In my newsletter last week, I asked the question what would you like to see MORE of, content wise. Two common themes were more affordable clothes and more advice on how to wear ‘things’. So, being the time-saver that I am, here’s a post about both! If you want to build your wardrobe, minimise the money you are spending on clothes and still look your version of on trend and stylish, these are my hot tips.

Because let’s face it, not every budget has room for new clothes every season. Heck, some of those budgets probably don’t stretch very far at all. I’ve been there. Sometimes I feel like, without the supplements to my wardrobe, I’d still be there! I find it hard to justify spending money that comes into our household on ‘still more’ clothes. So, you have to be patient, a little savvy and smart about where you spend your money.

My friend Amanda {check out her Instagram here} has been doing this for the last year or so. A mother to twins (!!!) and a keen fashionista in her own right. Funding her personal style wasn’t the top priority. I mean, there’s a roof to put over her babies heads, how could it be? But I’ve watched as she has curated a wardrobe of pieces she loves over time and bit by bit her personal style, which was always there, emerges.

But how, right?

I’m getting there. Stop rushing me you lot. Haha.

There are two schools of thought on this. The cheap and cheerful option that involves LOTS of clothes or the minimalist option that says quality over quantity. Me? I advocate a little from each. I think you should invest in your wardrobe but have some fun there too.

None of these spend less on clothes strategies is better than the other. They certainly all have their own pros and cons. But without further ado (this was plenty of ado, I think) let’s talk how to spend less on clothes while remaining stylish af.

How to spend less on clothes.

Step 1. Clean out your current wardrobe and work out what you have and more importantly, what you don’t. Get rid of everything that doesn’t fit, cull most of what you never wear and then put it all back in a way that makes it easy to see.

Step 2. Know your stuff by making a list of items you’re missing/want. This is the list of items you’ll be purchasing from moving forward. Make it a wish list. When you have a list, that’s when that $5 coffee might need to be sacrificed to start preparing to shop (I’ll talk about that as we go on). Use your list to keep you focused and on track, add and subtract items as you want to.

Step 3. Stick to the list. AKA: stop buying random things just because you’re at the shops. It’s called fast fashion for a reason ladies, and the intent is to have you buy more than you need and get rid of it, quickly! This isn’t your aim anymore, you’re going to spend less on clothes and play the long game with your wardrobe. So consider, next time that $15 top looks like a bargain, that $15 could be going towards your dream winter jacket or that pair of shoes you want for next summer.

Step 4. Play the long game by shopping the sales/out of season ranges. Continuing the long game theme, if you stop viewing your wardrobe as something to be added to on a whim, with fast purchases of items that don’t fit in your wardrobe, you start to build a genuine foundation. Use your list and keep your eyes peeled for that one special item and when you see it, grab it!

Step 5. Recognise what works for your body (now!) and what styles you love to wear and look for those. Part of the spending less money thing is knowing your style. Knowing what works for you and honing in on those items. This races season I eyed off LOADS of dresses, I almost bought one that I know isn’t my style. Almost. But I didn’t. Because I know now, that’s money down the drain.

Step 6. Care for what you have. A big part of how to spend less on clothes and maintaining a low-cost wardrobe is caring for the items you DO have so they last longer. Read the care instructions and follow them (I avoid clothes that are dry cleaning for this reason exactly). If you’re storing clothes, make sure they are secure.

Step 7. Swap, trade or sell clothing to increase your current wardrobe while you’re building. The steps before are all good and well but what about the time between the closet clean out and the filling of your dream wardrobe? Well, it’s time to swap or trade clothes with friends (or online) and sell off anything in good condition to fund future purchases. You’d be surprised how easy this can be to do. Search facebook for groups and get out there.

Step 8. The grass is NOT always greener. Stop comparing your wardrobe to others. This is important! Seriously, in every wardrobe there are gaps and I haven’t met a woman yet who doesn’t have “what the heck am I going to wear” moments. Stop looking over that fence, you’ll get there, and if all else fails, ask to borrow a piece or two. Why the heck not, right?

Step 9. Have some fun, get creative and throw the rules out the window. A lot of the clothes I wear are the same clothes or different versions of the same thing. No one cares or notices. But something I do is that I try to style the pieces differently each time. Something simple like knotting a maxi skirt at the hem gives a whole different look. Try wearing skirts or pants higher or lower on your hips or slouchy t-shirts off your shoulder. Mix it up, have some fun with what you have.

Step 10. Keep culling your wardrobe as you grow it. Keep getting rid of clothing that doesn’t fit, that you don’t wear or that you don’t actually like. This is essential to maintaining your wardrobe as you go while you continue to spend less on clothes. If you continue to curate what you do have, it’ll become pretty obvious pretty quickly if you have a thing for picking up $5 tee’s from Kmart on your way out of the shop.

So there you go!

Those are my ten steps for how to spend less on clothes and looking good while you do it. I don’t now about you, but what I need when I’m tackling something new is a plan. So I hope that helps. If you have any questions or suggestions for us, leave them in the comments. And if you want more, check out my Budget Fashionista eBook in my shop. Let’s rock this thing.

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