Finding your personal style when you are on a budget can be difficult. How can you experiment with fashion when you have very little in your bank account? Today’s post will feature ten ways to define your personal style, even when you don’t have much money to do so.
1. Take A Look In your Closet For Inspiration
First things first, we need to look in your closet. Unless you hate everything in your closet, there is a chance that there are at least a few pieces in your wardrobe that you love.
- Any clothes you reach to all the time? What closet pieces do you gravitate toward frequently? What are the most worn pieces in your closet? Pull those out so you can examine what makes them unique.
- What do you have multiples of? Maybe you have multiple flannel shirts or many black dresses. Whatever you have multiples of means that you like the way it makes you feel in some way or another. Get to the bottom of why that is.
- Anything you haven’t worn in forever? Maybe you don’t like the color, the style, or anything in between. Think about the feelings you get when you skip over those pieces. Why do you do that?
- What outfit makes you feel your best? If you could pick just one outfit to be your power outfit, what would it be? Pick the entire outfit out of your closet and rock it for a bit. Get to the bottom of why it makes you feel so special.
You may also want to do a closet challenge like Be More With Less’ Project 333 challenge. This challenge asks you to bring down your wardrobe to just 33 items for three months. Doing a challenge like this will make you think about what clothes make you happy, figure out how you can style them in several ways, and be aware of what you like and don’t like when the three months is up.
2. Become A Professional Window Shopper
I used to hate trying on clothes in stores, primarily when I was sure I wouldn’t buy anything. I soon realized that trying on clothes is a great way to take a peek at a ton of clothes and pick pieces that honestly speak to you. You can try on a bunch of different clothes from a wide array of sources, get out of your comfort zone, and do it all without actually spending a dime.
Don’t try on the entire store, but pick a few pieces you would never actually buy right off the rack and see how you like them on. Then, if you genuinely do like them, you can purchase them.
Go to a variety of stores to do this, not just the ones that you usually frequent. We all know Old Navy is the best, but you gotta break out of your comfort zone and try new things!
About Today’s Look:
For today’s look I decided to get pair this adorable shirt from SheIn with my favorite distressed Rockstar jeans from Old Navy, a necklace from Janestone, and a cup from Metal Marvels that reminds me to be my very own version of ladylike every day.
I am obsessed with the pearl trend, but this is my first time getting something with embellished pearls. I saw that this shirt was only $7 and I knew that this was the perfect shirt to get so that I could try out this trend. I love that SheIn paired this pearl look with scallops on the sleeves and hem of the shirt.
I also love the quality of this shirt, even though it’s only $7. The pearls seem like they will legitimately stay on for a while to come if I take care of the shirt correctly. If you are thinking of jumping on the embellished pearl train, this shirt is for you!
similar | Cup: Metal Marvels
3. Go For Cheap, Quality Fashion
When you are on a budget, one of the best things you can do is find a few places that sell quality clothing at a low price.
I recently picked up a few items from SheIn. A full review of the site will be coming soon, but I have to say that all of the clothing was quality. I purchased the cute scalloped pearl shirt from this post on SheIn!
There are so many sites out there that have cheap, quality clothing. It’s a great way to explore more trendy fashion without spending big bucks on it if you aren’t sure that you will love a trend.
4. Swap Clothes With Your Friends
If you have a friend who is the same size as you, you are in luck! Swap clothes with them and explore their fashion sense some. This is especially great if they have a completely different style than you normally gravitate toward.
What do your friends pull off exceptionally well that you are afraid to try on your own? See if you can get that piece from their closet, style it with pieces from your closet, and see how you like it.
Don’t forget to treat their clothes even better than you would treat your own! You never want to destroy anyone’s clothes, because you wouldn’t want them to do that to you.
5. Make Style Inspo Boards
Pinterest, Polyvore, and magazines are a great place to look for style inspiration. The most significant thing is: go for attainable, actual fashion over runway-ready looks. Runway doesn’t usually work for every day and you don’t have to feel bad if you hate the runway fashion you see in magazines.
When you are picking looks, think about what speaks to you. Clip pieces from magazines, put together Polyvore looks, and browse Pinterest for fashion inspiration. Sort and organize all the things that capture your attention from these sources. Maybe it’s the colors, the textures, or even the structure of the outfits you choose. See if you can categorize the things that catch your attention into 3-4 ideas.
You want your boards to bring you a sense of calm and absoluteness. You want to be able to look at them and see your style vision, but that takes time. Your first pass at this will be quite sloppy and all over the place. Over time you will transform these style boards into an actionable style.
6. Check Out Fashion Bloggers Who Have A Style You Admire
Fashion bloggers (or even bloggers who occasionally share their style) are an excellent source of inspiration for you–especially if you admire their personal style. Go seek out some bloggers by checking out sites like Pinterest or Bloglovin’. Subscribe to some new faces, and see what they are talking about on a day to day basis.
You don’t have to go out and buy their exact clothing, but you can use their style as a jumping off point to find your own. See what they are loving, and if you like it, see how you can recreate their look with clothes in your closet, or by purchasing a few items.
similar | Cup: Metal Marvels
7. Try A Style Box
It’s obvious that style boxes are not always the best way to go about discovering your personal style, but they can be an exciting way to discover new brands. I have found some of my favorite pieces in my closet via style boxes. One of my most worn dresses ever was sent to me in a style box, and I loved it so much that I paid for it!
There are different types of style boxes out there. Some encourage you to pay a monthly fee and keep your clothes as long as you’d like before returning them, while others encourage you to keep the clothes for a few days and ultimately return them or purchase them.
One of my favorite YouTubers and ex-Buzzfeeders Safiya Nygaard recently shared her experience with four personalized style boxes, and I enjoyed her critiques of the boxes she tried!
8. Go Thrift Shopping
Nope, this isn’t a Macklemore song; thrift shopping is a pretty legit way to find your personal style. You could go for a more upscale consignment shop, or you could go all Goodwill with it. It doesn’t matter how you choose to do this; you can find some great pieces at a great price this way.
If going out thrifting sounds like a hassle you could even try eBay and ThredUP for some online thrift shopping. You can find some good deals on those sites!
Thrifting is great because you can try out many different pieces from multiple brands you might not be able to afford otherwise. Then once you have tried a few pieces from them, you can decide if you want to get their higher priced, new items or not.
9. Be Willing To Invest In Some Pieces
It’s great when you can find a t-shirt for $7, but you gotta be willing to invest in a few things. You may want to invest in things like:
- Jeans & leggings
- A handbag
- A nice piece of jewelry
- A nice dress
Have some of those staple, investment pieces in your wardrobe. Then you can find trendy pieces to mix and match with the pieces you invested in.
10. Follow Your Own Rules
Last, but not least, you need to be willing to follow your own rules. No one can teach you how to dress or what to wear. No magazine or online quiz will be able to nail down the complexities of your personal style, so you shouldn’t try to make them.
It’s okay if you don’t jump on every single trend train, it’s okay to wear last season’s purse, it’s okay to take your time adopting to fashion, and it’s okay to love something that has been out of “style” for years or even decades.
No one is buying your wardrobe but you, you need to make the smart decisions that will make you happy!
similar | Cup: Metal Marvels
Finding your personal style takes time, energy, and patience. With these ten tips, I am hopeful that you will be able to find a style that speaks to you, without spending a lot of dough. I genuinely love playing around with new fashion looks, and I hope that you do too!