#1 Tip For Having Style On The Cheap

Learning how to have style while being on a getting-out-of-debt mission can feel daunting. If you’re suddenly living a frugal and thrifty life that means no more quick-trips to the mall to get the latest styles and it also means that the online shopping getting canned.

So, what do you do? Does no money really mean no style?

Here is my #1 Tip for Having Style on the Cheap!… 

Get Rid of Clothes You Don’t Feel Great In

One of the things I started doing when I began the Spending Fast is that I got rid of clothes that I didn’t absolutely LOVE so if I didn’t feel REALLY AMAZING in it, it was out the door.

When you start to scale back with the spending getting rid of things can feel like the exact opposite of what you think you should do. There is a tendency to want to grip even tighter to what you do have, even if it’s no good. It’s easy to think, “Well, I know I won’t be able to buy new things anytime soon so I should probably keep this raggedy-ass shirt that makes me look like I just ate 10 cakes for breakfast”.

It’s also highly-likely that panic could set in (it did for me): “I might need this! I might not have anything to wear! What if I don’t have anything to wear! I really might not have anything to wear?!”

does this outfit look familiar? it’s the same one i’m wearing in the above picture. black cap sleeve scoop neck top and vintage navy and white polka-dot skirt = favorite “fancy” outfit ever. i try to keep my clothes in great shape (wash in cold always) so they last foreverWhat happened when I got rid of the clothes I felt like crap in was that I found I felt so much better about my style. Everything that made the cut were items that I feel great in, all the clothes fit the way that they should and they just worked.

The fear of not having enough diminished once the focus shifted from paying attention to all that wasn’t working with my wardrobe to focusing on everything that was working with my wardrobe.

That simple shift in perspective made all the difference!


How do you have style without spending tons of money and is it possible to have a cute look without spending a lot? How do you make it work?

p.s. you might like this post on making inexpensive thrift and vintage items current


9 thoughts on “#1 Tip For Having Style On The Cheap

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  1. Joanna

    Great topic! (And great blog, too!) I've been chatting with my friends lately and I noticed that they think that I spend a lot of money on my wardrobe and were super-surprised when they realized that I didn't. It's good to spend money on good solid pieces (coat, work shoes, anything for work, basically) and then to punch up the rest of your wardrobe with accessories like necklaces, scarves, etc. so you can get more bang for your buck. I absolutely love going thrifting, too, and sometimes it helps to think past the ugly cut; you might be able to get a blouse or skirt tailored more affordably than if you spent time trolling through the mall for the perfect fit. I totally agree with you! It's great to edit one's wardrobe and just have the pieces that you love and make you look great as a base. Then you'll be able to see exactly what you need, thus saving you money. I found that it helps to take pictures of different outfits, too; it's fun and keeps you from spending when you think your wardrobe is boring. Sometimes all it takes is putting pieces together differently :)

  2. Anna Newell Jones

    You make a ton of great points Joanna! I love the idea of taking pictures of your outfits too. That's such a great way to get a different (and possibly more objective) look at your clothes.

  3. Nessbow

    There are plenty of ways to be stylish on a budget. Timing is everything, and I almost never buy an item for its full price. I know that if I wait a month or so, it will be clearance stock. I tell myself that if there's still one left in my size when it gets marked down, then it was meant to be. Otherwise, I just have to let it go.

    Swapping items with girlfriends, frequenting thrift stores and garage sales and re-purposing your old gear are all great ideas as well. I try to think of new ways to wear things that I've worn a million times. I like getting a friend over to play dress-ups with me- they always look at things slightly differently, and I come away with loads of new inspiration (without spending a cent!)

  4. Thistle

    I keep my style up to date by thrifting and swapping, but I also frequent antique stores. Believe it or not, amongst the random antiques there are often little nooks where people have a few clothing items here and there. I once scored a brand new pair of current season Minnetonka moccasins in my size for $10 in an antique store. I've also recently found an amazing cardigan for $15 that I'm sure would cost 3 or 4 times that amount on Etsy or in a true "vintage" store. The tricks I have found are to be selective, only go shop when I'm actually in need of a particular item, and to not be afraid to leave empty handed.

  5. Pingback: 8 Cheap Ways to Update a Wardrobe You Hate | PFS

  6. Nicole Longstreath

    I love this post! Yes, editing your wardrobe sounds counter-intuitive, but it really does help you feel better about how you look. The thought of a “concise” wardrobe is scary, but clearing out all that visual noise is so worth it!

  7. Tan

    This tip is also great to help us girls manage our time when dressing for the day. When selections are limited they encourage creativity but also helps us narrow down our choices reducing the amount of time we waist deciding what to wear and then wondering “if” it will fit.


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