Our appearance has a high impact on people’s perception about us. You know how they say that it takes only two seconds for that first impression, after this we’ll all wear that label probably for as long as we’ll know that person. It is also a known fact that women have fashion imprinted in their genetic code; the way we dress depends on our personal style that is shaped by education and our family and yes, also by financial abilities.
If you want to be successful, well, you must look like you have already achieved success. If you want to seduce, you must dress to impress! But what if the budget doesn’t allow you to purchase expensive clothes with luxury labels attached to them? Most of us are tempted to believe that to dress classy and elegant, one would need a huge monthly allowance and I would like to prove this wrong. You can still have an impeccable appearance that will make you look like coming straight from Paris Fashion Week even if you are on a tight budget.
Is it possible to dress classy, be fashionable and get everything you need on a tight budget? I have heard so many times that cheap clothes are incompatible with a stylish look that I started to believe it myself, until the high-low fashion trend appeared. Celebrities with incomes of several million per year take pride in combining luxury clothing items with affordable fashion clothes from mass retailers like Zara, H&M or Gap. So it seems not only possible, but also quite a trendy thing to do! And now I strongly believe that a smart, independent woman should get that classy look and be in line with the latest fashion trends without putting a dent in her wallet.
Here are 8 tips to dress classy on a tight budget that I’ve discovered researching and studying the best dressed celebrities:
1. Pay attention to the little things
If they are little it doesn’t mean people won’t notice them so make sure you have all the details covered: manicure, hairstyle, makeup, posture. Once you’ve taken care of the basics, you can focus on things like matching accessories and creating an outfit that will become memorable, even if you’re wearing jean with a tank top. The way you mix and match clothing items, choosing colors that compliment your skin tone and go well together, they all count.
2. Check your wardrobe
Do you sometimes feel that you have absolutely nothing to wear although your closet is filled with clothes? Then it’s time to check and purge your wardrobe. There is no point in keeping all the clothes you’ll never wear and maybe you haven’t worn in years because they distract your attention from the clothes you do need or want to wear. You can stop reading now and have a look: do you own any cropped white or black pants, crayon skirt, white blouse, boot cut jeans, black dress, white and black tank tops? Then you can proudly say you have the basics for a fabulous classy wardrobe. You can get rid or store somewhere the items you’re not wearing and make sure you wash and iron all the clothes that are staying. Once you have decided what clothes you can really count on, you might be surprised to see that you don’t actually miss much in terms of items necessary to create classy outfits. If you still need to buy some clothes, make a shopping list and…
3. Shop during sales season or when discounts are offered
It’s as simple as this. You can save lots of money just by waiting until the items you want are on sale. And by lots of money I mean up to 90% of the value of the product. It is really worth waiting!
4. Create outfits for all occasions and have them ready
Sometimes we miss opportunities to be classy or stylish just because we’re in a hurry and couldn’t be bothered to find a specific dress or skirt or maybe the blouse needs ironing and there’s just not enough time. My suggestion will save you time and the hassle of wondering what you should wear for a specific occasion. When you have a bit of time, try on outfits and prepare them for events: have 2-3 outfits ready to wear for work, at least one for going out with friends, one for a relaxed day in the park or at the movies, one for a surprise party and so on. Arrange them on the shelves and in the drawers so you’ll remember exactly how you meant to wear them. A bit part of being stylish is to avoid being sloppy. Even if your blouse costs $6 and not $60 or $160, if it’s washed and ironed, of good quality and smells good, that all you need to look classy.
The next 4 tips are about how to wear clothes and what to wear in order to avoid fashion faux pas:
5. “When in doubt, choose red” said the famous designer Bill Blass. That’s a bold option of course, but if you want to completely remove risk, then you should go for black, grey and nude colors.
6. Never mix and match prints (geometrical, paisley, animal) with stripes or dots.
7. Invest in good quality shoes and bags.
8. Classic cuts are always a good investment as they never go out of fashion.
Written by Anne Matea