You don’t have to be rich to have style. It’s true!—believe it or not. Even though we would all love to have that “Pretty Woman moment” where we leave the mall with more bags than we can carry, the reality is, most of us will never live that dream. Instead, we’re desperately trying to stick to a budget and put a lid on our credit card bills.
So how do you get a “Pretty Woman” wardrobe on a shoestring budget? I’ll give you five tricks to keep up your sleeve to ensure that your clothes look expensive and stylish while not leveraging your kid’s college fund.
Stop Buying Clothes That You’ll Never Wear
This is rule number one to shopping on a budget. It’s also why I recommend that after you’ve paired down your closet to a capsule wardrobe, you make a list of the things you NEED and the few things you WANT, and then stick to it.
Get Your Clothes Tailored
One of the reasons why wealthy people look like their clothes are tailor-made for them is because they are. Tailoring your clothes is a great trick to making your clothes look expensive. Having clothes that are too big or too tight is a dead giveaway that you’re shopping on a budget.
Buy on Consignment
You can find that name-brand piece that you loved in the store for half the price or less. Try websites such as Poshmark or ThredUP. Sometimes the items being sold still have the tags and you can get them for a steal.
Buy Interchangeable Items
Did you know that if you had 20 tops, 10 pants, 5 skirts, and 2 pairs of shorts, you would have the ability to put together 340 different outfits? Amazing! That’s a different outfit for almost every day of the year. So buy things that are interchangeable. And remember—variety is great, but when attempting to stick to a budget, be sure to stick with a color scheme. It’ll save you money!
It doesn’t mean that you have to buy the most expensive item on the rack, it just means that you have to develop an eye for quality. Look at the material—will it pull easily, pill up or shrink after a couple of washes? Is it washable or dry clean only? A dry clean only item will affect your budget long term and may cause you to wear the item less than you would if you could just wash it at home.
Use the Cost Per Wear formula when purchasing an item. If it’s between a $5 t-shirt that will fade or pill up after a couple of washes, versus a $50 t-shirt that will still look fabulous after 25 washes, I’ll buy the $50 t-shirt any day. Quality over quantity—that’s how I Nest Pretty. And it will save you money in the long run while looking great.
So you don’t have to be rich to have style. You just have to shop smarter. Buy only the things you’ll wear, tailor the items you buy, buy on consignment when you can, make sure those items are interchangeable with what you already own, and make sure that what you purchase is high quality. By employing these tricks, you can have an enviable style even though you’re shopping on a budget.