6 Ways to Upgrade Your Style on a Budget

Collaborative post by another author. Different people have different reasons for upgrading their style; they could be getting a new job, feel they are stuck in a rut fashion wise, or want to switch to more eco-conscious clothing. Whatever your motivation to upgrade your wardrobe there’s one fact you can’t escape: it will cost you money to buy even just a couple of new outfits.

That being said, you don’t really have to spend that much when you upgrade your style. The key is to make a few strategic purchasing decisions and personal resolutions. This way, you can look and feel great without burning through your savings.

Stock image of clothes hanging in a wardrobe and shoes

Here are a few tips to get you started on upgrading your style on a budget:

Go With Neutral-Colored Fashion Staples

Among the best things to invest in when it comes to fashion are the so-called classic pieces. These include things like a structured blazer, a trench coat, a tailored business suit, a leather bag, a knit sweater, and court shoes. Of course, you can’t go wrong with well fitting high-quality denim jeans.

When you purchase these items, it’s best to go for a neutral palette. Aside from black and white, you can also go for navy blue, grey, varying shades of brown, and taupe. These colors can serve as an anchor for all your bold and bright accessories, which will result in a put-together look.

Here’s an example. You can start with a base ensemble of a white T-shirt and a black leather skirt. Then, you can buy socks in colorful stripes to pair with sneakers and add a yellow scarf or a pink beret for a final touch. The main pieces may be “plain” on their own, but you can add punchy personal touches that will make them look more unique.

Explore Thrift Stores with Care

If you’re looking for designer items, thrift stores are a literal treasure trove. In some cases, you may find high-fashion labels that are 50% off their original price—sometimes even cheaper! You just have to be patient to find really good pieces.

Before you go into a thrift store, however, you need to be prepared. First, pay attention to the fabric. Ideally, you’re looking for natural ones, like cotton, wool, and silk. If you want something more affordable, look for fabric blends with more natural material (e.g., 80% cotton, 20% polyester). You should also do your homework with regard to how authentic designer pieces look and feel like. There are plenty of knock-offs in thrift stores, so you have to be extra vigilant to not be duped. It's worth checking the care instructions too as you wont want the expense of dry cleaning.

Mind Your Body Shape and the Fit of Your Clothes

There are certain styles that are much better suited for certain body shapes. For example, if you have narrow shoulders, a trim waist, and a full bottom (commonly referred to as “the pear”), it’s best to emphasize your upper body. You can do this by wearing off-shoulder tops or ruffled, embellished blouses.

It’s also crucial to get the right fit. This is why celebrities always look good, no matter what they wear—their tailoring ensures clothes fit them just right. If you find something you like and that suits your body shape, but is just a tiny bit snug or loose, go to a tailor and have it altered. Those few extra dollars you spend will make you look like a million bucks!

Match Your Metals

If you’re going to wear clothes, shoes, and accessories with metal or metal-looking embellishments, like chains, buttons, or buckles, make sure to match their colors. In short, gold with gold, silver with silver, and so on. Doing this will help you create a more unified look. The same principle applies to jewelry, like earrings, bracelets, and necklaces.

Of course, you should do your best not to go overboard with your embellished clothes and accessories. Not only will this weigh down your look, literally and figuratively, but it can also make you look gaudy.

Clean Out Your Closet

Sometimes, you end up looking sloppy and dated because you still have plenty of run-down, out-of-style clothes in your closet. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with hanging on to classic items that are old but still in good shape—you’re meant to keep these timeless pieces after all! However, damaged and ill-fitting clothes have got to go no matter how much you loved wearing them before.

By clearing your wardrobe of your old stuff, you can make space for new items that fit you better and suit your new style.

Good Grooming and Good Health Make an Impact

One of the biggest things that affect how you look, regardless of what you’re wearing, is your grooming. With a fresh face, well styled hair, and manicured nails, you can elevate your style without too much effort. You don’t even have to splurge on trips to the spa and salon. The most important part is to keep yourself healthy by eating right, getting enough sleep, and practicing good skin care.

Indeed, when you combine your impeccable sense of fashion with good hygiene and healthy habits, you’ll always look picture-perfect.

Upgrading your personal style does entail some spending, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. With the above-mentioned tips, you can be fashionable without going over your budget.

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