7 Ways To Be Frugal & Still Look Like A Fashionista

Another new year, another time to freshen up the wardrobe. With so many special occasions coming up in these few months, it’s inevitable for you to have a strong urge to spice up your life through new outfits. That is, until you remember that you have rent, a car payment and loans that wasn’t even there before. Girl, same.

Let’s face it, looking good can be very expensive. There’s makeup, skin care, clothes, bags, accessories, and shoes (lots and lots of shoes) to buy. But after spending much of my life as a frugal fashion fanatic, I’ve discovered that it is possible for you to look like a fashionista without spending like one.

What you need are creative ways to boost your #OOTD game, so here are some tips and tricks that I’ve picked up over the years to get you started:

1. Invest in power pieces

Instead of judging a piece of clothing solely on the price tag, evaluate it by how versatile the garment can be. Would you be able to wear it with lots of other items already in your closet? Take red pants for example. Why choose a pair of cheap pants that makes your muffin top spill out and feel horrible about yourself, when you can spend a little higher on well-fitted pants that completely contain your mid-section which make you look curvy and super cute?

Besides, a pair of RM200 pants can probably last way longer than the cheap RM50 pants that you bought from unofficial online stores.

2. Mix and match, always

Buy a few pairs of good quality, solid coloured separates that are can be easily mixed and matched. Choose a few fashion trends to mimic and try to overlap pieces you can use in more than one style as often as possible. Using the same yellow top three ways can extend your budget and your fashion savvy.

3. Subscribe to newsletters

Shopping online offers tremendous convenience and the best part about it is the ability to shop anywhere in the world — in the styles and designs you love most. Check different sites for online deals as well as the shipping and return fees. Another thing to note is to subscribe to newsletters as you’ll be notified of promotions and sales, where some offer email-only discount codes. Pro tip: Keep track of what you’re spending (mental note doesn’t count!), so you can stay within an allotted budget.

5. Where you shop matters

The key is to know where to shop. Preloved bazaars and thrift stores are great for shopaholics who are on a budget! Whiz in for a quick 20-30 minute browse and you’ll usually be able to strike gold. With a detailed eye and talent to spot good items, you can exit the store looking like a true queen — without having to spend like one. For example, the “Versace” pants featured in the image above only costed me RM28. While they may or may not be brand new, they’re brand new to me, regardless.

6. Accessorise

Jewellery is a girl’s best friend when it comes to making the most of your wardrobe budget. From long to short necklaces, bangles, cuffs, or even a nice wrist watch, attractive jewellery can elevate your look in an instant!

7. Knowledge is power

Fashion can be expensive, thankfully there are hacks that allow us to keep our fashion budget in check and focus on the important stuff, like paying rent. Learning some fashion hacks to make your life easier, as it can make your worn out garments last much more longer than the expiry date. Some example include wiping scuff marks off a leather shoe with petroleum jelly (a.k.a. Vaseline) and a cotton swab. Meanwhile, clear nail polish will keep threads from pulling out of a button, stop snags and runs in tights and pantyhose and even tighten a screw in your glasses. This is an item to always keep in your bag!