Skip to content

10 Ways to Update Your Wardrobe on a Budget

As the seasons change, we want to change up our wardrobes too.  We have to admit that we feel amazing when we have a new outfit that shows our true style and makes us look FABULOUS! Your style and mood may change as quick as the weather does here in Edmonton but of course, most of us cannot afford to be buying a new outfit every week so we have to be able to revamp what we have or find ways to update our existing wardrobes and make them seem new and exciting!  Here are some tips for re-creating your wardrobe on a budget!

1.Take Inventory

It is really important before you head out to the mall to know what you already have. Take a good inventory of your closet. This means to filter through and get rid of any items you know you will not use again. I’ve heard the rule is that if you have not worn it in the last year, you probably won’t be wearing it again.  Consider donating to a great charity. By moving out older items, you can have a clear idea of what you actually need in your wardrobe.

2. Shop the Online World First

Before going to the mall, check out your favourite shops online. There you can often find discounts and coupons. Often if you sign up for their newsletters they’ll send you promo codes. If you find a better deal online, you can go into the store, try on the items you want to be sure of the sizing, then make your order online and benefit from the deals!

3. Make a Trade

Look for local meetup groups or events for clothing swaps. You never know what you’ll find. You may even want to get some girlfriends together and have a clothing swap of your own. In some cities, there are consignment stores which will take your old items and give you credit for new items in their store. This is a great way to clear out your own closet and get some fantastic and unique pieces.

4. Make a List and Stick to It

By creating a list of what you actually NEED, you can keep yourself from straying to that random piece that caught your eye that you actually have no use for. When you go shopping, it should be to add items you need to re-vamp or complete your wardrobe.

5. Work With What You’ve Got

When you’re shopping look for pieces that you can wear with items you already have in your closet.  If you purchase a piece that you still have to find another piece to make an outfit, it will likely just sit in your closet and never actually get used.

6. Accessorize

You can change the entire look of an outfit simply by adding some fantastic accessories.  Try adding a chunky necklace or some colorful bangles. Add a sparkly brooch to your blouse, sweater or cardigan. Show your unique style with a great belt. Try a large leather belt or a thin chain belt.  Don’t forget your fantastic shoes and handbags that can give any outfit that punch of style and creativity it needs!

7. Be Creative

Find more than one way to wear your clothes. For example, take your favorite cardigan. You may wear it open over a great blouse with a small chain belt. OR Try turning it around (yes backwards) so the buttons are in the back and add a chunky necklace to avoid a plain front. OR You can wear it open, over a lovely tank top but tuck it into your trousers. There you go! 3 different outfits with the same piece!

8. Mani, Pedi or Hair for Cheap

Why spend a fortune to get a manicure, pedicure or haircut?! You can get a spa treatment on a non-spa budget by going to local beauty schools. Although it takes a little longer, you can get great services at much lower prices.  Also, some high-end salons have training days for their staff. You can go during those days and get your hair done for a fraction of the price, if not for FREE! You can also check out coupon sites such as Groupon and Living Social for great deals on services.

9. Grab Some Samples

If you are looking to try some new makeup or a new perfume, you may want to sample it first before making your purchase. Many makeup counters in stores such as The Bay, Shoppers Drug Mart will give out sample fragrances and make-up samples as well. You can even get a mini-makeover if you go during non-peak hours.

10. Know When to Splurge

Not everything you buy needs to be inexpensive. The pieces that you will splurge on, are pieces I call “investment pieces”.  You need to be able to know when to spend that little extra and when to hold back. These are pieces that are:

  1. High quality – A great REAL leather jacket.
  2. Very versatile – A fantastic black blazer or power suit that fits you like a glove
  3. Unique – A lovely, dress you know you could never find anywhere else.

Much of our confidence comes from our appearance. There is no reason that you should have to overspend to keep yourself looking and feeling FABULOUS!

What are your tips for being budget-savvy?

Mona Ismaeial is a modest fashion blogger, writer, and community organizer. As Director of External Affairs with Alberta Muslim Public Affairs Council – AMPAC, Mona advocates for Muslim women and promotes their civic engagement, builds interfaith bridges and is passionate about bringing awareness about Islamophobia to light in public forums. A trained teacher and seasoned educator, Mona lectures on a variety of subjects across the province, including Islamophobia, bullying, building acceptance, and multiculturalism. Her favourite thing to do is spend time with her 2 children enjoying all Edmonton has to offer!