I’ve skimmed a few blogs lately on fashion, especially in regards to capsule wardrobes. Unfancy anyone? I love her blog and I love the concept she’s proposing. But when I look at her budget for her wardrobes, I start choking on the water I’m drinking a little bit.
$500 for her Summer Capsule Wardrobe? $1000 for her Winter? I mean, really it’s not a bad budget if you’re starting from the ground up and you want quality pieces. But we simply don’t have that kind of money to devote to clothing right now.
Believe me, if you gave me $1,000 I probably wouldn’t have a problem using it up. I’m naturally drawn to quality, which is code for expensive.
However, my goal in putting together a Workhorse Capsule Wardrobe was to have quality pieces that were going to look great and last. So how do I get the most for my very limited buck?
1. Use What You Have
After you’ve done your big purge, take a good look at what’s left over. Scour Pinterest and see what kinds of outfits you can put together with the pieces you currently own. I found so many ideas for the few things I did have left over and it gave me more direction for the rest of my wardrobe.
2. Create a Plan
I started a Pinterest board for my Fall/Winter Capsule Wardrobe. It’s got outfit ideas and pieces that I want to try, kind of a visual list, if you will.
I then listed out those and figured out the ones that would make the biggest impact and started searching for those first.
For example, a pair of jeans or a chambray shirt is going to stretch across several outfits, while a crazy patterned blouse is probably only going to work for one or two.
Another way to really stretch a tiny wardrobe is with awesome accessories. Scarves and necklaces can really change the whole feel of an outfit. Plus, they’re usually pretty affordable, especially if you shop the places listed in #4.
3. Thrift Stores
My biggest tip to stretch your money farther is to shop used. I’ve got a couple of awesome consignment stores that I love around here. And of course, my beloved ThredUp, (you’ll get $10 when you click through that link) the best place to find used clothing online. I really loved Twice, but they’re closed now and ThredUp has really kicked it up a notch.
You can check out my post here on how to get the most of online thrift shopping.
4. Deal Sites
I’ve really enjoyed skimming through boutique deal sites lately. I have to limit myself to what’s on my list though because the crazy good deals can get addicting if you’re not careful.
- Jane.com – I’ve been loving this one because of the prices. I found a nice little bracelet for $2.99 and a cardigan for $7. It’s all very affordable and I’ve been very pleased with the quality so far. And the best part, you can return things that don’t turn out. I love not having to commit to something if it doesn’t fit right or wasn’t what I was expecting.
- Group Dealz – This place is the same concept as Jane and the same great prices.
- Simple Addiction – I just found this one, but I’ve been blown away with the prices. Unfortunately, the super low prices are low because you can’t return anything.
- Zulily – I’ve only ordered shoes for Jordan from this place, mostly because you can’t return things. It make me nervous, however, if you know what you’re looking for and they’ve got a deal on it, it’s a good place.
I know, I know, Stitch Fix tends to be a little pricey. However, I have found that it’s been an awesome way to pull me outside of my comfort zone and try on things that I never would have taken a second glance at the store.
I can usually only afford to keep one or two pieces at a time. But if I loved something else but couldn’t afford to keep it at the StitchFix price, I’ll search for it used.
For example, I got a pair of Kut from the Kloth jean shorts and realized they fit me like a glove. Amazing, but not quite worth the $69 price tag.
So I started searching eBay and found a pair of Kut from the Kloth white denim jeans for $7. They were too long, so I took them to the tailor and got them hemmed for about $10. Now I’ve got a pair of great fitting jeans for less than $30.
I also found a pair of black skinny Kut from the Kloth jeans on ThredUp for $20 and they’re amazing.
eBay can be your best friend when it comes to scoring great deals (see above). I’ve had great luck finding shoes lately. My new favorite brand is Madewell because of how amazingly comfortable they are and the quality has been spot on. I can not afford $80 for a pair of flats, but that same pair gently used for $20? Yes, please!
Find a Tailor
Having clothing that fits you correctly is one of the biggest differences between something looking good and something looking amazing. And since you’re on a budget, I bet you can’t afford to have all your clothing custom made for you, right? Same here.
But this is where a good tailor comes in. For those workhorse items in your wardrobe, like pants or jeans, it’s well worth the money to get them tailored to fit your body.
Like I mentioned before, I’ve found designer jeans for super cheap and then had them hemmed to fit my short little legs.
This tip is especially helpful if you have a difficult body shape. Buy for the biggest part of your body and then have it tailored to fit the rest. If you want a detailed info on what exactly can be tailored on different pieces, check out this book.
Splurge Only on Some Things
While I’d love to get quality on everything I wear, that’s just not a possibility for us right now. So, I’ve been focusing on splurging only on certain items.
Shoes and jeans have been my basic rule since they’ll stretch my wardrobe the farthest and seem to make the biggest impact. Comfortable shoes and jeans that fit right are kind of the base of most any outfit.
Caroline from Unfancy has a good rule for this one that I also love. If it’s something you’re wanting to try out, buy the cheaper version of it. If you end up loving it, go ahead and splurge on a good one. A nice purse or a really nice pair of boots are great examples (see the point about eBay).
Be sure to check out my other posts on Style with Purpose.
What are some of your best tips for getting the best deals?
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