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How to look good on a budget

I’m baaack. Yes, after a massively prolonged absence, I’m back in the proverbial blogging saddle. The main reason why I stopped was to spend more time with my family. Combined with the fact that I forgot the reason why I started blogging in the first place meant that I had to give myself a well deserved break.

But I’m back now, writing about the things that I love and one of those things is fashion. It sounds like one of those cliché things you hear bloggers saying all the time. But I do. I love fashion, I love looking good and I love to shop. A lot. However, I’m also one of those people (and there are lots of us) who don’t have much money. I gave up paid employment 6 years ago when I had my eldest daughter and so there isn’t a great deal of spare cash floating around for me to regularly supplement my wardrobe. Pity.

Although, despite my change in circumstances, I’ve managed to keep in step with the trends. My wallet may have gotten smaller, but my closet certainly has not.I know that I’m not alone in wanting to look good on a budget, so here are my tips for how to look good on a budget:

1.  Store things away.

I know that this flies in the face of all those fashionistas who like to do a wardrobe clear out every season, but my first tip to looking good on a budget is to NEVER. THROW. ANYTHING. OUT… EVER. Ok, so maybe I don’t actually mean forever and if that moth eaten jumper from last season is taking up valuable space in your wardrobe, then please chuck it out. But if it’s a perfectly decent garment, then hang on to it for a while – a few years even. Fashion moves in cycles and you never know when something might come back into fashion. For example, I hung on to 3 pairs of denim flares that I used to wear frequently back in the early noughties (yes, I’m that old), but as skinny jeans heralded the new dawn, I eventually fell out of love with them and I put them away. Years later and my Pinterest feed is suddenly full of pictures of women in flared trousers and floppy hats. I feel the need to get a pair of flares and thankfully I have a pair tucked away.

Result = Michelle 1 Bank Manager 0.

2. eBay

You don’t hear of people finding bargains on eBay as much as you used to, but this is still my first port of call for finding a bargain. After being a ballet flats/boots kind of girl for the past few years, I felt it was time to invest in a good pair of trainers, but couldn’t face buying them on the high street for two reasons 1) the crayzay high prices and 2) those shops are seriously intimidating. Nobody wants to try on trainers, with two kids in tow, surrounded by ‘yooves’, all the while enduring a deafening soundtrack of urban grime. (yes, I read that back and realised how old I sounded too). So I turned to eBay. I set myself a spending limit (very important if like me you suffer from online auction adrenaline – it’s a thing people) and prepared myself to lose out on any trainers that went over my limit. I did lose out on quite a few, but eventually I managed to win these

grey nike trainers

So basically, I turn to eBay if there’s a look or trend that I want to emulate, but can’t afford to  get on the high street. My current fashion obsession are black denim dungarees. I currently have 5 pairs saved to my ‘watched items’ list, so watch this space…

3. Get thrifty.

Another way that I supplement my wardrobe is by shopping in charity shops. Charity shops (or thrift shops to my friends over the pond) get a bad rap for being full of junk and smelling musty. Whilst it’s not always possible to avoid the musty smell, it is possible to find a bargain from time to time. Although there is a knack to doing this well, success is also partly down to luck. The trick is to not go with a specific item in mind because you are likely to leave empty handed but always keep an open mind. In my experience, out of town charity shops are the best. I avoid ones in town centres like the plague. They are often full of Primark cast-offs and are usually hideously over priced. But keep looking and you will find a bargain.

4. Spend wisely

My fourth tip is a classic fashion blogger cliché, but like most clichés it rings true and that is to INVEST IN KEY PIECES. Quality is most often the cheapest option. Case in point: my leather jacket. It is by far the most expensive item in my wardrobe, but it has vastly outlasted by previous ‘pleather’ version. I’ve worn it so much that on a ‘price per wear’ basis I’m definitely in single figures now, so save your pennies and buy quality items.

5. Chin up

My final and most important tip to looking good on a budget is to HAVE CONFIDENCE IN YOURSELF. You could be head to toe in Armani, but if you have no self-confidence, the chances are that you will sell yourself short. Looking good starts from the inside out, not the other way around. If you like what you’re wearing, don’t fret about what other people may think, puff your chest out, blow yourself a kiss in the mirror, and get going. You look good, girl, and you know it.

So that’s it’s my guide to looking good on a tight budget. It’s by no means definitive, but it’s what I found works for me. I hope that you find this works for you too!


Michelle x

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