Finding your style on a budget

Hello friends! I’ve recently posted a suggestions story on my Instagram for some blog post ideas for whilst I’m starting uni, and one of you lovely readers wanted to see a post on finding your style and wearing what you want to, whilst remaining on a budget. I thought that this topic would be a great thing to discuss in depth where I can include a lot of factors from getting inspiration to trialling new pieces etc. So, if this is something you’re interested in then do keep reading.

First step, have a good wardrobe rummage. Look for the pieces that you enjoy wearing and separate them from those which you know you don’t wear. Why don’t you wear them? Is it the fit? The colour? Does it not go with anything else in your wardrobe? Whatever the answer may be, consider these factors for when you’re buying new pieces. Look out for gaps in your wardrobe where you might not have enough bottoms or tops and so you might want to focus on adding in some more of these pieces.

If you’re feeling completely lost and you’re in need of some form of guidance before doing any shopping, I’d highly recommend getting some inspiration to start with. Whether it be a Pinterest board, browsing online or whatever your preference is, save any image that you like the look of. It doesn’t have to be a whole look or something you could initially picture yourself wearing, it could just be the colour or the shape of the piece, how long it is or how it hangs from the body. Once you’ve gathered many different sources and you have them all on one board or in an album you may start to see some patterns throughout the images. What you like about these pieces and what the reoccurring themes are will evidently show through.

Once you’ve got some kind of idea of what type of colours, shapes, fits, textures and all that malarkey that you’re quite fond of, it’s a good thing to see if these styles will suit your everyday life. Smart and casual dressing are figurative ideas that differ between every person, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to prioritise either of these categories. Likewise, look out for clothes that will suit your lifestyle. If you’re a student who’s plans can vary each week, then you may want to look for pieces that can be used to dress up/dress down a look (consider shirts or t-shirts, jeans or trousers, blazers or cardigans etc).

So now you’ve got a good understanding of what you want out of your wardrobe. Now is the time to bring a friend or your mam and go on a good shopping trip. But… if you’re wanting this trip to be on a budget, I’d highly recommend checking out the charity shops, thrift shops and Depop first. These shops are the perrrfect way of trying out new styles at a cheap price, and if you try out each piece and don’t find them to be exactly what you’re looking for, you can easily resell or donate them to a charity shop again and there’s been no environmental harm done in the process. As we’re heading into the colder months, charity shops can also be the perfect place to find jumpers and coats without having to worry about specific sizes.

If you’ve found a few pieces through this method but you’re still looking around for those more specific items you’ve been hunting for, have a good browse around many different stores both in person and online, just to test the variety. Many shops will sell a pair of white jeans but they will each have something slightly different to them than the shop next door, and it’s those little details that end up being the make or break of your relationship with them. Although the budget may be a focal point for shopping, it will be worth it in the long run spending a bit more on a skirt that you’ll wear forever than one you’ll wear once before you don’t like how short it is. Always try clothes on when you have the chance, and a good tip to follow is imagine at least three pieces in your wardrobe already that you know that they’d work with.

My final tip: wear what you want to wear. You’re going to feel a lot worse if you walk into uni wearing jeans and a t-shirt if you really wanted to wear a particular dress that day, but you didn’t have the confidence to try it because you haven’t tried to before. Your wardrobe is what shows your personality before you’ve even opened your mouth, and so why would you try to hide that? At the end of the day you can literally just take your clothes off and wear something completely different the next day, and so if you’re wanting to ease into a style that you’ve been wanting to wear for a while, then you can take it a step at a time. If a dress or a pair of bright red shoes are going to make you a bit more confident than normal, then don’t hold it back. Once you start taking it step by step you’ll eventually be wearing exactly what you want to and the consideration of what other people are thinking will completely evaporate.

Well, those were my tips on how to find your style on a budget. I know that this can be quite a common issue for younger people who are trying to put more effort in with their wardrobe or don’t seem to know exactly what their style is. This process isn’t necessarily to reinvent your style but more to keep up with its continuous evolution as the years go by. So, I hope you’ve taken something away from this and I hope to see you again tomorrow for a continuation of this back to uni series!

Sophie x

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