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5 Ways to Dress Well on a Budget

I first met Valerie Rowencamp, today’s uber-chic guest blogger when we sat next to each other during a blogging seminar.  I remember taking in her absolutely adorable outfit–a striped shirtdress paired with Chuck Taylors–and feeling utterly frumpy and inadequate in comparison.  And then I found out she was a fashion blogger and I was even more intimidated.

Luckily she was so sweet that I quickly got over my insecurities and simply became an admirer of her awesome blogs. At CharmedValerie.com she shows off her daily personal style, while at MomStreetStyle.com she highlights the unique real-life fashion of other moms & kids.  I just love that she manages to look incredible every single day without breaking the bank.  After today, I’m pretty sure you’ll love her too.

5 Ways to Dress Well on a Budget | Frugal Fashion Tips | Dress for Success on a Budget | Make Cheap Clothes Look Expensive | Save Money on Clothes

This is a Guest Post from Valerie @ Charmed Valerie

Fashion and style are normally thought of as luxuries. I mean, who really has the time and money to keep up with frivolous, superficial trends that are constantly changing? You do….seriously. I promise. Looking your best and being stylish is totally within your reach no matter what your budget is and I have been living it and loving it for most of my life.

DIG DEEPER


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Here are a few budget-friendly tips that I’ve learned firsthand while blogging about my own personal style journey.

1. BE CREATIVE

Fashion and style is all about creativity. Creativity really comes in handy when you’re trying to get the most style for your buck. Your entire wardrobe will magically expand as soon as you realize the variety of ways to maximize what’s in it. Seek inspiration and adapt it to fit your body/lifestyle/budget. I think Pinterest is great for keeping track of inspiration while you’re on the internet and clipping ads/pictures from magazines works nicely as well.

Here is an example of the time I adapted a sundress to wear this winter. The style was influenced by a mom in my MOMS group and the most expensive thing I’m wearing is the $20 (on sale) dress.

5 Ways to Dress Well on a Budget | Frugal Fashion Tips | Dress for Success on a Budget | Make Cheap Clothes Look Expensive | Save Money on Clothes

2. KNOW THYSELF

Become very familiar with what works for your body type, skin tone, lifestyle. etc and it will reduce the time it takes for you to shop and get dressed in the morning. You’ll be able to shop with more focus which is really helpful when your hunting for treasure in the clearance section 😉

I am just about as “pear” shaped as you could possibly be (small chest and waist with a large butt and thighs). I always aim to accenuate the my top half and minimize the bottom half. Own your “flaws” and let them work in your favor.

5 Ways to Dress Well on a Budget | Frugal Fashion Tips | Dress for Success on a Budget | Make Cheap Clothes Look Expensive | Save Money on Clothes

3. ACCESSORIZE

Shoes, jewelry, brooches, belts, and scarves can instantly take an outfit from frumpy to fabulous and you can always find them at low prices. Adding a trendy accessory to a classic piece can keep your style updated without the need for a new wardrobe every 6 months.

Here is a more current picture of me wearing secondhand maternity clothes with some great accessories to make it more fashionable.

5 Ways to Dress Well on a Budget | Frugal Fashion Tips | Dress for Success on a Budget | Make Cheap Clothes Look Expensive | Save Money on Clothes

4. DRESS IN PALETTES

Color choices can make or break a good outfit. Keep your outfits under 4 colors and keep your eyes peeled for your favorite combinations. I learn about which colors look best together from store displays, interior design trends, the color wheel, and Pantone. One of my current favorite palettes is yellow + gray (and in this outfit, I added a deep purple cardigan).

5 Ways to Dress Well on a Budget | Frugal Fashion Tips | Dress for Success on a Budget | Make Cheap Clothes Look Expensive | Save Money on Clothes

5. USE YOUR RESOURCES

This is the information age and expertise is abundant (and FREE!). Some of my favorite fashion resources are fashion blogs, YouTube, Pinterest, and online magazine sites. Stitch Fix has a ton of great ideas as well, and their affordable personal shopping service is definitely one you might want to consider if you struggle with putting outfits together!  (Check out this post for more details!)

In this day and age, anything you could possibly want to know can be instantly at your fingertips. Utilize search engines (or just ask me via facebook, twitter, my blog, or email).  You CAN be as stylish as you want to be without breaking the bank.

5 Ways to Dress Well on a Budget | Frugal Fashion Tips | Dress for Success on a Budget | Make Cheap Clothes Look Expensive | Save Money on Clothes

13 Comments

  1. June 17 at 04:07PM

    Awe, she’s cute! Love her style too. Great tips. xoxo, Jess

    these-are-the-days.com
    runningtobeskinny.com

  2. June 17 at 05:24PM

    Great post! I wish I had her style! I have been trying to thrift store shop for cute clothes, no luck so far though.

    • September 25 at 02:38AM

      Sarah you have style you just don’t know it.Go to your closet take out the top you wear most.What shape is it?what style is it?What color is it?There you go you know the style,shape and color you like.Thrift stores have lots of scarves pick out a couple to match your favorite color.Don’t stress over fancy knots throw around your neck and tie half knot.If you know what colors and shapes you like that work you have style.good luck

  3. June 17 at 06:07PM

    Aww, you look so cute! You listed some great tips!

  4. Mary Ledford
    June 18 at 06:25AM

    Very Cute! But…I’m 47! I can’t dress like I’m in my 20’s. Do you know of a website that is more for me? I’m a middle aged mom on a budget. :0)
    Thanks! mary

    • Ebeth
      April 24 at 12:10AM

      I’d be interested too. In fact, I think there is room for some late forties-early fifties writers in the blogosphere. I can’t be taking advice from 30-somethings all the time! (Even though it’s often great advice!)

  5. Melony
    June 18 at 03:28PM

    LOVE your style Valerie. Me, I’m about as fashion challenged as they come…lol. But I definitely would love to learn how to be a hip fashionable mommy (on a budget)!! Can’t wait to follow along on your blog MomStreetStyle.com!!!

    • Anonymous
      July 7 at 02:21PM

      I’m with you Mary! 54 here, and not a chance I’d look good in those but she sure looks cutE. Lisa

  6. June 18 at 11:54PM

    Fashion and motherhood don’t seem to mix well but some women can do it incredibly well. As for me with three kids, anything comfortable is fine.

  7. June 23 at 06:01AM

    “Own your “flaws” and let them work in your favor.” — Love this, and I love your outfits! I’ve always believed you can look good without spending a lot! 😉

  8. JulieIsabelle
    June 23 at 08:24PM

    Hi Valerie!
    Super cute style…some times just reading a few tips can really help out a wardrobe for a busy mom on a budget.

    The section ACCESSORIZE made me start searching for some good scarves and I found one at a yoga studio that was in-expensive and goes with every outfit. They called it an infinity scarf..I throw it on with every outfit and instantly feel better about myself. I thought you might want to know about it.. the company is called Sprigs. Unfortunately I threw out the tags so I don’t know their website. Sorry 🙁

  9. Carol
    September 14 at 03:54PM

    I like her ideas and suggestions. I read that she shops sales but she didn’t explain how to dress well on a budget.

  10. Anonymous
    September 14 at 08:11PM

    Her outfits are cute but I wouldn’t consider them budget friendly at all

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