dressing well on a budget

Dressing Well On A Budget: 5 Tips For Affordable Clothing

Dressing well on a budget is an art mastered by few.

Do you have a big job interview coming up?

Perhaps you’re heading out on a date with someone you’d like to impress?

Or maybe the big day is here, you’re graduating and you need to dress up spiffy to accept your graduation certification?

Whatever the occasion is, wearing a Gucci suit or sporting the latest heels from Louis Vuitton simply isn’t necessary. 

And thankfully looking good and dressing well doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg as long as you know where to look.

Therefore, we’ve put this article together to give you some ideas on how to dress well on a budget.

Follow these tips to not only dress well but also to save yourself a tonne of money.

1. Dissect Your Wardrobe

Does your closet resemble the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe?

A portal to another world, where many treasures lay hidden beyond your searching eyes?

If this is the case, then before you rush out to buy a new getup perhaps it’s a good idea to clean up and sort your current garments out.

You never know what you may find laying hidden away. The chances are you probably already own something stylish enough no matter what the occasion calls for. 

Therefore, why not pull everything out and start a much-needed audit. Combine the belts with the belts, the scarves with the scarves, put all your work clothes in one section, your designer clothes in another, and find a place for all your dress shoes.

Once you’re done everything will appear much clearer. 

Organizing your wardrobe in this way will help you make combinations of different garments you’ve never tried before. You might even find a treasured outfit you’d forgotten about that will serve as the perfect solution to your dress code woes.

2. Try Your Local Thrift Or Opportunity Store

Now you’ve cleaned out your wardrobe, take your old clothes you no longer want and head to your local thrift or opportunity store and trade them in for some trendy pieces. 

You won’t believe the absolute gems that people will donate or throw away. Some items look so new you’d swear they’ve come straight from a department store. 

And that’s because they have. 

If a department store is unable to sell a line of garments or a new season of clothing comes in they’ll likely donate the “old” clothes straight to their local thrift or opportunity store. 

Perfect for someone like yourself who is looking for a bargain.

You’ll find all sorts of trendy pieces, anything from dress shirts to trench coats, leather jackets to handbags, suits to skirts, or a great new pair of white sneakers or some perfectly fitting flats.

3. Tee Up A Swap Meet With Your Friends

If you still have any items that you no longer need but simply can’t bear to see them go to the thrift store or in the bin then why not trade them with your friends. That way you’ll get to see your friends enjoy some of your old favorites on a night out with them.

If this is the case then why not organize a swap meet day?

Grab yourself a couple of beers or a nice bottle of wine, layout everybody’s garments, and go for it.

Swap till your heart is content, no long checkout lines, no overpriced brands, just good fun, lots of laughs, and bonding time with your buddies.

4. Be On The Lookout For Seasonal Sales

Department stores are always chopping and changing their ranges, therefore, it’s a good idea to constantly be on the lookout for great deals and new outfits.

A great tip for dressing well on a budget is to shop at the change of a season, making the most of discounts or sales, then put your new out of season purchases away for next year when it is suitable to wear the garments once again.

Sure, you’ll be a season behind on the fashion, but really who is going to notice?

Plus, it is now fashionable to pull out those older season pieces and rock them once more.

The best time of year to be on the lookout for clothing are on Cyber Monday, Black Friday, Labor Day, and after the New Year has arrived. 

By sticking to the sales, you’ll always grab yourself a great deal.

5. Try Before You Buy

A stylish dress shirt or skirt may look great hanging on a department store’s clothing rack, but how does it look once you’ve put it on?

Don’t make a rash decision, take your time when choosing a new garment, take it to the changing rooms and try it on. That way you’ll know exactly how it fits, feels, and looks on you.

As tempting, as it might be, don’t trust the sizing or simply assume that it will look great on you just because it did on the mannequin in the shop window. 

Plus, trying clothes on before you go to the checkout is a much better way to match garments together into great outfits. That way you’ll save yourself time and money by not going back to the store to return any unwanted pieces. And overall you are much more likely to wear them if they suit you and your wardrobe.

Which will, of course, save you more money in the long run.

See? Dressing well on a budget isn’t that hard!


Another great way to ensure you are dressing well on a budget is to employ the help of Emma.

Emma is a money management app that will help you keep on top of any overspending. She will help you take control of your finances, make sure you aren’t buying anything you don’t need, and highlight any areas of your finances that need addressing.

With the Emma app, you’ll be the first to know where you can save a little extra cash, perhaps by avoiding any nasty banking fees, orcancelling wasteful subscriptions to get your credit score back into shape.

Here at Emma we truly believe that everybody deserves a financial advocate. That’s why we strive to provide you with the best experience we can while taking care of your financial well being.

Emma is available for easy download on both the App Store and Google Play Store.