It really is nice to look fashionable all the time, isnâ€™t it? Thereâ€™s something about nice, good-fitting, trendy clothes that can just boost your confidence in an instance.
Unfortunately, it isnâ€™t so easy to be on the forefront of fashion these days. For one, clothes cost money. And with the state of the economy, chic clothes and handbags must take the back seat to the essentials.
But if youâ€™re a fashion-forward woman, you wonâ€™t let budget constraints keep you from looking fabulous, would you? You may have financial woes. That doesnâ€™t mean that you canâ€™t look awesome with a smaller budget.
This is how you do it.
1. Charity shops
The good: Getting clothes from a charity shop is one of those situations where everybody wins. You can pick up a bargain for very little money, the charity can use the money you spend for good and the person donating has got rid of something they didnâ€™t want.
The bad: The major drawback of charity shops is that theyâ€™re only as good as the stuff they get donated to them. If you find the perfect pair of trousers but theyâ€™re not in your size then youâ€™re stumped.
The useful: Charity shops in posh towns tend to have classier clothes donated to them (use the charity shop finder to help you plan). Take a day trip to your nearest fancy pants town and fill your boots!
2. Shop at the Junior Section.
This is where smaller women have an advantage. Petite people can shop from the childrenâ€™s department. Donâ€™t scoff at this tip, either! The childrenâ€™s section can provide you with good clothing like t-shirts and socks at a fraction of what youâ€™d have regularly paid for it.
3. Shop Off-Season
Yes, doing this means you risk getting last seasonâ€™s items. They were hot then, theyâ€™re passÃ© now. Thatâ€™s true. And thatâ€™s exactly why youâ€™re not going to look for what was trendy then. What you should keep an eye out for are the items that will still look good today.
Looking fabulous on a tight budget is tricky. But all you need to do is be smart about how you spend your money and find the right places to shop. You can keep up with the trends without them having to cost an arm and a leg.
The good: It might feel a bit weird to check out a new pair of shoes alongside some broccoli and four tins of beans but donâ€™t knock it; supermarkets have some pretty cheap clothes.
The bad: The choice of clothes available at supermarkets will depend on the size of store but many donâ€™t have vast amounts to pick from.
The useful: Most of the supermarkets will have sales where the cheap clothes get even cheaper. Sainsburyâ€™s regularly have 25% off sales, so keep an eye out for special offers.
5. High street sales shopping
The good: Buying your clothes in the sales means that you can pick up some massive bargains and stretch your budget. This can be a way to dress in the big brands that are usually too expensive for any self-respecting frugalista to wear.
The bad: My dad delights in telling me how much heâ€™s saved on the latest shirt. The only problem is that he often ends up wearing some right tat because he thinks heâ€™s getting a good deal (like the time he bought some tangerine coloured trousers). High street sales are often a chance for shops to clear out the weird and wonderful stuff they canâ€™t shift any other time of year â€“ make sure you shop wisely.
The useful: If youâ€™ve got a favourite shop then itâ€™s a good idea to get friendly with an assistant and see if theyâ€™ll tell you when theyâ€™re planning their next big sale.
The good: eBay can provide some really cheap clothes if you know what youâ€™re doing. Thereâ€™s a selection of new and used clothing available and if you put in the time you can save an absolute packet.
The bad: eBay doesnâ€™t allow you to try things on before you buy them (and it can be tricky to get a refund), so youâ€™ve got to rely on the pictures and descriptions to know if something will fit. Postage costs can also bump the price up though you can save some cash by searching for local sellers that will allow you to pop round and pick up your items.
The useful: Keep an eye out for â€˜job lotsâ€™ of clothes. A friend of mine has a one-year-old daughter and picked up a big bundle of clothes for her toddler in one listing. Once her kid has outgrown them sheâ€™ll be able to sell them again to get her money back.