In Discussions, Minimalism, Money, Shopping, Style, Style, Wardrobe Help, Women

A chic stylish wardrobe on a budget: it is possible!

Everyone has a budget that they use to determine what they can or cannot buy, and although things may seem like they’re out of your reach, they may actually just need a little careful planning to purchase.

Let’s pretend you really want a pair of AG jeans because they are so soft, so comfortable and absolutely perfect on your body.

.. the only downside is that they’re $300 (give or take) and your budget is really only $50 for a pair of jeans (if that!)

I would strongly challenge that and ask if you have considered:

IS WHATEVER YOU ARE BUYING A TRENDY ITEM THAT YOU AREN’T PLANNING ON WEARING A LOT?

I’d question why you’re buying it in the first place, but if you must really have those leather harem pants, then consider that the money you’re spending on those trendy items, are taking away from your truly wanted, classic pieces (a trench, a great pair of boots, jeans, etc).

IS IT TAKING AWAY / FILLING A VOID FOR SOMETHING ELSE?

Because you can’t afford that Chanel Flap (who can!?) you buy a Chanel bracelet instead.

Why?

Ask yourself if you’re filling in a void for wanting something else.

etsy-treesizeverse-tote-bag-waxed-canvas

WAITING & SAVING UP EACH MONTH FOR IT

Set aside that $50 a month for 6 months and BAM, $300 to buy them presents itself easily.

BUYING A BETTER QUALITY ITEM DOESN’T MEAN IT IS MORE MONEY

There are some mid-priced outfits popping up from brands like Everlane and Cuyana, and on the higher end, Emerson Fry that creates and has beautiful clothing that is well-made.

You don’t need to spend hundreds or thousands, you just need to spend it where it makes sense and for the quality allowed.

Why spend $400 on a t-shirt? Buy one at American Apparel.

In contrast, why NOT spend $300 on a pair of well-made boots you can repair and take care of over the years, like a pair from Frye?

Why would you want to buy a cheap, plastic, fake leather substitute from Aldo or Nine West for $150, but after a few scuffs, they’re pretty much shot and unable to look expensive, repaired and to look good?

You’ve just wasted $150 when just waiting to buy the $300 pair, would mean you could bring it in to a cobbler to fix up for $50, year after year.

Buy items with quality in mind; things to look for:

  • Stitching – badly stitched items fall apart easily
  • Colours – badly dyed or cheaply dyed items don’t look as good or as vibrant after a few washes
  • Fabrics – more natural ones cost more
  • Fit – lower quality items tend to be a looser, less flattering / amazing fit

EXPENSIVE ACCESSORIES REALLY ELEVATE AN OUTFIT

Cheap t-shirt and pair of jeans?

A great pair of shoes, a great handbag or really nice, sterling silver jewellery amps up any “cheap” outfit to something more luxe.

A great leather handbag just makes people think: What a great bag!

..and they automatically assume the rest of what you’re wearing is just as luxe.

BUYING SUBSTITUTES JUST MAKES YOU WANT THE REAL THING

Know how when you eat fake sugar you really, REALLY want the real stuff?

Or fake chocolate?

Or anything that is NOT WHAT YOU WANTED?

The same goes for shopping.

If you can’t find a decent or reasonable substitute (Lucky Brand jeans only in the Sweet or Sofia cuts in certain washes are decent subs), then you might end up wasting money on fast fashion and buying multiples (6 pairs?) of these lower-end, not-as-comfy jeans … and wearing none of them at all, when you could have just had ONE. PERFECT. PAIR.

..and that’s the real takeaway here.

ag-jeans-stilt-brooks

Consider each piece of clothing as your:

ONE. PERFECT. PAIR / ITEM.

If you keep that in mind you will be less likely to waste money on fast fashion that doesn’t satisfy your stylish soul.

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Am my own Sugar Daddy. Am a millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I have 11 side incomes that are on track in 2020 to make me $50K - $75K. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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6 Comments

  1. Tania

    Great post, good tips! I’ve been dressing in classics more and more. I’m definitely guilty of “filling the void” and buying lots of smaller items when I’d be better off saving the money for a more significant item that will be useful for years. The one problem I have is weight fluctuation, but that’s a whole other story.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Wrap dresses, girl. 🙂 I wore mine even while pregnant and only until the fabric was too short did I stop and switch to stylish muumuus. hahaa…

      Reply
  2. Abigail @ipickuppennies

    I guess I”m not chic, so this isn’t a problem. I like affordable fashion. Since I work from home and don’t go out a lot, most things last me for quite awhile.

    That said, yes if you believe that an item is durable and a classic piece, then do spend on quality. I’m trying to only buy things that I won’t be embarrassed to wear in a couple of years. It really helps keep shopping to a minimum.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I think about wearing it when I’m 90. That REALLY helps cut things down.

      Reply
  3. Leigh

    Yes, this! I have 2-3 $150-250 pairs of jeans: a dark boot cut, a skinny crop, and a skinny. And they are amazing. I also have one pair of nice glasses, one nice big purse, one nice small one, one nice pair of sunglasses, etc. I’d far rather do it this way than have many less nice items of a particular category.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I’m in this boat now. One pair of great skinny jeans, one skinny crop, both in dark blue because I think light is not my thing.

      One pair of glasses here too.. I’m selling my Persols.. and I have a TON of purses that are gorgeous but.. you know, weakness. 🙂

      Reply

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