Live A Full Life.

My Honest Approach To Style On A Budget

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Tell me if this sounds familiar.

You walk in a store and see a couple items you’d like to purchase – some are on sale and others are full price.

It’s your lucky day, and basically, you feel like a kid in a candy store!

So you go ahead and fill your cart with everything you want to buy. I mean everything – clothes, shoes, jewelry, you name it.

Then after a few hours or so, you find yourself at the cashier, checking out with a way higher total than you expected.

You shrug your shoulders and keep it moving. After all, a girl needs retail therapy, right?

However, the high of it all subsides a few days later when your bank account literally starts screaming how much it hates you for overspending.

Does that sound familiar?

It does to me. Because I was that girl.

But not anymore.

So the question is, how did I learn to exercise self-control and still look fab?

Keep reading for my honest approach to style on a budget.


It’s Not Easy But It Starts With A Paradigm Shift

Can I be brutally honest with you for a second?

I LOVE shopping!!

To be frank, if my bank account had no limits, I would shop every day and build myself a custom closet to display all my finds.

#Goals right? But that’s not my reality.

My life requires me to juggle paying bills, enjoying experiences with my friends and family in the USA and abroad plus investing in my self-care.

So to truly do this and still look fab every day, I had to shift my mindset. I had to determine that I would be a good steward of my money.

Simply put, that meant that I had to prioritize.  And to do that, I asked myself the following questions whenever I had the urge to shop unnecessarily.


(1) Do You Really Need All Those Clothes?

Let’s be real! Just because I liked those pair of booties online, that expensive coat and those metallic sweaters in my favorite store, doesn’t mean that I actually needed them.

I mean, I have so many clothes I have bought because I thought I absolutely had to have them in my closet. Only to wear them once or not at all.


(2) Where Are You Going To Wear Them?

My husband is actually my accountability partner on this.

Maybe that’s because we have joint finances now but it really is a good question.

I can’t stress how much of a homebody and introvert I am! I get excited when plans are cancelled and I don’t need to dress up to go out. Or, I agree to things and then say I can’t make it at the last minute.

And don’t get me started on being social in the winter! If it’s cold outside, I’d rather stay in my warm home, thank you! 🤣

Can anyone else relate?

If you do, then you know having all these clothes that you’re going to “someday” wear to an event or activity with your tribe is probably very unrealistic.


(3) Do You Actually Like That Trend You Saw On IG?

OMG! This one gets me every time!

While scrolling through social media, especially Instagram or Pinterest, I’ll see this amazing trend piece and then I want to add it to my wardrobe. But more often than not, the trend doesn’t fit into my lifestyle or personal fashion preferences.

For example, I love how Frill Waist Self Tie Capri Pants like the ones below look.

However, an impulse purchase led to buyer’s remorse when I realized:

  1. They did not fit me well. And,
  2. They did not complement my wardrobe aesthetic.

(4) Are you actually investing just as much in your Self-Care?

This is a hard pill to swallow.

I used to think that to practice self-care meant shopping to make myself feel happy.

However, due to recent events (aka becoming a mom), I’ve learned that self-care isn’t indulgence. In fact, it includes travel to see family and for adventure, eating healthier meals, and participating in regular doctor visits to track my physical wellness.

Also, what good would an on-trend and updated wardrobe do if I’m dead or in a hospital bed?


5 Tips to Build Your Wardrobe & Develop Your Style On A Budget

You may be nodding your head in agreement, or wondering why in the world you’re reading a blog post that seems to suck the fun out of shopping.

But just hang in there. Don’t give up on me yet.

There are ways to shop and make your purchasing decisions have a true impact.

Here are five tips to help you have fun building your wardrobe and developing your personal style on a budget.

(1) Take Care Of What You Have First

There’s no doubt that you’re a stylish woman who has added some great finds to your closet.

Take the extra time to take care of those items!

Replace a button. Get that coat dry cleaned. Store items in your wardrobe properly.

Even get your favorite fancy trousers tailored if your body shape has slightly changed.

You’d be surprised how the little things can make a big difference in what you love to put on!


(2) Shop Quality, Not Quantity

Just because an item costs less, doesn’t mean it will cost you less in the long run.

Therefore, shop for items with quality fabrics and with longevity in mind. It may cost more now but you probably won’t have to replace it in 3 months, 6 months or next season.

For example, it’s best to purchase a pricier winter coat since you are most likely going to wear it everywhere during the colder months.

Or for another relatable example, it’s best to purchase a quality purse from a store like T.J. Maxx, or designers like Kate Spade and Michael Kors, because their accessories last quite a while and will withstand the inevitable heaviness of woman’s handbag. You know what I mean 😉.


(3) Avoid Sales Unless Absolutely Necessary

Maybe it’s just me. But have you realized that every store seems to have a sale happening every week?

Don’t let that trick you into spending money that you don’t have, or spending money that you are saving towards something else.

What’s for you won’t miss you! Trust me on that.

There will be another sale at another time. You don’t have to have everything right now.


(4) Save, Save, Save!

Here’s a great idea that I’ve been testing recently myself:

Set aside a savings account for seasonal shopping sprees!

You’d be surprised how saving as little as $5 per week can add up in 3 months, accumulating a substantia amount of money you can spend at the beginning (or end) of a new fashion season!

You could use the money to buy a really pricey accessory or piece of clothing that you’ve always wanted.

Or you could treat yourself to a shopping spree at your favorite bargain store!

Either way, you have the money at your disposal. No questions asked!


(5) Purchase Items With A Specific Outfit And/Or Event In Mind

Will that denim jacket pair well with those print pants in your wardrobe?

Can you wear those shoes to work and to the wedding you need to attend next month?

Do those earrings add some fun to your wardrobe and not break the bank?

Then get them!

Purchasing items for your closet with an actual idea of where you will wear them, how many times you can wear them and if they serve a purpose in your life, will save you so much money!


Again, you don’t have to keep shopping endlessly to be fabulously stylish!

Just follow these tips to develop your personal style on a budget!


Are these tips helpful to you? What other things have you done to have fun while shopping and be responsible?
Tamara Sykes
Caribbean-Born Gal. Always Plottin' My Next Hairstyle. Encouraging women with a creative spirit to color outside the lines and live a life they love.


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