My sister-in-law was giving me heaps that the REAL way to be a Budget Fashionista was to have brands send you clothes. She’s right of course. Having a new season item or two from a number of brands means that I have a plethora of clothes. Way more than I need. But it works to keep the outfits ticking over on the blog and to promote great Australian brands.

This however does mean more clean outs, more closet sales and more hand me downs from my closet. I run a tight ship when it comes to my wardrobe. We are talking about that next week after my most recent clean up – it’s been delayed. Sorry! And too many clothes is not a bad problem to have. One I’m sure people would stick their hands up in a second to take them off me, to relieve me of my burdens. Haha. I know. I’m not whining at ALL.

Given that this isn’t something that most people have access to {a blog where you have an audience, hi guys, love you} that brands wish to speak to and therefore give you product for that purpose am I really THAT qualified to talk about building a wardrobe on a budget? Does it really? Have I even struggled. I mean you KNOW I had a pretty great job as a portfolio manager. Soooo?

I say yes! Of course I’m qualified to talk budgets. You want to know why? Because I’ve been on a budget my whole darn adult life. I purchased my first home when I was 18 years old, had a cafe business and two properties when I was 22 and freshly married which takes juggle. We moved back to my home town and for a while there Hubby was between jobs working where he could get it sometimes for a tiny $100 per week.

I know budgets. And I know what a confidence boost looking good is. AND I’m from a small town with limited options. It’s possible. Very possible. Let’s talk about how;

Know your stuff. If you know what you like you’ll spend less money needlessly. Indecision will cost you. Unless something works with at least three or four outfits in your wardrobe {current or planned} then it can’t come home with you. A budget wardrobe needs to be cohesive.

Be realistic when budget planning. If a dress in the style you love is $120 and you set a monthly clothes budget of $30 it’s going to be 4 months before you can afford that dress. Though bonus it will probably be on sale by then. When setting your budget for clothes consider what you need, why you need it and realistically how much you could spend, then how much you plan to spend. If you set an unrealistic budget {too high or too low} then you’re not going to stick to it and it’s a wasted exercise. Sure it can be reviewed, but do the thinking now and save yourself the angst.

Mix and match with a capsule wardrobe. If you peeked into my wardrobe you would find that there is a capsule feel going on in there. This goes with that goes with thing bit of here. That sort of thing. Like I said above, if you are buying an item it needs to fit in. And in more ways than one. It must be a similar colour tone to your other clothes, have multiple partners {tops that match skirts/shorts and skater skirts}. My base colour is black, I work from there. I love navy but the simple fact is other than three pieces in my wardrobe I don’t own any. So what the heck would I wear it with? Consider you base colour and go from there.

Buy smart to buy cheap. I often hear people complain about the quality of the items they have purchased. It looses its shape, the material gets worn and tired looking quickly or it just doesn’t ever sit right. Such a shame, of course. Money spent is money spent. So when you spend your money, whether it’s $5, $50 or $500 you need to consider if you are getting value for that money. Look for sales, two for one offers, discount codes or other means to bring down the spend on higher quality items from brands you can trust.

Spend less in total. If you really got serious about it, looked into your wardrobe there will be LOADS of items in there you don’t wear. You don’t need them, maybe never did and they just sit there and stare at you like burnt up money ashes on a hanger. That’s when you know that it’s time to cut back your spend all together. Stop buying clothes, for a month or two, just stop. Work with what you have. Mix and match and learn what is REALLY missing in your wardrobe.

Sure there are more. Sure there are ways to supplement your wardrobe, swap what you no longer need and make the most of the items you have chosen to be in your wardrobe. BUT that’s all I’m writing here. I’ve got an eBook to sell you know. Haha. And before that, so much of the content is still available on the site under the Budget Fashionista category.

What’s your best tip for a budget Budget Fashionista wardrobe?

p.s. The Budget Fashionista Workbook is available to Suger subscribers now. Yes now. YAY. Check your inbox  If you didn’t receive your email with the links to the discounted book please email me. The official release date is the 1st November and I look forward to you all getting your hands on a copy. I can’t wait for you guys to meet my eBook baby! 

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  • Michelle jadaa

    Im plus size so clothing seems to be even more expensive but ive had good luck at value village finding clothing in my size some of which still had original tags on it.the one thing i do spend on is shoes as you get older comfortable shoes become more important .I sign up for newsletter to my favourite stores so i get notified of sales.

    • Yes! I never have great luck at consignment or thrift stores. But I keep looking. Just in case. And I totally agree with you on shoes. More and more I stick to the same, well made pair for daily use and maybe a cheaper pair for a quick outing or dinner or whatever. I think a good fit is essential. If it’s a good fit it’ll serve you well until it dies no matter what the quality. The death just comes sooner rather than later for some pairs. 😉

  • Chelsea

    I’m a huge fan of accessorising to get the most out of stuff – I wear quite a bit (ok alot) of black so for me, I can get a million (nearly) wears and outfits out of one dress by stocking up at the Diva/Equip/Lovisa/etc sales. Because I do that, I tend to spend more on that one dress than what I would if I was only planning to wear it to a party and never again.

    • Yes! This is such a great tip. I wear a fair bit of black for work and find that a necklace or something simple like earring can make teh whole look come together. Nice one! Great addition Chelsea.

  • My best tip is never pay retail. I know that Friday afternoon is a good time to browse around Myer and I am signed up for emails from my favourite labels so that they tell me when they are having a sale. I have a list of the things I need and I hang onto my $$$ until the item I want is on sale.

    Last Friday I picked up the most lovely black fit and flare, 3/4 sleeve jersey dress at Myer for 75% ($25) off. It is a winter dress but I can certainly wear it on cool days for a bit longer yet and then pack it away for next autumn. I will wear it with the TS leggings that I bought for 25% off a couple of weekends ago. I feel like I’ve got this budget stuff mostly worked out but I always keep my ear to the ground for new ideas 🙂

    • Love love these. Thanks for the tip on the MYER Friday afternoons. I’ll be sure to test that one out. Always interesting to know the retail cycles of the brands and stores. It does sound like you’re all over it. Love that. Ears to the ground and we can all benefit for sure.

  • I’m all about having a base colour… black and red (so colours). If I see stuff in browns or pinks, no matter how good it looks or how cheap, I keep walking because it’s not going to work.

    Well except for my pink leopard fake fur coat. I have so few things to wear it with but can’t throw it out.

    • Haha. There are exceptions to every rule, of course. Love it.