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How to Create a Versatile Wardrobe Without Breaking the Bank

If you are getting frustrated every morning that you can’t find anything to wear for the day, then you might be in a desperate need of a wardrobe do-over.

Take out your clothes, do a thorough purging and throw away anything and everything that you have not been wearing for the past two seasons. Figure out if there are any pieces worth donating, and only keep the pieces you are most in love with.

But I will only be left with a few things to wear. I don’t have the money to buy new clothes now.

If this is the one concern keeping you from getting rid of all those things you are not wearing and make room for clothes you would actually be comfortable in, then you have come to the right place. A versatile wardrobe does not need to burn a hole in your pocket. You can build the wardrobe you have always wanted and still stick to your budget.

Wondering how? Below are some tips to get you started.

Look for discounts

Ideally, your monthly clothes budget should not exceed 5% of your income, but how can you make the most out of what you got? By taking advantage of the many discounts that brands provide. If you shop online often, you will see that most shopping websites have discounts year-round. Don’t avoid these sections, even if you see there are items from one or two seasons ago. You may never know when you stumble upon some timeless pieces that will give your wardrobe a serious and inexpensive upgrade.

For example, one pair of shoes on the ASOS website could cost you around $50. Still, if you look for ASOS coupons and promo codes, you can get a substantial discount, and you can use the money saved to invest in another timeless piece to go with your wardrobe. Keep an eye on discount websites or subscribe to your favorite brands’ newsletters to receive promo codes or personalized discounts.

Don’t shop by trends

Trends come, go, and then they come back again, but your wardrobe should fit your style, not the trends that change season to season. When you go shopping, avoid purchasing pieces that don’t go with the rest of your wardrobe and aim for timelessness. Otherwise, you will just end up having a closet full of clothes that don’t go with each other.

Spend time defining your style, then shop according to it, to avoid spending countless money on items you won’t wear more than twice.

This way, you will only be stretching your budget with pieces you know you will wear and will actually make you happy.

To define your style and ensure all the items in your closet fit your habits, you need to start analyzing your lifestyle’s wardrobe requirements. Are you an active person that likes to go from the office straight to the gym? Do you like going out a lot or staying in most nights? Think of all the occasions you need an outfit for and start building your wardrobe around them. There is no point in having, say, three business suits if you work from home and barely go to the office.

Make a list of essentials

By now, you have probably heard of capsule wardrobes, which typically include less than 50 items of clothing that you can combine to obtain countless outfits. I’m not saying you should limit the number of pieces in your wardrobe, but instead of shopping for whatever catches your eye, try to make a list of essential clothing items that you know will work for so many different situations.

No matter your style, these are the items that should not miss from your wardrobe ever:

  • One warm pullover
  • One plain cardigan
  • Two pairs of jeans, one blue and one black
  • One black skirt
  • Two t-shirts, one black and one white
  • One casual blouse
  • One fancy blouse
  • One dress

You can go ahead and add to this list as you begin developing your wardrobe, but try not to have too many pieces in one category. Sure, you can have three pairs of blue jeans, as high-quality jeans can last you a lifetime, but there is no point in buying five $10, poor-quality t-shirts that will last you one summer, when you can buy one to last you a few years. Shopping for quality instead of quantity will help you make the most out of your money.

Consider selling your stuff

If you spend a lot on quality pieces, but as time goes by, you start seeing you are not wearing them as often, why not sell them and get some of your investment back?

Purge your closet and make a pile with items that are in very good condition, but don’t suit your style anymore. It may be the nice bag you received as a gift from your sister for your 25th birthday, or that one pair of shoes you spent a fortune on, but ended up only wearing once. Help these items find a loving home and make room for new clothes to upgrade your wardrobe.

To sell your items, you can either go to local thrift shops and ask if they purchase clothes from customers, or open an online store. There are plenty of platforms where shopping enthusiasts can exchange, sell or purchase items.

Don’t avoid thrift shops


You may think that someone’s old clothes are not worth spending money on, but thrift shops are known for hiding true fashion gems if you know where to look. Good thrift shopping takes more time than going to the mall, but the rewards match the hard work.

You can find timeless pieces that are not only in good shape, but they are high-quality as well and will last you more than anything you can buy at mass-market shops. Thrift stores also have very affordable prices, meaning for the same money you would have spent shopping for one pair of jeans and a dress at your local mall, you can buy an entire outfit from a thrift shop. Shop smart, not expensive!

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