way to save money, chiefly because stores can offer goods at reduced rates as they have fewer overhead expenses. However, if you want to enjoy that buzz of going on an offline shopping spree, then we highly recommend doing so at thrift and vintage stores.

Go with a friend or two and make an event out of it. Did you know when you shop with your friends you firstly make more informed decisions, and secondly actually spend less, mainly because your pals are there to say ‘that’s not you darling’.

Thrift stores, second-hand shops, and vintage outlets are far more fun than other outlets as you are very much in the unknown. You have no idea what you might find, and that’s part of the fun. Additionally, the clothes you buy from these types of stores have far more longevity as they come from an age when the quality of fabrics, materials, and tailoring was far better.

Manage expectations and your budget

It may seem perverse and perhaps hard to believe, but if you set a budget for your clothes and accessories, you’ll actually do so much better in terms of what you end up purchasing.

The sheer act of working towards a costed bottom line will give you a keener eye for a bargain and will teach you to shop around and therefore become a more prudent customer at whichever stores you visit on or offline.

Open a spreadsheet, work out what you need (again, not necessarily what you want), and then deal with each line item methodically. When you find that perfect dress, pair of jeans, or gorgeous earrings that not only look fabulous but are also within your price range and budget, you’ll feel the warm glow of achievement to go with the endorphins from making the purchase itself.

Avoid buying items just because they are available at discounted prices

How many times have you picked something up at a store just because it was inexpensive, and how often have you worn said item? The answer to these questions is probably too many, followed by not very often.

Clothing has, on the whole, got less expensive but that’s usually because there is the intention of persuading you to buy more. But remember, you are not shopping for toilet paper; there’s no need to seek out buy-one-get-two offers; stick to what’s on your to-buy list, and you’ll soon be winning the fashion budget war.