Thursday, 25 July 2013

Achieving Style on a Budget

Style and our bank balances don’t always go hand in hand, in fact more often than not, they are polar opposites. Many of us believe we simply cannot get the perfect ‘look’ according to our ever tightening budgets. Some of us save for months to get the latest pair of heels, some of us use our credit cards to by the perfect dress and some of us simply stare at the magazines and wish we had the cash to buy those jeans. Don’t despair, you can achieve the perfect style, whatever your budget, but first you have to be honest with yourself about your financial situation.

Get up close and personal with your credit

Before you head out to grab the latest, straight off the catwalk jacket, you need to know where you are up to with your current credit and whether you need to make some changes to your budget. The first step to take is to get yourself a free credit report which will help you to see in black and white what your credit history looks like. If you want to get started and view your credit report, you can check it out here.

Once you have this information, you can begin to look at your regular incoming and outgoing cash flow. You will notice the patterns of how you spend your money and find areas where you can cut back on spending. For example, if you are craving the latest Mulberry handbag, but you are spending £5 - £10 on lunch every day, why not take your own food and save that money each day? Simply put, if you save a little and often, you will soon have the cash to revamp your style, without compromising your credit history.

Don't be afraid to shop the sales

Ok, so I know that many of us love nothing more than to queue up for hours outside the stores for the sales to start, but there are also many of us that still don’t want to wait out for the sales for only last season's trends. But, why not? The majority of trends come back around season after season, so why not get creative and mix and match your wardrobe from seasons past?

The best way to get the most out of the sales is to look for these key pieces, you know, the ones that were very expensive and are timeless. Some of the best sales pieces to grab are pencil skirts, blazers and those obligatory stilettos - none of which will ever go out of fashion.

Get creative and have some fun

It may be that you don’t have the money to head straight to French Connection for that rose printed dress; it may be beautiful but your funds simply won’t stretch that far. Now is the time to get a little creative - and you don’t have to be an artist or designer to make your own version. If it is the print you love, then head off to buy a cheap white dress and recreate the print yourself. You could use fabric paints, a screen printing kit and even involve your friends so that they can have a go as well. If you don’t mind your print not being as polished as the originals, then this is a great way to experiment and have fun.

If you are not a fan of making your own, then why not get creative with where you shop. Cosmopolitan Magazine repeatedly provides online and offline tactics for staying on fashion while on a budget. You may have spotted an amazing skirt in Armani that is at an unobtainable price, but you will most likely find one similar on the high street for a fraction of the price. Shop around and use the internet as well. Many stores are stocking different pieces in their online versions than they are offline. Hunt for those bargains and you will be pleasantly surprised by the results.

By appeasing both your wallet and wardrobe, you'll be pleasantly surprised with how far your money and imagination can take you.


1 comment

  1. I often revamp clothes in my feeble attempt to keep up with fashion. I also have the classics in my wardrobe, so I mix and match with those a lot as well.
    I have been known to copy a dress and make my own, often with hilarious results, my sewing machine skills are pretty bad lol

    I do rather like the idea of buying a plain dress / top and copying a pattern using fabric paints... Must try that :D


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