Insider tips to being fashionable on a budget

Getting the look without getting a loan

It can be tough trying to keep up with the trends and look effortlessly stylish when you’re on a strict budget. No fashionista wants to be caught looking drab or mismatched. Style is a way of life. So how do we maintain the look of a champagne lifestyle when on a lemonade budget?

Ditch the dud items

If you want to look stylish at all times, you need to go through your wardrobe and get rid of anything that doesn’t fit properly, looks cheaply made, or is a relic of a short-lived trend. That way you are never in danger of wearing an item that will kill your style vibes.

Sell your barely-worn pieces

Every wardrobe contains three types of items we never wear: the aforementioned dud pieces, the ones that don’t fit but we swear will fit again, and the pieces we love but were for a certain occasion. The third type deserve to be worn! If you’re never again going to wear that cocktail dress you bought for that wedding, sell it. Got a really expensive clutch for your year twelve formal and it’s too fancy for Friday drinks? Sell it. Shoes that are one size too small but you bought them because they’re gorgeous? Sell them. There are plenty of apps for selling clothes and accessories, plus Facebook pages and good old eBay. Now you’ll have more cash for pieces you’ll get wear out of!

Buy pre-loved goodies

Utilise those selling apps to find on-trend outfits on the cheap. Other trendsetters often sell their fabulous pieces to make room in the budget for the next big ticket item, so take advantage of this. You can find new or hardly used pieces for a pittance!

Create a capsule wardrobe

Find a few key garments that can be mixed and matched to create multiple outfits. If it helps, imagine you’re packing for a trip and need to pack minimal clothing for maximum style. No one is going to notice if you wear the same mum jeans two weekends in a row If you’re changing up the tops, shoes and accessories you wear them with! You’ll look stylish without needing to constantly spend money on new outfits.

Don’t buy into flashy trends...

...Pun intended. If a trend feels potentially short-lived, or you aren’t sure, don’t blow a wad of cash on expensive items just to look the part. If you really want to try the trend, shop around for pieces that are less expensive without looking cheap (it’s a fine line).

Every fashionista has to tighten the purse strings sometimes. But that doesn’t mean your look has to suffer! You can still look über stylish on a budget if you follow these key tips – and avoid shopping as a form of therapy, because that’s when we tend to impulse buy, which is the stuff of budgeting.


Hanna Sloan is studying a Creative and Professional Writing degree at QUT. She grew up wanting to be either a writer or a professional dancer, or both. Nothing has changed. She is passionate about performance, fashion, and social progress, and is a confirmed #NastyWoman. Hanna is the proud curator of a shoe collection surpassing sixty pairs, and always thought Andie Anderson in 'How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days' was crazy for not wanting to write about shoes for a living. In her spare time Hanna can be found devouring a book or magazine, watching 'Friends' or asking her parents for Snapchats of the family’s two beagles.