Tips on Stretching Your Fashion Dollar

clothes hanging in closet

We can all agree that times are tough right now. Your dollar doesn’t go as far as it used it, and a new Fall fashion season just around the corner. It's always tempting to overextend yourself and spend more than you should on a few new outfits, but if your budget doesn't allow for it, then you need to make some adjustments. There are some really simple things that you can do to help make those adjustments and stretch your dollar, so here are some really simple tips to help you look and feel great without breaking the bank.

Closet Audit

A new season is the perfect time to audit your closet. You will always find pieces you still love and a few pieces that you just don’t wear anymore.  An audit is a great way to really see what you've got, and to see if there are any holes in your wardrobe that need filling. This will help make shopping for new clothes easier, and prevent against impulse buying something you don't need or already have.  It takes a little time and effort, but will pay dividends later on as you start dressing for the Fall season.

Back to Basics

It is important to go back to basics now. I bought a trench coat a few of months ago and have already gotten so much use out it. Trench coats aren’t particularly flashy, but they are a necessary part of the Fall wardrobe simply because you are going to need it at some point. I consider the trench coat a ‘basic’ wardrobe necessity, and have come to appreciate the beauty in its simplicity.  It has become the most versatile piece that I own. I can wear it over just about everything, and it just gives my outfit that extra something. It also keeps me warm, covers me up it keeps the wind out the rain out. It's practical, it's versatile and it makes my outfits look a little more polished and pulled together. So those key pieces in your wardrobe really become staple pieces, so if you don't own them, maybe borrowing one or doing a swap with your friends. Whatever it is, just make sure you've got some of those key pieces in your closet. It has made a huge difference for me, and I think it will for you too.


The next tip to not spending too much money is the use of accessories. I always think of accessories as that little extra something to make your outfit come together. They're the final piece of the fashion puzzle that really does elevate some of the most basic clothes that you own. They're also a really cost effective way to add a modern look to some of those pieces that you may have owned for years. Those trending pieces are always going to elevate your style whether it's a bold headband or a beautiful lightweight scarf just wrapped around your neck or your shoulders or your purse. Whether it's a new watch or sunglasses or just a snappy piece of statement jewelry, these are pieces that you probable already have in your closet. So don’t go out and spend if you don’t have to, use what you have in new and fun ways.

 Monochrome Outfits

Keeping it simple and one of the easiest things you can do to wear monochrome outfits. Not only do these top to toe, same color outfits, always look chic and stylish, but they're really easy to pull together and create simple, elegant outfits. It's a really simple way to look stylish and if you just want to add a little bit of extra flair or just a little extra something to your outfits, use texture to do that, especially if you're wearing top to toe to break up an outfit and just add a little bit more personality.

Sale Alerts

Not all stores offer this but more and more are offering this so if you have identified key pieces that you would like to add to your lineup, put them on your wish list, set them up as a sale notification so that you will be notified when that piece is reduced. Now obviously this isn't always foolproof because you do run the risk of missing out on some of your favorite pieces. But it does mean that you won't pay full price and you will always get the best price possible for a piece that you really need. Sometimes it's avoidable with a new season that there are new pieces that you really need as opposed to want in your wardrobe. Try  looking at some of the online outlet stores like Saks off 5th or Nordstrom Rack. Now these pieces may have been hot for last season last fall and they've been in storage and they're being brought out and that's why they're on outlet stores or outlet sales. But a lot of these pieces will still work for this season, especially if they're a piece that you need. So think about shopping online but online at outlet stores now just a word of warning with choice outlet stores is make sure that you go into it with a plan. Don't just go scanning the site. The temptation to impulse buy is real, so go in with a plan and you can save yourself a lot of money.

Thrift Shop with a Plan

When thrift shopping, it is always wise to have a plan. I find thrift shops incredibly overwhelming there are generally so many options and often some of my favorite thrift stores are not very well stocked. So you do have to go looking through racks and racks of clothing. If you have a plan of a few pieces that you're particularly looking for when you're thrift shopping. This definitely helps. But I have seen some of favorite thrift shops are well picked over lately, so some of those gems you are looking for are getting harder to find. I had some success finding a few lately, but it isn’t easy. So set some time aside and go in with a plan to increase the the chances of finding what you're looking for.

Imitate Others

Copy someone else’s style. People wear clothes to attract the attention of others, so why not flatter them with imitation? Whether you have been inspired by someone that you've seen on Pinterest or on Instagram, or someone at work or at a restaurant, steal her style. Finding inspiration in others is perfectly acceptable and can be quite time efficient as well. If you love what someone is wearing, look at that outfit closely and take mental notes. Maybe you create a Pinterest board and look at some styles you love. I am sure you will have similar pieces maybe not exactly the same but similar pieces in your own wardrobe that you can use that image as a way of inspiring some different outfit combinations from within your own wardrobe. So find someone and steal their style!

Sell / Swap Your Stuff

I do this regularly with my girlfriends, and it is a great way to purge and/or to sell the pieces that you're no longer wearing. I regularly use the money from reselling to update my new season wardrobe. It's also great because it means that you are constantly churning or turning over your wardrobe by removing the pieces that you aren’t going to wear anymore. Plus, but selling them sooner rather than later, you avoid them getting worn out or fall out of fashion and no market for them. And you're investing in your wardrobe by adding to it.  So have a look in your wardrobe when you're doing that wardrobe edit I mentioned earlier. Have a little look for some pieces that you know you will not wear, and then list them list them on eBay on Facebook marketplace, the Real Real or wherever you like to list secondhand recycled clothes. It's a great way to find extra cash so that you can splurge on some new pieces. It takes time, be patient and diligent and it will pay off. And I'm sure you've heard about it before, but think about a clothing swap whether it's with friends, family or coworkers. It's a fun way to socialize and if you swap one piece of clothing for another, it is worth it. There's nothing wrong with most of the clothing in your friends’ closets, and what's old to someone else is new to you. Plus I love the idea of recycling clothes and giving them a whole new life. The clothes swap thing is not as hard as you think, you just need to organize and execute. I do this with a couple of my friends, and sometimes we only swap one or two pieces, but it is a fun way to get together.


Repurpose the Clothes you Have

Repurposing the clothes that you already own is hard, but worth spending some extra energy on. What I mean by that is just wearing them in different more creative ways. And it's as simple as wearing a button down shirt tied at the waist with your favorite pair of jeans one day, and  under your favorite sweater the next. It's about looking at those pieces and being inspired to wear them differently. I find Tik Tok to be a great resource for these kinds of ideas. There are hundreds if not thousands of videos dedicated to this notion. They inspire me to wear some of the pieces that I already own, just differently. Instagram is another good source for styling hacks and different ways to where simple pieces but it is about just getting a little bit creative. And if you're not a creative type of person, find someone creative to help out.

Okay, there you have it. Some great, fun ways to stretch your fashion dollar and be ready for the Fall season. Happy Shopping!


Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash