Smart Shopping: Looking Good on a Budget

Every girl at some time in her life has experienced a huge disparity between what she desires and what she can afford. Whether that be because you simply haven’t got the money for that £100 dress in Topshop, or because you are putting that money towards other things like a dreamy holiday, we have all experienced the disappointment of walking away from an item that we really wanted. Whilst it might be rubbish at the time, the reality is you did the right thing.

But does that mean we can’t look good? Absolutely not. It means using your head a little more (I know, being sensible is no fun) and your bank card a little less. Having been in this situation 16756892742 times myself, I have put together a guide on how to shop well on a budget.

1) Stop repeat buying

How often do you open your wardrobe and feel bored or uninspired? If the answer to that question is ‘often’, perhaps you are guilty of one of the most common shopping habits known to girl-kind: repeat buying. You find a particular item you love, then proceed to spend all of your available funds on that style. On Monday, you open your wardrobe and are filled with delight; every item you see fits your current style. How exciting! But by the time Friday swings around, you want something different. Your wardrobe is fit to bursting and your bank account empty, but you aren’t satisfied. It can happen to the best of us. Next time, look for items that add something different to your wardrobe before saying goodbye to your pay check.

2) Black is your friend

In fact, black is your best friend. It ticks more boxes than any other colour. Compatibility with other colours: tick. Sophisticated: tick. On trend: tick. The list goes on. Whilst you should incorporate colours and patterns into your wardrobe as well to mix things up a bit, for those big ticket items, go for black. That £75 coat? Black! Those £90 shoes? Black! That £9 Primark shirt? Multi-coloured, if you like! The point is, when shopping on a budget, those items that push you even further into your overdraft need to be worth it. Buying black means you will get your moneys worth with a versatile item that can be styled with any outfit.

3) Start with essentials

Having the basic building blocks of an outfit will ensure you achieve good style every time. Those black high-waisted jeans are probably the least exciting item in your wardrobe, but unless you want to be walking around in your pants, you better buy them! You get the gist. Before splashing out on the fancy stuff, you need to get yourself a collection of versatile items that mean you can look good whatever the weather (or occasion). Jeans for day to day wear, that white shirt for interviews or brunch with the girls, and those classic black heels that work both day and night. Once you have cracked these basics, you can begin adding items month by month, safe in the knowledge that you won’t be left short for that important last-minute event that falls the week before pay day!

4) Know when and where to look

Being the first customer in the River Island sale means you will find the best items before the other shoppers at the best prices. Shopping in Zara Basic means you can get a piece with signature Zara style for a fraction of the price. Essentially, you need to be realistic. If you’re shopping in Topshop Unique, you are going to be disappointed. Learn the market and where to go for which items. Once you’ve got that down, you will never struggle again!

If you have any great tips on how to look a million dollars without having to spend it, hit me up on my Instagram or Twitter: @TheStyleClimate

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