How I Redid My Wardrobe On A Budget
Style is such a personal thing. While one person feels comfortable in a crop top and a skirt, others feel comfortable in jeans and a sweater. My style has evolved miles over the years and with that evolution has come some confidence as well as some insecurities.
My Style Then
I never really knew how to dress myself. Ever since I was little, I went to schools with strict dress codes. They either required a uniform or khaki pants and polo shirts. Whenever I went out with my friends outside of school it was more polo shirts and boot cut jeans. This continued up until about my senior year of high school, where I transitioned into more T-shirts and jeans. Basically, if it wasn’t comfortable, I didn’t wear it. I played sports all year round so I was always in work out gear, as well. All things considered, my style was basically non-existent. I’m also really happy I don’t have any photos of me at this time in my life because they’re actually traumatizing to look at now.
My Style In the Middle
When I started working and earning my own money, I was finally able to buy clothes I wanted. However, because I’d been so accustomed to just wearing what I thought was comfortable, I didn’t actually know how to dress myself. I would just buy pieces willy-nilly without any thought as to how it would mesh with the rest of my wardrobe. And yes - in order to curate a wardrobe that will give you your money’s worth, it’s important to really think about the pieces you buy.
So, even in college, I still didn’t know how to fully dress myself. At first, I loved the idea of getting to wear whatever I wanted to school for a change. And then I started to see it at a chore. I hated planning my outfits and soon just started to wear my same old jeans and T-shirts again. Let me also explain - there is absolutely nothing wrong with jeans and T-shirts. I love jeans and T-shirts. But I never did my hair (I usually had it thrown up in a bun on top of my head), I wore flip flops or converse, and almost never had make up on as this was just before the time YouTube Beauty Gurus blew up and controlled the world.
I was halfway between caring and not trying.
My Style Now
Believe it or not, Edwin is actually the one that pushed me to dress more stylishly. And living near one of the most fashionable, blogger-filled cities in the world has inspired me to take another look at my wardrobe. But don’t be fooled - this took a solid two years to accomplish. I had to clear out a lot of pieces that just didn’t work any more from my wardrobe to make way for new pieces. That would also be my biggest tip to you when you want to redo your wardrobe: always start with a clear out. If I haven’t worn it in the last 6 months to a year, I get rid of it. I hate clutter and will find anyway to get rid of it that I can.
I had a lot of body issues growing up as a kid and it always kind of made it really hard to find things about my body that I liked, therefore making it hard to dress myself. Eventually I found I love accentuating my waist and my legs while covering other areas I’m self conscious of like my arms. Even then, I still wear sleeveless tops because it’s important to push yourself outside of your comfort zone sometimes. I love wearing high waisted skirts, jeans, or pants, body suits, and dresses to name a few, as I feel these things really help accentuate all the parts of me I love. Always dress up your strengths.
When and What To Invest In
For a really long time, I dreaded investing in clothes. I was never into the idea that I needed to dress nice to run errands. It took a really long time but eventually I cycled out all my unflattering boot cut jeans, anime T-shirts, and just flat out ill-fitting clothes.
The first thing I invested in were some good jeans. Having a go-to pair of jeans was the first thing that helped boost my confidence. Once I found those jeans I bought multiples - different washes, colors, with rips, without rips, etc. If I find something I like, I’ll usually wear the heck out of it and having it in different colors helps! You also don’t have to spend a whole lot of money. I learned to watch for sales and specials to make the most out of my money. My favorite place for jeans is Abercrombie and Fitch - which is ironic because as a teen I could never convince my mom to spend the $100 on a pair of their jeans. (Spoiler alert - you can almost always find their jeans for half off nowadays!)
The next thing I invested in was a nice bag. My personal preference is Kate Spade! They have tons of surprise sales that let you invest in nice pieces without having to pay full price. Over the course of a few years, my collection has grown to accommodate different styles for different outfits. I can’t really put a name to my style as it changes day-to-day. Sometimes I like dressing super girly, sometimes I like dressed very edgy and that’s okay! I’d rather have a diverse wardrobe than have to stick to one style I might get sick of.
If there’s a new trend I’m unsure of, I’ll go to stores like TJMaxx and by a cheaper alternative rather than investing tons of money in a high quality item that I might not even like a few months down the line. For example: designer bags. So many lower end stores do dupes of Gucci, Givenchy, and Chanel bags (to name a few) and you can always invest in a $20-30 purse and see if you like the style before you decide to invest thousands of dollars in a designer bag. Here’s another example, the shoes I’m wearing in the picture below are a dupe for the Gucci Loafer slides and I got them at Target for sale - $12! And I’m constantly getting compliments on them! You don’t have to spend a ton of money to look stylish.
Next, I invested in some heels. When I first started walking in heels I looked like a baby deer. It doesn’t help either that I’m super clumsy. It takes a lot of practice and finding the right heels for you is imperative. I started off with wedges because they had a lot more support and then I moved to stilettos when I felt more comfortable and confident in my walk. It may sound silly but wearing heels can boost your confidence even if it’s just walking down the street to the shops.
I also learned how to accessorize. I used to hate wearing any sort of jewelry. The most I could stand was maybe a light necklace and maybe a ring but anything beyond that just annoyed me. Now, I can't stand to be without my favorite pieces. It doesn't have to be jewelry either. Recently, much to Edwin's dismay, I discovered a love for bandanas! I love tying them on my bags, using them in my hair, or even around my neck. Sunglasses are also fantastic for adding different feels to different outfits.
To sum it all up, here are my top tips for redoing your wardrobe on a budget:
Always look for a sale
Find pieces that accentuate your favorite features
Don’t be afraid to try new styles
Research high-end styles and buy lower end alternatives
Invest in better pieces when you can
Learn to accessorize
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post: style is such a personal thing. Some of us prefer minimalistic, eco-friendly clothing while others have no problem spending $400 on a belt. But whatever it is you choose to wear, wear it with confidence! The best wardrobe in the world will be completely useless to you if it doesn't make you feel confident - so rock it!
Thank you guys so much for reading this week's post and make sure to leave comments as to what you'd like to see next week.
The Honest Pisces