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  • Writer's pictureEesha Bhagwat

Stop Spending More for Less: 10 Ways to Budget Your Fashion Finances

With Inflation on the rise, especially in the fashion industry, you might be struggling to balance your closet and still keep it aesthetic. Even low cost brands are starting to raise their prices. This article will touch base on ten ways to save money on your wardrobe without sacrificing looks.

10 ways to Budget Your Fashion Finances

1. Use Discount Codes

While shopping online is great for convenience and allowing the customer to view the full inventory, the cost can add up. Especially after tax and shipping fees. If you’re trying to save money, discount codes are the easiest way. You can download extension browsers like Honey, Rakuten, Coupert and others that automatically search for discount codes for the site your shopping at. However, these codes typically only work at big name brands so they will not work on second-hand websites or smaller, local businesses. The extension browsers also work on non-fashion websites if you're trying to save money overall.

2. Pay Attention to Fabrics

Most affordable websites are affordable because they use cheap, low quality fabrics to make their items. While this is a good way for the company to save money, customers should look elsewhere. Cheap fabrics will wear and tear easily, this includes slpotchy colors after a few wears, loose strings after washing, and shrinkage after drying. Instead of buying cheap fabrics, like rayon and modal that leave loose threads, opt for pieces with cotton, linen, wool, silk, hemp, and nylon. Polyester may also be a good alternative but it is not breathable. While this may seem expensive at first, it is worth it. Rebuying the same cheap fabric item because it keeps wearing down will eventually lead to more money spent than a one time expensive purchase for something that will last years. 

3. Shop Second Hand

Almost anything you want first hand you can find at a cheaper price second hand. Try using apps like Depop, Poshmark, Vinted, and Mercari to find your favorite pieces for cheaper. Thrift stores are a great place to find cheaper clothing as well, however there might not be many depending on the area you're in. Emphasis on thrift stores and not consignment stores, thrift stores are typically cheaper options for second hand clothes while consignment stores can be considered antique stores for second hand clothing, so their prices tend to be upwards. However consignment stores are a great way to get high-end, designer pieces for less. For designer brands, apps such as Vestaire Collective and The RealReal are great for second hand.

4. Make a List and Budget

While you may want to buy every item that catches your eye, try to keep a list of what you need the most, like when you're grocery shopping. Try to stick to versatile items unless you've specifically budgeted for a certain piece. This will help you bild a bigger wardrobe than you realize as versatile pieces can be used for multiple outfits. While aiming for a budget, be mindful on the typical price range for the item you're looking for. Remember, a classic wool coat will have a higher price range than a cheap windbreaker. This is especially important so you don't overpay for an item at one store.

5. Start Building a Capsule Wardrobe

Capsule wardrobes are wardrobes built from basic minimalist items, like plain t-shirts, basic jeans etc.. However, all of these items can be combined in different ways leaving you with tons of outfits built from 20-30 items. The easiest way to build a capsule wardrobe is to stick to a specific color palette and try to get items that cover every length/style such as mini, midi, and maxi skirts.

6. Focus on Personal Style, Not Trends

With the turnover rates for trends increasing, participating in trends is a waste of money. The trending item will be mainstream for maybe 1-3 months before it is completley forgotten. Instead of trends, focus on developing your own personal style so you're not tempted to impulsively buy what’s hot on the market right now. There is no bigger financial waste than buying what you don’t need. Pay attention to what you actually like and what feels good on your body and build from there. Just because something is trendy and popular now does not mean it’s worth buying. Especially if you wear it once and toss it after. Aim for long lasting styles that you know you will wear.

7. Shop Affordable Brands

Not everything has to be a high-end label, especially if you cannot afford it. Many expesnive brands have the same distributor as a cheaper store but will mark up their prices because of the name. Opt for cheaper but still great looking brands like Uniqlo, Levi's, GAP, and Los Angeles Apparel. While there may be cheaper brands out there, refer to point 2, you want the item to be long lasting as well, not just cheap.

8. Keep a One in One out Log

Rather than shopping whenever you want, shop when you need. If you want to buy something, get rid of something in that category as well. You can donate it and if it’s enough clothing, you get a tax write off. This will also help with decluttering your wardrobe of items you don’t wear. You can sell items in your closet on second hand websites or at a street market and use that money for new purchases.

9. Try a Clothing Swap

A clothing swap is exactly what it sounds like, you trade one piece of clothing for another, similar to the one in one out log. You can host one yourself with some friends or colleagues or find one at a community park. Usually local organizations will host a clothing swap for sustainability. This is a great way to save money as it’s basically free. Clothing swaps allow you to try statement pieces as well or an easy way to step out of your comfort zone without accidentally wasting money on something you don't really like.

10. DIY It

The easiest way to save money is to make it yourself. You can start from scratch by getting fabric, taking your measurements, and sewing the garment you've been looking for or you can repurpose your old clothes worth some basic sewing skills. Like taking old jeans and repurposing them as a denim skirt. If you don’t know how to sew there are unlimited free resources online. You can also find sewing materials for cheap on Amazon or at second hand stores.  


With inflation on the rise, saving money is more important than ever. Especially on non-essentials like new clothes and accessories. There are numerous resources to help you save money on fashion. From discount codes to shopping second hand to making the item yourself, fashion should not be a major financial stressor. Focus on buying what you need not what you want and remember that quality is the most important feature. No one saves money having to constantly rebuy cheap items that fall apart after a few wears.

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1 Comment

May 01

Love this one!

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