How To Forge A Fashion-Forward Wardrobe On A Millennial’s Budget

I’m an authoritative source when it comes to offering fashion tips for millennials on a budget because I am exactly that:  a millennial by nature, fashionista by choice, and a tight-budget post-grad by circumstance.

However, I perceive shopping to make the wardrobe I want with the budget I have as an opportunity rather than a threat. I get to weigh my shopping options online during my downtime, and at certain vintage stores, I literally get to weigh my options — because the price of a bundle of items is dependent on the weight. Whether you are looking for deals on designer clothing or you are looking for that magic item to hang in your closet, these tips on how to be fashionable on a budget should help pave your way.

Scan the Buy and Sell Fashion Apps

Social commerce sites like Poshmark and Rue La La ensure you are constantly aware of deal-breaking sales because that is the basis of their business model. Both Poshmark and Rue La La offer fashionable new and used clothing items, shoes, and accessories for a reduced price. Rue La La provides members 48-hour deals on designer and high-quality items, but once the 48-hour mark has hit, the deal disappears. Poshmark differs in that the deal isn’t necessarily as time-sensitive. Much like eBay, a Poshmark member posts a photo of their clothing with a description and price, and the rest is up to the website. Once an online shopper purchases the item on the site, it is sent to their doorstep. Poshmark prides itself on making the transaction process hassle-free, which is why the app helps clothing sellers with sending and shipping. 

Shop your own closet

Go through that drawer filled with shirts and sweaters you tucked away seasons ago. Re-discover your closet, and reorganize it in the meantime. You may uncover staple items you thought you needed to buy or recover that polka-dotted dress that has come back into style. Try everything on and decide whether it adds value to your wardrobe. Items that you no longer wear can be donated or sold on the above mentioned social e-commerce sites to give you some extra cash to fund your shopping budget! And hey, if you are lucky like me, you may even get to shop your siblings’ closets!

Bring Your Inspiration 

Rather than trying everything on in sight at the store, go clothes shopping with an idea of what you have in mind. Use Instagram, Pinterest, or online blogs to guide your outfit search. Instead of browsing the fashion-forward macro-influencers, fill your feed with micro-influencers that share your budget and look equally stylish! Going to a store with a vision will allow you to shop on a mission, saving you time and money. In-store shopping experiences can be hectic, causing you to splurge and purchase items you may never wear. Finding inspiration in fashion on social media may even spark your creativity and inspire you to go for an out-of-the-box outfit!

Stunt with staples

Invest in staple items that you can mix and match with every outfit. Rather than focusing on quantity, purchase quality items that fit your style and your confidence. Staple items are pieces you can wear over and over again, but in different settings and paired with different items. A simple black V-neck can be worn to work with a blazer or can be thrown on with a cap and paired with blue jeans for a baseball game.

Vintage and second-hand stores

Scope out second-hand stores in your city and revel in scavenging through clothing to find the right piece. Embrace the nostalgic ambiance vintage stores provide and walk away with affordable clothing or accessories that will bring you to another era. Second-hand stores may not offer you clothing from this generation, but for a bargain price, you can find everything from staple items to stand out vintage pieces. Not to mention, shopping second-hand reduces your environmental impact. Make a day of it with friends or make your way solo on your lunch break!


Clothing Swaps

If you have friends in the same budget boat as you, plan a clothing swap where you all can exchange items among one another. Whether it’s a bright pair of shoes you have never had the guts to wear or a simple turtle neck you have wanted to layer with something new, clothing swaps offer you a free solution to both. Sometimes selling clothes online sounds like effort and time you don’t feel like spending more money on clothes. Other times you simply don’t have the patience to wait for a package to come in the mail.

Clothing swaps give you an excuse to meet up with friends and boost your wardrobe on a budget!


What are your personal shopping tips for when you’re on a budget? Share below!


Images: Unsplash

Cassidy Armbruster

Cassidy is a writer and content marketer living in Madrid, Spain with a degree in International Relations and a Master of Science in Marketing and Digital Media. Cassidy is a travel enthusiast, and she is always up for a game of soccer. You can reach her via LinkedIn.

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