Tips to be More Stylish on a Budget

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Whether you've been living in your loungewear or have done more online shopping than ever before, there have been plenty of changes in our approach to fashion this year.

However, having more time at home has allowed us to assess what we really need in our wardrobes, and now that we're back in the swing of things, we can decide what should stay and what should go.

When it comes to our wardrobes, we're all guilty of making rash decisions, from hanging on to old clothes that never get worn to panic buying items that will only be worn once. But it doesn't have to be that way.

How to Look Stylish Effortlessly:

We've broken down some wardrobe resolutions you can start right now to save space, money, and improve your appearance.

Don't go on Wild Shopping Sprees

We frequently find ourselves in style ruts, feeling as if we despise everything in our closets and have nothing to wear. When this happens, we usually go on a big shopping spree and end up spending a lot of money on trend-driven items that end up sitting in our closets for years, never being worn. Allowing it to get to this point is not a good idea.

Instead, keep an eye out all year for pieces you like and make a list of the things you don't have when you realise it.

Instead of going back to square one every few months, think of it as a continuous and evolving process. Allowing yourself to buy one really nice piece every month rather than two big shopping sprees a year will almost certainly result in far more well-considered purchases and, as a result, a far more stylish wardrobe.

Don't Buy Something for a Single Occasion

It's something we're all guilty of. A wedding, a Christmas party, or a Friday night get-together with friends at the pub. When we're going somewhere exciting, we always feel like we need something unique – and thus something new – to wear. However, as much as we enjoy the piece we purchase, it rarely sees more than one performance.

Rather than buying something specific for a specific occasion, try to have a few more versatile dressier pieces in your wardrobe. You'll be able to wear it again and again if you choose something simple and classic rather than trend-driven. It'll never feel the same again, thanks to the clever accessorising.

If Something Doesn't Fit, Don't Buy or Keep It

It's not uncommon to keep items that don't fit you any longer in the hopes that they will one day. It's also not uncommon to buy something in a smaller size as a weight-loss incentive or because it's on sale and they don't have your usual size. Holding on to these items that you can't physically wear, on the other hand, is one of the worst things you can do if you're trying to slim down your wardrobe. Be truthful and realistic with yourself. It's time to sell or donate anything that doesn't fit you.

Don't Buy or Keep Anything That You Don't Like

Many of us keep pieces that we know don't suit us, in addition to holding on to things that don't fit. We've often bought something on the spur of the moment because it's a big trend or because we saw someone else wearing it and thought they looked amazing, but we've never worn it because it doesn't suit us. It has no place in your life if a piece of clothing does not make you feel confident and comfortable.

Don't Buy Something Because It's Inexpensive

It's easy to be swayed by a big discount, and you should take advantage of them – especially on high-end designer pieces – but only if the item is something you truly need. Never purchase something simply because it is a good deal. It's a complete waste of money, no matter how cheap it was, if you never wear it.

Get Rid of Something Else When You Buy Something

Adopting the one-in, one-out policy, which requires you to take a piece out every time you add something new, is a great way to keep your wardrobe at a manageable size (and sell it or donate it to charity). It will not only prevent your rails and shelves from overflowing, but it will also require you to be much more confident in your purchases. You'll never buy something unless you absolutely love it, even if it means parting with something special from your closet.

Swap Outfits with Your Most Fashionable Pals

Swapping pieces with friends is a great way to keep your wardrobe feeling fresh. Use your one-in, one-out policy to get rid of something you haven't worn in months and trade it for something a friend has grown tired of (but you have always had an eye on). Whether you host a clothes-swap party with a large group or just have a deal with one friend, trading clothes is a great way to have an interesting wardrobe without spending any money or causing additional environmental damage.

Make a Real Effort to Learn About New Brands

Another reason we get stuck in style ruts is that we become attached to and at ease in certain stores. It's great to have a few go-to brands that you trust and know will last, but there are always new, exciting brands on the market waiting to be discovered. Keep exploring all year long, from high-end designer labels to more affordable mid-range brands. You'll come away with some truly unique and stylish finds (that, as an added bonus, no one else has).

Make some Tough Choices

Nobody enjoys getting rid of things. Parting with a piece of clothing can also mean parting with memories, which can be difficult. There's no need to hang on to everything you've ever loved, especially if it's been decades since you've worn it. Put something on trial and see how many times you wear it in the next six months if you really can't bear to part with it. It's time to let it go if it doesn't make an appearance.

Make a Dress Code

One of the most common misunderstandings about fashion is that you should never buy something similar to something you already own. Of course, no one wants to have a closet full of 15 navy blue sweaters and 10 pairs of black skinny jeans that are all the same. However, don't be afraid to use your knowledge of what works for you. All of the world's most stylish women have their own uniform – they keep it simple, they know what looks good on them, and they stick to it when shopping for new pieces.

Understand Your Closet from Head to Toe

It may seem self-evident, but it's easy to forget what's in our closets – and many of us will have great pieces hidden away that haven't seen the light of day in years, or that were forgotten about during lockdown. So, before you go out and buy something new, make sure you know exactly what you already have in your closet. You'll know what's in there if you clean it out and declutter it, and you'll be less likely to buy things you don't need.

Invest In What You Already Have

Many of us have a habit of discarding items as soon as they become damaged, but just because something is a little worn does not mean it should be discarded. Invest in your existing wardrobe by knowing where to get things repaired in your neighbourhood, from a great seamstress to shoe and handbag restoration companies. It's better to spend a little money to get things fixed than to keep buying the same thing over and over.

Take Advantage of Rental Fashion

It's never been easier to rent clothes thanks to a rise in environmental awareness, with a huge increase in the number of fashion-rental companies available. For a variety of reasons, renting rather than buying is a great way to build a more stylish wardrobe. To begin with, you will frequently feel as if you are wearing something new, which is ideal for special occasions such as weddings or parties, where you may have previously purchased a one-time outfit. Another advantage is that you can be a little more daring with what you try – you might step outside of your style comfort zone and discover great pieces that you would have been afraid to buy otherwise.

Try the Hanger Trick If You're Unsure About a Piece's Wearability

Place all of your hangers in the same direction at the start of the season. Turn the hanger the other way every time you wear something. You'll quickly notice what you wear and don't wear as the season progresses. According to Fanny Moizant, co-founder of Vestiaire Collective, women only wear 40 to 60% of their wardrobe.

The Power of a Capsule Wardrobe Should not be Overlooked

It doesn't take a large budget or three walk-in wardrobes full of designer clothes to be truly stylish – you don't need much to look good. What you do require, however, is the ability to make sound decisions. Buy only what you require, what makes you happy, and nothing more. Also, take care of your clothing.

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