Welcome back Budget Fashionistas, how did you go with the challenges to create a styleboard last week? Share them with me if you like! This week I’m talking about the difference between budget and being cheap. Just because you’re restricting your budget to a level you can afford doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the finer things in life. In fact, sometimes it will be essential that you do.

Wait… Whaaaat?

No really. For me it is often about buying a quality garment that will become a cornerstone to your wardrobe. A beautiful pair of tailored pants, a quality handcrafted handbag or a classic wool coat. These are investment pieces that should be treated like an investment rather than an impulse purchase.

I have no problem spending hundreds of dollars on quality boots. When I picked up my suit jacket and pants years ago, I paid almost $200 for the two pieces with a small discount. At the time it felt like a lot of money to spend on such uninteresting items of clothing. But you just can’t argue though when the item lasts and they have. Four years and counting.

So that’s great, but how do you go about adding these items to your wardrobe without breaking the bank? Most, if not all, stores have some type of layby system. Keep an eye on the timeframes involved and see if this works with your budget. You may need to save up a larger deposit to ensure you can pay it off in the timeframe.

Please don’t use store or credit cards. It’s not worth it. Read my post about being a fashion blogger without using credit for more from me on why. But just don’t, okay? You could also go for the good old fashioned savings account, piggy bank or change jar. You’ll be surprised how quickly those things can add and you’ll be picking up that new Michael Kors leather tote in no time… Oh wait, that’s me.

So, you may be thinking, which items should I be spending my money on, and which can I get away with buying cheap? It’s easy. By now with however many years of buying experience you have, you’ll know that there are things like layering tanks, jumpers or basic t-shirts that you have purchased on the cheap before and loved. Stick with those.

For me, nothing beats the simple tanks I can pick up at BigW. Find your favourites and stick to them. But if you find that a brand’s quality suffers quickly and you often have to replace an item it may be time to invest a little more into your next purchase. There really is nothing worse than pilling or colour fade on basic items, so stores like Virtu, 17 Sunday {gah, I LOVE BASIC} and others have basic ranges that will stock your wardrobe with reliable, affordable but better quality pieces for when you want to step up a level.

Now, what are the big gun items I consider to be worthy spending a few months budget on? Or spending more in general on? Well I’ve put together a collage below. Here’s some items I recommend paying more for when and if you can. These are items that are never going to go out fo style. Classic basics that form the foundation of any wardrobe {no matter your style}.

budget fashionista wardrobe essentials - items to invest in

Then there are some things that just aren’t worth spending a lot of money on, in my opinion of course! Mostly trend based items. Trendy styles and colours will come and go. I wouldn’t recommend investing your budget in a leather peplum top {unless you love, love it and plan to wear it for years to come} as I would expect it to be the white elephant in your wardrobe come next Winter. Trends come and go. Avoid the impulse buy, avoid the hype and save yourself a load of money.

Avoiding the hype doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on trends all together. This is the area where you rely on chain stores and discount outlets especially if your budget is a little restricted. Places like ASOS is a one stop shop for great disposable, trendy items. But remember, they are that. Don’t expect these items to be around for too long. It’s about balance.

So those are the tips for this week and the end of Part Three. Next week in Part Four we talk about how to use the restyle, recycle and reuse tips to expand the wardrobe you already have and to add unique and quality pieces to your wardrobe. Hope to see you then!

Budget Fashionista Challenge:

  • Decide {and pin} your big ticket wardrobe items. Maybe take the time to figure out in your mind their order of importance.
  • Continue to reduce your consumer debt {credit and store cards}, let me know how progress is going on those. Also review your budget, are you on track there?
  • Promise yourself you will stop buying garbage items that you have to replace over and over again, that you will spend a little more once and get some real value for your money.


Missed the first posts in the series? Read them here.

Part One: What IS a Budget Fashionista? 

Part Two: Finding Your Style

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