How To Update Your Wardrobe On A Seriously Tight Budget

Fall is rapidly approaching, and you've probably started to see stores rolling out the beginning...

Fall is rapidly approaching, and you've probably started to see stores rolling out the beginning of their fall season stock. But tempting as it may be to run out and buy every cute item you see, for most of us budgeting is a real concern. For many ladies, looking cute and feeling cute are important to our self-esteem. And if you're having a low self-esteem day, resisting that cute dress that made you feel adorable because of your budget can make your bad self-esteem day even worse. Ladies, if you've been feeling a real need for a makeover, but you absolutely need to stick to a tight budget, here are the things to do to give you that confidence boost you want from a head-turning outfit without having to break the bank.


  • Repurpose and recycle. Your wardrobe is probably full of a few staple items that you wear all the time, plus some items that you tend to forget about or wear only once in a while. Take stock of these items and find ways to work them into your regular outfit cycle. First, figure out why you don't normally choose it. Does it not fit correctly in some spot? Do you have a hard time wearing that color? Try out different accessory combinations to see if you can find a way to make it work with your style. Or alter it! Turn an unflattering dress into a fitted skirt. Add some beads or jewels to a plain belt. Think about how you could rework it to make it a better part of your normal wardrobe.
  • If you really feel a need to shop, shop for last season. You can get lots of great items in off-season sales, but you have to sort of get your head in the past. Was there anything from my summer wardrobe that might not make it to next year? Is anything going to wear out or look unflattering by next summer?
  • For anything you need for the coming season like sweaters or jackets, try out your local thrift stores or consignment shops first. It'll take a little searching, but you can score some really great one-of-a-kind finds at these kinds of stores, or even sometimes designer items that are much cheaper than they would be in the store.

  • Shop among friends. Have your friends each pick out some items from their own wardrobe that they don't want anymore. Get together and have a swap party. Lay everything out on a table or on hangers and take a turn picking out one item until everything is gone or until no one wants anything else. Anything leftover can go to charity. This is a really good way for everyone to get some new items for their wardrobe without anyone actually having to spend any money.
  • Think about accessories. Getting some inexpensive accessories can be a really good way to jazz up some boring outfits. Just make sure you aren't spending too much on any one thing. A good place to start is with some cheap statement rings and necklaces like the ones from the Emitations imitation jewelry lines. Statement earrings and a statement necklace can really add a lot of color and personality to one of your standby outfits. Other things to consider are inexpensive scarves, hats, gloves, handbags, shoes, and belts. Make sure you only pick out items that can work with a variety of your outfits.

  • Repair old items instead of replacing them. It might be tempting to go out for a new pair of shoes as soon as a heel breaks, but it's usually much cheaper to just have them repaired. You can also have handbag straps and panels repaired at many places, too. Alternatively, learn to fix other items yourself. You can really get a much longer lifespan out of most of your clothing items if you know how to sew a simple seam.
  • Avoid window shopping like it's your job. While it might feel good, when you've had a bad day, to head to the mall and buy something cute to boost your mood. But once the remorse sets in from spending outside your budget, you're going to feel worse than before. Stay away from anything that might tempt you to spend outside of your budget, and always keep a close count on your budget. It may seem like a sale is too good to miss, but unless you actually need that item on sale, it isn't worth it.


Learning to be thrifty without sacrificing on the things you love is a great skill to have. Not only will it help your wallet now, it will help prevent you from developing any bad spending and shopping habits in the future. For more tips on how to save on clothes, check out this list!

Image Source: 1, 2, 3, 4

Contributed By: Kimberly

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  1. Even I have too many clothes which needs to be disposed. Got to do it soon!

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