Fashionista on a Budget

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Getting the most utility out of your wardrobe should be the goal of any fashionable but budget-minded individual. With this in mind, here are some tips to help ensure that you will always look your best without breaking the bank. 

Buy utility pieces that will go with many other parts of your wardrobe: these are the workhorses of your wardrobe; the pieces that you just can't function day to day without, your multitaskers. A well-fitting pair (or several pairs) of black work slacks is an excellent jump-off point. They go with anything and are perfect for everyday wear at the office. Button-down long-sleeved dress shirts are another excellent example of wardrobe staples. You can go with the classic white plus cuffs model, or, once you've picked a style and cut that fits you really well, try branching out into colors that you love. These shirts go perfectly with the black slacks, but also with any number of bottoms, additionally, they layer beautifully with sweaters or other types of tops.

Try not to buy a piece of clothing or an accessory without a potential outfit in mind. Sometimes a piece is just too cute to pass up, and must be purchased in violation of one of the cardinal wardrobe rules, which is to avoid buying a component piece without a matching piece to make an outfit (either one you already own or one you are purchasing as a companion piece to the first). With this purchase comes the challenge: what to wear with it? If you have something you own that you know will be a perfect fit then by all means proceed. If you don’t, it might be worth your time to search for a matching top or bottom while you are still out shopping, when you can get the best idea of what looks good with what you want to purchase without actually spending the money yet. If a piece is a clear must-have but you don’t really have a good idea of what you can wear with it, you will want to spend some time evaluating your wardrobe to find a mate. Start with the piece and think about its cut, its overall style, and its color, and try to get a feel for what you own that will really go well with the piece, and how you can wear new and existing clothing in such a way as to make both elements look really great on you. On the plus side, it gives you some quality time considering your wardrobe, and that’s never a bad thing.

When you must break rule two (and you will from time to time), be willing to try new combinations. Consider patterns you might not typically chose, or maybe a dress you’ve had your eye on that seems too short can be layered with leggings. These two suggestions can be combined, as leggings in specific are in vogue right now, especially bright and unusually patterned leggings (like these dynamic chevron leggings from rue21). If you love the buttoned-down shirt look, spice it up with a brightly patterned high-low skirt and your favorite pair of sexy pumps. By thinking outside your comfort zone, you can get some good deals and some fresh new looks!