Sunday, January 21, 2018

8 Ways to Stay Stylish on a Tight Budget

Photo by Alexis Locklear
Photo by Alexis Locklear
Photo by Alexis Locklear
Photo by Alexis Locklear
Photo by Alexis Locklear
Photo by Alexis Locklear
Photo by Alexis Locklear
Photo by Alexis Locklear

Hello! If you know me then you know that I'm pretty thrifty when it comes to fashion. My mom always taught me to save on fashion growing up and to this day, I still try to make the most out of a small budget.  Most people don't have a ton of money to spend on fashion (myself included.) And that's totally okay. You don't need to have a lot of money in order to dress well. You may just have to get a little more creative with your shopping habits. I actually cringe at any piece of clothing with a price tag higher than $25 (side note: I'm willing to splurge on the shoes.) Don't believe me? Let me do a quick run down on the cost of this look to kick off this post:

Vintage purple sequin dress: $14 at a local thrift shop
Faux fur leopard print coat: $5 at a flea market
Pink scrunchie: $4 via Etsy
Pink lipstick: $5 via ColourPop
Sunglasses: c/o Giant Vintage (sponsored)
Thigh-high boots: ~$200 (okay, okay, I get that $200 is a L-O-T of money BUT it's important to invest in quality pieces such as these boots that will elevate the style of the rest of your wardrobe.)

Want to know how I do it? Keep reading for eight ways to stay stylish on a tight budget:

1. Scour local thrift shops for great vintage finds. Learn if thrift shops near you offer discounts on certain days and take advantage of that- save every dollar that you can! Embracing your personal sense of style shouldn't have to break the bank. If you have enough free time, take a day and branch out to thrift stores in surrounding areas to yours; there may be a different selection of items to choose from. I've found that the further you go from metropolitan areas, the less picked over the selection is in thrift shops.

2. Do a quick google search to see if there are any consignment shops or resale shops in your area. These stores offer trendy items at prices much friendlier than the prices you see at the mall or in your favorite online boutique. You can also try to sell pieces in your wardrobe that you no longer love to these stores. Resale shops often offer more $ back if you accept store credit rather than cash which means that you can edit your wardrobe and update it with a couple new pieces at the same time while hardly spending anything.

3. Make a trip to your local flea market or hunt for your next favorite dress at yard sales and estate sales. Thrift shops are great but if you're looking to get the best bargain, turn towards flea markets and yard sales. Don't be afraid to ask for a better deal! You may have to dig deeper for treasures at yard sales as opposed to thrift stores but it's worth it. What's better than a cute dress? A cute dress that you bought for $4.

4. Invest in a few quality pieces that will elevate your personal style time and time again. Think about "cost per wear" when shopping. Wardrobe essentials are worth splurging on. Avoid items that you'll only wear a few times.

Have you ever found yourself obsessing over a $200 pair of shoes? Well, consider how many times you'll wear that pair of shoes- likely a lot if you're that in love with the shoes. For this situation, let's say that you'll wear the shoes once a week for half a year; that's 26 wears. Take 200 and divide it by 26- that's $7.69. This faaaabulous pair of $200 shoes only cost you less than $8 per wear. I'm gonna go ahead and say that's a pretty damn good buy. Now, let's look at the same idea from a different perspective. Have you ever found yourself buying a shirt you so-so like at a store like Forever 21 or H&M for no reasons other than that it's relatively cheap and you want something new in your wardrobe? Let's say you wear that $25 shirt once and then discard of it several months later. That shirt cost you $25 per wear- not a good buy.

5. Embrace second-hand fashion as much as possible and try to avoid fast fashion when possible. Fast fashion isn't worth it. Stop buying that $20 Forever 21 tee or that $70 Zara dress. Costs of fast fashion are much higher than the price that you read on the price tag. There's an article here that sums up the downfalls of fast fashion quite nicely and I'd recommend giving it a read if you have a moment.

6. Try your luck on Poshmark. Poshmark is an app that you can download on your phone; it lets you buy and sell clothing in a unique marketplace. I love buying and selling on Poshmark for a variety of reasons. One of the reasons that it's great for staying stylish on a tight budget is because Poshmark offers prices similar to those at consignment and retails shops but you can search for exactly what you want. For example, if you want a green Free People dress for half the cost, it may be hard to find in a brick and mortar thrift store because they don't always necessarily have what you're looking for in stock. However, with a huge marketplace like Poshmark, you can find exactly what you're looking for at half the retail cost. I've written more in depth about my love for Poshmark before on my blog here if you want to check it out.

7. Host a clothing swap with your friends. Gather up the pieces of clothing in your wardrobe that you're no longer loving, invite a few friends to do the same, meet up and swap pieces among each other. Voila! New-to-you clothes at no cost.

8. Raid your mom's wardrobe (or your grandmother's!) Both my grandmothers and my mother have handed pieces from their wardrobes down to me and some of those pieces are my favorites in my wardrobe. One of my grandmothers gave me the most gorgeous cream-colored jacket that I love to death and I've worn my mom's vintage little black tassel dress more times than I can count. You never know what rad vintage pieces your mother or grandmother may have hibernating in her wardrobe from back in the day.

Do y'all have any other tips for staying stylish on a tight budget? I'd love to hear them- leave a comment below!

Photos by Alexis Locklear. You can browse through more of her work on her Instagram here (heads up- NSFW.)