How to Build a Stylish Wardrobe on a Budget
The style influencer movement is on the rise; just open your Instagram, and everyone is now into style and fashion. Because of that, many people are spending a ton of money trying to have the latest trends to showcase on-the-gram, but let me be the one to tell you: you don't have to go broke to have style. Yes, style can be overwhelming—especially if you're on a budget, but it doesn't have to be. And in this post, I'm going to break down how you can build and maintain a stylish wardrobe on a budget.
But before you implement any of these steps, give yourself a realistic budget.
Quality not quantity
Look at every piece of clothing you're going to buy as an investment whether it cost you $25 or $500; when you do this, you will focus on quality versus quantity. Also, price is not an indicator of quality; focus on the construction of the garment, the fabric and hardware, and also how well it fits. As a general rule, for pieces that are not meant to be tailored, look for them in simple, unstructured silhouettes—you'll have more luck finding them at a lower cost.
You may not realize it—trends are costly. Every time a trend rolls back around, retailers are jacking the prices up, and while I don't believe in spending money on trends, many of us are doing it. Yes, you're able to get your fix of fast fashion at your local mall store, but the high turnover over of inexpensive fashion can add up quickly, especially when most items will be disposable. So, focus on creating a wardrobe that's centered on basics and layering pieces. Think about spending your money on staples that can be easily remixed with trends to give you an updated look. For example; a quality white woven can be layered under a low-priced, trendy camo jacket or you can pair a blazer with joggers for an athleisure look. Basics are there to give you a solid foundation, make sure these pieces are of quality.
Invest in footwear
We've all heard that you can tell a lot about a person by their footwear, and this is true (to an extent). It's not about having the latest Common Projects sneakers when you can get the same look at a lower cost from adidas; will you lose style points? Probably not, but if you did, your pockets will thank you. Also, think about having two or three good quality shoes in rotation; this will give you more mileage for each pair.
Double up (buy two)
When you find something that works, buy multiples (if it fits within your budget). Doing this and rotating its wear allows you to expand the lifecycle of the garment, and give you time to save up to purchase one of higher quality. With that in mind, be mindful of fabrications—higher quality fabrics are thinner and more likely to be worn down faster, so it may be beneficial to go for a less expensive style that will last you longer. Quality over quantity=more cost per wear.
Your budget and pockets may be tight, but take the time to care for your investments. To build a solid wardrobe and maintain one, you have to be adding more items to it, not throwing them out because you haven't taken care of them. Between wears, ensure you are cleaning the dust, dirt, and stains off your garments, store them properly, and investing in proper storage. Avoid using harsh chemicals as they tend to wear down fabrics and anything that has special care instructions—all can be an endless money it just for caring. Clean your footwear and spray them down with stain and water-repellent treatment to prevent cracking.
Avoid the trends
As I said above, trends are costly, so if you can avoid them—avoid them. Stick to a classic, timeless style; this will help you with maintaining a lasting wardrobe. If you have a trend that catches your eye, don't go for the designer, go for a less expensive brand—it'll end up in the back of your closet in the next six months anyway.
Accessories are the easiest way to update your wardrobe and keep it on trends and stylish. If you're on a tight budget and don't have the extra spending money to add in new pieces, look at accessories. A statement ring, bracelet, or watch can update a look. Also, adding in this season's hottest footwear styles can help elevate your look.
How are you sticking to your budget and maintaining a stylish wardrobe?