10 July 2012

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Dress for less

For some it’s easy to stick to a budget when it comes to clothes, because they are satisfied with wearing the same threads month after month. Others deprive themselves of nice clothes to save money, and it shows. The rest of us who want nice things, but also want to make it to the end of the month with our pay check, have to find ways to shop for less. I want to share some tips on how to shop and dress in such a way that you will always have something to wear, without using your credit card or store cards because you are desperate for a new outfit!

Mix it up for new looks
If you fall into the category of people who feel lost in dressing themselves or who shy away from dressing fashionably because you think it will cost too much, this is for you as well. We all have to wear clothes, so we might as well feel good doing so!

When you feel like you have nothing to wear it’s usually just because you are bored with what you have. If this is the case, get creative. Look for DIY tutorials on the internet. You can convert a boring old t-shirt into a bling mini dress with some skill and scissors! Also, search for fashion ideas with what you already have or the style that you like. Wearing the same clothes in new ways can be very exciting.

However, if you really don’t have anything to wear to a certain occasion, I have a few pointers. We all need more formal clothes, but to get the most out of these, ask yourself if you can wear the jacket or dress or shoes you are buying for a formal occasion mixed up with casual clothes or accessories for a semi-formal look. Also, buy items that are classic and suit you and not the fashion trends. Chances are you won’t be wearing these very often, so you want to get a good few years out of them.

Plain colours are a good idea as you can transform the look of the item with different accessories or complimentary items. With prints or something that’s more than one colour (excluding if it has white or black in) it will be much more noticeable that you are wearing something over and over because you probably won’t have a lot of other clothes that go with it and prints are to memory what tape is to paper: they just stick.

For items that you will need more of, such as work or formal wear, stick to a palette. Wearing the same colour all the time, in a desperate bid for all your clothes to match, is really boring and you will get that “I have nothing to wear” feeling all too often. Instead, decide in a palette and in this way, all your clothes will go together and it will make shopping easier as the colours that you like most will grab your eye first and you will feel less lost.

A pastel pallet
For instance, my palette is jewel colours because I like pastels AND I like dark colours like navy and dark purple and black on occasion. So to make sure almost all my clothes go together, I avoid anything that will clash with light pink. So red, and green are no-goes, but turquoise and most dark colours can work. This is easy for me as I don’t like primary colours like yellow or green, but I love secondary colours.

My best friend is the opposite: he wear a lot of red, coupled with grey, blue, navy blue, green and white. He tones down primary colours by wearing them with more neutral colours like grey or black. Never wear two primary colours unless you really know what you’re doing. Most people end up looking like their wearing a uniform of some forgotten sports team.

Lastly, buy less but buy quality when it comes to wardrobe staples such as denim, plain t-shirts, warm jackets or whichever items you cannot live without. Clothes that are worn regularly will take more punishment, so you want them to last. Staples are also typically fashion items that don’t change from one year to the next, so you will want to wear them for longer periods of time as well. Buying for bargains is fun until your clothes start to stretch and fade, when you know you could have worn them forever (almost).

I hope this helped you feel more confident about shopping and dressing on a budget. It really doesn’t have to be boring and unfashionable. It’s all about knowing what you like wearing and sticking to more classic pieces.

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