Whilst we’re still in a recession, the fashionista’s dilemma is how to stay stylish when on a budget? The answer is style-crunching! The ethos behind “style-crunching” is simply about shopping smarter and looking after your existing wardrobe to keep you looking chic and stylish even during those months when the purse strings need to be tightened. My Style Companion shows their clients how to save money in the long-term by giving them a seasonal wish-list of quality key staples and cheaper fashionable updates that can be incorporated into her client’s existing wardrobe to complement and enhance their look. Nicola, Founder of My Style Companion says “My clients are astounded by how much money I can save them by advising on what they need, where to get it, what to wear it with and how to care for the items to keep everything looking new.”
My Style Companion personal shoppers passionately believe that with the spending slow-down we are currently experiencing it is even more important than ever before for people to learn how to work their wardrobe, and keep it looking fresh and new, which will in turn make them less likely to splurge on items they don’t really need.
Here are our top tips to staying stylish on a budget…
Cheap isn’t always Chic
Although the likes of cheap clothing stores have a place in every woman’s fashion wardrobe, it should not consume a woman’s entire wardrobe! Cheap clothing stores are ideal for updating your look quickly and cheaply and achieving this season’s trends on a shoestring, however in order to remain looking chic, they need to be mixed and matched with quality staples. The materials and labour used to produce cheap clothes often lacks quality, which means that although the consumer feels as though they are getting a bargain, they won’t be getting something that will sustain its appearance after a few washes.
“Fashion fades, style is eternal.” Yves Saint Laurent
Stylish blouses, a good pair of jeans that flatter your figure, simple blazers, basic tees and a good quality handbag and comfortable boots or shoes are examples of wardrobe staples that will never go out of style. The idea should be to build up your capsule wardrobe by spending a bit more on quality items that suit your shape and wash well, and then update your look each season with cheaper fashion items.
It’s in the bag!
A cheap handbag can age a woman’s look like nothing else. If you can’t afford to purchase your very own Hermes then there’s plenty of other great options on the high-street that are great for those on a budget!
Get Maximum Price per Wear
To ensure you shop efficiently, identify your budget and a list of what you actually need before hitting the shops, like we do with our personal shopping clients. DO NOT go shopping without a list as you can easily lose focus and convince yourself that you “need” that new clutch.
Identify the looks you want to achieve by copying from magazines and catwalks, then breakdown the outfits to see which parts of that outfit you already have in your wardrobe. Make a list of the items you then require that can be added to your existing wardrobe to recreate the looks you like. Once you have your wish-list ensure you can wear every item on there with at least 3 other garments in your wardrobe to achieve new looks. Doing this will ensure maximum price per wear for every item you get and you won’t believe how gratifying that can feel! Back to top
Look after your clothes! Washing labels are there for a reason so try to stick to their advice. Dry clean as little as possible as it can strip fabrics of their natural sheen. Iron and hang garments up properly and treat each item as if it were your most valued possession. Everything should be ready to wear that’s hanging in your wardrobe. Treat your wardrobe like your very own private boutique. All your clothes will remain looking new for so much longer, look more expensive and you’ll be less inclined to hit the shops for a fashion fix!
Women who look after their clothes always look more stylish and groomed so for those of us who aren’t lucky enough to buy a dress, wear it once and then discard it, these tips should help to keep you in shoes when you’re a little strapped for cash.
Personal Shoppers aren’t just for the rich and famous.
We work with everyday women on average wages who want to perfect their image and look as stylish as possible on a budget, whilst saving money, time and stress in the long-term. Nicola, head stylist at My Style Companion says “The value of our services very often lies in the money we save our clients. My clients can’t believe how much more efficient their wardrobes are and how the CPW (cost per wear) of each item has increased. The world is so wasteful these days especially in the fashion industry so I try to educate my clients that being stylish doesn’t necessarily mean having to spend a fortune on new clothes each month. As Co Co Chanel famously said, “Fashion is made to become unfashionable” so in my opinion, spend more on great staples that will last and utilise cheaper stores for this seasons fashion updates.
It’s about quality not quantity when it comes to style. Anyone can look chic and stylish if they invest in the right garments and then care for them correctly. The credit crunch is a reason to start shopping more economically but it is something that people should consider on a regular basis. Shopping sprees are great fun and give you an instant buzz, however the principles of style-crunching mean that the highs last much longer and you will find that you will feel satisfied with your wardrobe all year round.
Stick to these tips and not only will your wardrobe be looking healthier, but your bank balance will be too.