How to Look Like a Million on a Budget

It’s not news to say that fashion is ever-evolving. But it can feel impossible to keep up when your wallet isn’t exactly growing ever-larger.

Legendary designer Yves Saint Laurent famously quipped that “Fashion fades, but style is eternal.” By keeping this mindset and using the tips below, you’ll become super stylish, regardless of your tax bracket.

chic on the cheap oxblood dress

 1. Make a Budget

Plan how much you can afford to spend on your wardrobe in advance, and stick to it. This is the best way to ensure you don’t faint when the credit card bill arrives… And that you can buy all the pieces you need. If you know how much money you have to work with, you picky shopper can put together an inexpensive outfit that looks just as good as an expensive one. See above!


2. Invest in classic pieces

Essential items, like a great pair of jeans, a nice blazer, or classic heels, will never go out of style. Therefore, spending most of your clothing dollars on these pieces makes sense because they act as the building blocks for the rest of your wardrobe. Also, having well-made basics make you look instantly put-together and chic.

3. Buy only the trends you like and don’t splurge on them.

Following every trend doesn’t make you stylish. It makes you a fashion victim. By choosing the trends that truly speak to you, you develop your sense of style without developing debt. And since trends are disposable by nature, it doesn’t make sense to spend much money on super-trendy things. Remember to stick to the sales rack when choosing in-the-now items.

4. Don’t be afraid of thrift shopping.

Second-hand shopping is a great way to help the environment and your wallet simultaneously! Since most trends go in and out of fashion over the years, you can sometimes score items to add an instant update on a dime… Not to mention that you could luck out and find that perfect black blazer (or another classic piece) on consignment. If the idea of wearing “someone else’s clothes”  makes you uncomfortable, remember to scrutinize items before you buy. Does it have any rips or tears? Any funny stains or odors? If so, put it back. Otherwise, welcome the stylish update into your closet (after a quick wash cycle).

5. Take care of your clothes.

Regardless of how much you end up spending on an item, it will last longer if you take care of it. That means you should always wash your clothing in cold water and follow the care instructions for your clothes! Hanging things to dry is always preferable to using a dryer. Also, a sweater shaver can give lint-y, lackluster items a new lease on life.

Great style can be had at any price if you know where to look. By following the above tips, you’ll be able to stay true to your sense of style and your pocketbook, and that’s always a fashionable feeling!



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4 thoughts on “How to Look Like a Million on a Budget

  1. I am a bit dubious about the classics – everything dates after a while – the shape of the lapel, shoulder pads, jacket lengths. The differences may be subtle, but they are noticeable. Even shoes change, the toe and heel shape. I used to buy expensive labels, Armani, Max Mara and the like – they all date after a while. The only true investment I have made and which hasn’t dated was a Chanel 2.55 handbag – but bags with gold chains look dated on women in their 50s, so I sold it for a handsome profit.

  2. Classic pieces are just that. I have some pieces in my wardrobe for over 25 years that have never gone out of style and can be updated with accessories very easily. Clothing care is every important. Wash your garments inside out in cold water and they will not fade. Hang dry whatever you can – they dryer can be brutal. Or set your drying to low if possible.

  3. Your site is a favorite for me. The advice you offer here is what my Mom always told me; even back when you and I were little girls, buy classes, buy quality, and spend little on trends was what I heard. Enjoyed this post for the sound fashion advice and the trip down memory lane. Thank you.

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