When money gets tight, fashion can be one of the first things to go, but we can sometimes underestimate the importance of fashion in our lives. Wearing clothes that suit you and make you look good can lift your mood, transform your self-perception, and allow you to move confidently around your world. Conversely, poorly chosen and old clothes can make you feel drab and want to hide from the outside world. We all have our Sunday scruffs that we wouldn’t be seen in public in, not in a million years. But when our daily clothes take on the appearance of our Sunday scruffs, it’s time to discover how to save money on fashion. Follow these budget-friendly style tips to revamp your wardrobe at a fraction of the cost.
Assessing your current wardrobe
The first port of call is to evaluate what you have got already. Go through your wardrobe and create piles of ‘love’, ‘rarely wear’ and ‘no-longer-need’ clothing. This can be quite an eye-opening exercise. It can result in you finding some hidden gems that you had forgotten about by simply not paying close attention to your wardrobe.
Don’t throw the ‘no-longer-need’ pile in the bin just yet – there’s value in it! Separate this into three more piles: ‘sling’, ‘donate to charity’, and the most important category ‘sell’. The sell pile will have clothes that are good quality, in good condition, and desirable, but no longer fit you or suit you for whatever reason. You can use websites like EBay.com and Vinted.com to sell these treasures and raise a bit of money to put towards your new fashion purchases. The Vinted app makes it really easy to photograph and post your items for sale, and good items will fetch you a decent enough price.
Setting up a fashion budget
The next step is to work out a fashion budget. Take a look at your overall budget and try to find out what you can cut down on in order to prioritize fashion.
If you look closely at what you are spending your money on, you may find that you can save a bit on food by cutting down on snacks and buying cheaper brands, or only buying certain products when there is a discount coupon available for them. You may also find you can save a bit by not going out for meals and drinks quite as often. Also, are there any subscriptions that you don’t really need, such as Amazon Prime or Netflix?
Once you have completed this exercise, you will know roughly how much you can afford to spend on fashion each month. Use the Notes app on your phone, or more advanced budget spreadsheets, to keep track of your spending to prevent you from blowing your fashion budget.
Savvy Fashion Shopping Strategies
After reducing your wardrobe to ‘love’ and ‘rarely wear’ items, you can then take a look at what you are missing. Are there any fashion items that you could bring into the fold that would help promote a ‘rarely wear’ item to a ‘love’ item? For example, you might not wear a particular skirt very often because none of your shoes or boots look right with it. If you had the right pair of boots to match, you would wear it all the time.
If so, don’t rush out and buy the boots. First, take a look around your wardrobe to see what else you could pair them with. If they won’t go with anything else, then it might not be the best thing to spend your first three months shopping budget on. Try to first buy fashion items that will complement several pieces in your existing wardrobe, reignite your love for them, and bring them to life.
Thrifting and secondhand shopping
You may have earned a little money by selling your secondhand clothes on Ebay and Vinted, so why not now go the other way and buy secondhand clothes. There is a wealth of good quality clothing going at bargain prices around the world, simply because someone has tired of a certain item of clothing, or they have grown out of it.
Going to charity shops is also a great way to find a total gem.
Tip: Take a trip to a local town that is in an affluent area. You will find they have a wider selection of designer brand labels in their stores going at insanely low prices.
Sales, discounts, and promo Codes
As we are in touch with the major stores, we know how often they reduce their stock, and offer specific discounts and coupon codes. Very often! So if you see something you adore, stick it in your Pinterest fashion board and wait!
Tip: Set up an account with the store and add the loved item to your basket. Quite often you will find that you get a notification when the price has been reduced.
DIY and repurposing
One thing you can do to keep your fashion costs down is to upcycle old clothing yourself. If you can learn basic sewing and alteration skills, then this can be a very cheap way of repurposing an item of clothing, breathing a new lease of life into it, and creating a truly unique fashion piece that is perfectly in step with your style.
You also get to experience the rewarding feeling of knowing you have created something. Which is especially satisfying when you get a compliment from someone wanting to know where you got it from.
Renting and borrowing
Fashion renting platforms
If you are the type of fashionista who likes to stay on top of the latest trends, then to stick within your budget, you may want to consider renting your fashion rather than buying. This way you get to wear them once, look fabulous, and then return them. This is also a great sustainable way to enjoy fashion.
There are loads of fashion rental shops online now. Most have a monthly plan which allows you to rent a specified number of items per month. Some are free to join, such as Tulerie.com which is slightly different. It is free to join and connects lenders with borrowers.
Vogue has recently listed some of the best fashion rental websites.
Swapping with friends and family
Arrange fashion-swapping parties and share your clothing with friends. This is a fun and exciting way to revamp your wardrobe on a regular basis.
Tip: Don’t lend your best items out as you will be devastated if it doesn’t come back in one piece and this can lead to a fallout, which is best avoided. This unfortunately works both ways. If you are lucky enough that your best friend or family member has lent you their best dress, then take really good care of it and don’t get it caught in barbed wire!
Quality over quantity
A final tip on looking stylish for less. It’s counter-intuitive, but if you spend more on each item and buy quality, it has three main benefits.
It will last much longer. If it is a well-made piece it won’t fall apart after one wear.
It will be timeless. Classic designer pieces tend to be something you will look stylish in year after year.
It will be easier to find the ‘love’ clothes in your wardrobe, if you only have fewer clothes altogether.
They are more sustainable. They tend to be more sustainably manufactured (check this with the brand first to be on the safe side) and buying less means less harm to the environment through shipping and disposal.
TIP: In order to make the quality over quantity method really work for you, go with a capsule wardrobe. This is a wardrobe that is deliberately designed with fewer pieces that all match with each other, allowing you to vary your outfit regularly without the need for loads of clothes.
Saving money on fashion – conclusion
We hope this has given you plenty of ideas to get started on saving money on fashion. To recap, get started by looking at your existing wardrobe and sorting out the wheat from the chaff. Then sell unwanted items to raise money for your next fashion purchases. Rework your budget to give you a little each month to play with, and then shop smartly, making use of secondhand clothing stores, thrift shops and coupons.
If you have enough in your budget, and you want to stay ahead of the fashion curve, then take a look at fashion rental websites. Otherwise, try swapping with friends and family, for a free way to revitalize your style.
And finally, try to choose quality over quantity wherever possible. There are so many advantages, and it will help you uphold your eco values to boot.
Remember, we’re always here to help with your discounts! Contact us or sign up to our newsletter to find out more.