How To Dress Well On A Budget

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Hey guys, so many of you have  been asking for an ‘how to’ post since it’s been long. And I’m back with a topic most people can identify with. Regardless of how much money you make we all want to save some. So how do you get a stylish wardrobe if you’re working on a tight budget? Today, I’ll let you in on these tried and tested tips that have helped me save some where clothes are concerned. They could be useful to you too.

Identify Stylish Inexpensive Stores

One of my favorite dresses was bought at a vintage store. If you saw it, you would think it cost me a whole lot than it did. The trick here is to identify a shop run by people who seem to take their time to select good clothes, thrift or not. This way, you don’t have to rummage through an endless load of ugly; and give up before you find your gem in the rubble. Or have to settle for recycled style. Of course some thrifts are not worth your time or money. And this is what brings me to point number two.

Develop a Great Eye for Fashion

Train yourself to identify good clothes when you see them. Check out the fabric for instance. Natural fabrics like cashmere, silk, suede, cotton and linen are pretty expensive and look it, so when you find them for less, don’t pass up the chance. Ensure the seams are well in place, both for new and thrift clothing. Also, you need to think about how practical what you are buying is, and how special if at all. You’d rather buy one great dress than 5 shabby ones for the same price in different colors, which you will end up not using as you initially thought. You need not buy things that no one else has, but always think about, how can I wear this differently from anyone else? How do I make this same item that everyone owns stand out from the crowd?

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I’m wearing a strapless jumpsuit you may have seen before, but looks unique paired with the black top.

Find a Good Tailor

If you find something that’s great quality and affordable but not in your size, don’t immediately drop it like it’s hot. Scrutinize it to determine if it can be resized to look good on you. This is why you need a good tailor, who understands your style and preference. Some tailors may be  able to resize dresses and tops but find pants too complicated and might end up doing irreparable damage. So ensure you trust your tailor to make the alterations you need.

Find Some Style Inspiration

Identify a public figure, or a fashion/style blogger whose style you admire. Frequently check their social media (yes that’s healthy stalking)  to get fresh ideas on how to rock some items in your closet. Make Pinterest your friend and pin all the looks you find remotely accessible to your tight budget. Remember you need not wear the same fabric or same color scheme to recreate a style. This is inspiration not copying. Make Google your friend as well. If you find a nice blue top for instance that you really want to buy, go Google ‘blue blouse outfits/ or blue top outfit blogger’ to get a few ideas on how to wear yours, before you make the purchase.

Beware of Replicas and Knock-offs

Tempted as you may be, knockoffs are illegal so don’t buy them. Some items are so horribly copied that they even end up looking cheaper than what you spent on them. And still, they aren’t even cheap! So instead of wasting your money on recycled style, why not take some time to find unique stylish pieces at a much less cost? African fabric for instance is hot-cake in the fashion world  right now and it’s so accessible to us in Africa so why not take advantage of that instead of buying knock-offs?

Invest in a Classic Wardrobe and Have Back-up

These are basically your wardrobe essentials. And you can divide them in two categories ; the main classic wardrobe and the back-up. What do I mean by this? Typically, you need a pair of black pants in your wardrobe, right? When you’re on a tight budget, you’ll find that these are the same pants you may have to wear at least once every week, with different tops for instance. Therefore, these pants will definitely wear off easy. So what you do is, invest some good money into your basic black pants. Ensure the fit and fabric is top-notch. These will be your go-to pants when you really need to look presentable. Now to the back-up. Buy two more pairs of black pants (preferably in a different design say a pair of jeans and cigarette pants if your main pants are straight). Now these are the pants you’ll be wearing on days you need black pants and don’t have an important meeting for instance. Do this with all your wardrobe basics. If you haven’t yet built your classic wardrobe yet check out these tips.

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Remember the Cost Per Wear Concept

There’s this concept that should help every stylista on a budget to make smarter buying decisions. Cost per wear simply means identifying the value of what you are about to buy based on how much use you will make of it, and not necessarily the price. Like the pants discussed above, they are a lot more valuable than that extravagant gown you’re just about to spend most of your savings on. How many times will you wear that gown? Probably once a year? What about the pants. Once every other week. See what I mean?

Invest in a Few Quality Accessories

As I’ve mentioned before, accessories can make or break an outfit. Shoes and bags need to be of good quality. You don’t need to own 10 pairs of shoes that you won’t last you a year. A good shoe should last you at least that long. So first invest in classic accessories that will stand the test of time and once you’ve done that, you can spend money on passing trends. Or save it, maybe…

Only Buy Trends That Will Become Classics

As much as trends come and go, some do decide to stay. Like peplum, right?  So how do you decide which of these are worth your money? Figure out if they have the potential to become classics. Check out this post for some ideas on how to identify classic trends.

how to dress well on a budget

I hope these tips will help you make better financial decisions where your wardrobe is concerned. And if you have more ideas please leave them in the comments below!

You can shop similar looks on Jumia

Thanks for reading and stay elegant.



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