Looking well dressed on a budget can seem a little difficult when the fashion industry is pumping out new pieces every few weeks. Here’s the problem, you want to feel confident, make an impression and look stylish all the time. In fact, you need to look confident for work, business and play, but how do you do without blowing your budget? And if you don’t, are you risking being stuck with clothes that make you feel boring and so last year?
I know exactly how you feel… but before we look at how to create a crazy beautiful look, let’s look as how to build and create your foundation.
First, let’s get one thing clear…. no matter what the price point, simply buying more won’t make your wardrobe more stylish or leave you looking well dressed. Binge buying, without a plan, will hijack your existing budget, leave you with less in your bank account, and more in your closet to sort through.
But here’s the thing, even with a seriously limited budget you can look well dressed, stylish and very classy. So, where do you begin?
Choose Simple Clean Designs
A garment with too many details, a fancy print, or too many and ruffles might be fashionable now but is more likely to go out of fashion sooner, leaving it sit at the back of your closet, unloved and alone.
Designs that are simpler, cleaner and leaner have a timeless look and feel. You may think these pieces are boring, but you will find they are perfect foundation pieces that you can bring to life in a number of ways.
Choose Solid Colours
There is a reason prints are used for mass market clothing. They hide imperfections of cheaper fabrics. A strong print often makes up for poor design and fabric quality that quality fabrics offer. They might look like fun but these fabrics don’t last.
Solid colour pieces are often made with higher quality fabrics. They need to be or they won’t sell.
Instead of focusing on the print, the eye is drawn to the cut of the design and how it moves on you. And that is what makes solid colours so elegant and sleek. But isn’t a wardrobe filled with solid colours boring? It doesn’t have to be. There are tricks to making solid colours so chic that you will always look well dressed, like killer shoes or amazing statement jewels. More on that in a minute.
Choose Pieces You Can Layer
Choosing pieces that you can layer and combine with other pieces makes your wardrobe double and triple in size because you have suddenly have more outfit combinations.
We’ve all done it.. bought a dress that looks amazing, only to realize later that it doesn’t really work with a cardigan, jacket or coat or anything else in your wardrobe. It looks great but has very limited use and at most will be worn 3-5 times a year. That doesn’t make it any less gorgeous but you are probably cheating yourself of those perfect pieces you can wear, love and mix more often.
Instead, choose pieces that you can layer and mix to create a full wardrobe using only 30 or 40 pieces.
Stick to Your Colour Palette
Colours come in and out of fashion each season. They look new, fresh and tempting and can really update your wardrobe. But… if this seasons new batch of colours doesn’t work with anything else you have in your closet and they are not really your colours, then you should put the garment back because you’re not going to wear it often enough, no matter how much of a bargain it might be.
How do you add to your wardrobe if you are limited to just one or two colours? One way is to use textures.
Use Textures Not Just Colours
Listen up, because this under-utilized strategy is gold. If you mainly wear a couple of colours, let’s say navy blue, black and white, you might get tempted to add extra colour. But here’s the thing, if that color doesn’t really work well with other pieces in your wardrobe you are limiting your dress choices, or you find you have to buy more of the new colour to get more wear out of it.
Instead, a better strategy is to add textures in your existing colours. We layer textures around our living rooms and bedrooms to create interest and depth but forget to take the same approach with our clothing.
Going back to the navy blue basic example, adding navy blue organza which is almost transparent, or very light or navy blue neoprene which is stiffer and edgier or maybe navy blue faux fur, which looks luxurious or even navy blue silk which is super shiny, adds another visual dimension to your look and takes it to a new level, from well dressed to impeccably stylish. But don’t stop there, its time to add accessories to create a personalized, stylish power dressing look.
Use Accessories to Update Your Classic Pieces
By adding accessories your foundation pieces can quickly take on very different characteristics and personalities. Accessories like great scarves, a belt, sunglasses, handbags, shoes or earrings can be used with different outfits for different looks.
If you add accessories to block colours, you layer them and add more accessories depending on the occasion and event. If you wear prints, less is more or your outfit could look a little messy and fuzzy.
Classic accessories can be used from one season to the next. The amount you spend on your accessories is up to you. The more you spend, the more you will expect from them. How many years do expect from a handbag? A handbag can cost hundreds, even thousands of dollars or you can get a great bag for a few dollars. Spend thousands on a bag and keep it for years, or buy something for much less and change it every one or two seasons.
The more expensive the accessory, the longer you want it to remain in fashion. Will a $10,000 bag still look great in 10 or 15 years? Will you want to use it?
Our pieces don’t cost the earth because we know how quickly trends can change. We want you to look fashionable and on trend at all times. We also want you to have great quality and design for the lowest amount of money. Using this strategy for your accessories will keep your wardrobe looking up to date and fresh. But keeping your strategy simple means …
Your Clothing and Accessories Must Look Impeccable
It doesn’t matter if you spent $1800 or $50 on a pair of shoes, if they are worn, unpolished and uncared for, your look is diminished. Pack up and go home. If your jewellery is real but you never clean it and the style is out of date, what are you saying about your look?
Caring for your clothes based on the fabric instructions will make your clothes last longer. Wearing better looking garments will make you instantly look elegant and well-groomed. Caring for your accessories will make them last longer and fashionable too. But you have to know when to let them go.
Investing in a mobile hand steamer is faster than ironing. You will always look elegant and classy if your garment looks crisp and fresh. Wearing a simple statement bracelet or ring can make all the difference to a simple black dress.
Looking well dressed on a budget is definitely doable. Plan, buy for the long run and stick to your style. Focus on building a high quality core wardrobe and you will always look well dressed.
Need to update your jewellery? We’ve got great new pieces you will love!