Updating Your Wardrobe on a Budget

We love adding new pieces to our wardrobes. There's something exciting about creating new outfit combinations just by adding some simple items. From staple pieces to accessories and outerwear, there are plenty of options to consider as you update your wardrobe. But how can you do it on a budget?

Whether you need more variety in your current selection or you want to reinvent your wardrobe on a budget, we've got tips to help make it happen.

Use Existing Pieces

To upgrade your wardrobe on a budget, think about what you already have. You don't need to do a total overhaul of your closet when you update your wardrobe. Hold onto pieces, but be sure to try them on or check them out to make sure you still want to use them. Check your current clothes based on:

  1. Sizes: Try on clothes you haven't worn in a while to check that they fit comfortably. If they don't, you can donate them and clear space in your closet for new pieces. If they fit, you can keep them, which will help you stick to your budget.
  2. Wearability: There's no point in keeping clothes that you never wear. Whether they're uncomfortable or you never have an occasion to wear them, consider purging these less-wearable items. Keep track of what you got rid of so you don't make the same repeat purchase mistakes, which will take away from your budget.
  3. Seasons: Don't get rid of clothes that don't suit the current season. Pack away items you'll wear next time the weather changes to minimize the clothes you need to buy for new seasons. You may be able to incorporate spring or summer pieces into fall or winter by layering them with warmer articles, as well.
  4. Needed repairs: If you haven't worn an item in a while because it's missing a button, needs a hem or has holes or other minor damage, consider making repairs. Find replacement buttons to attach or learn how to sew and bring your clothes back to life. If some pieces are beyond saving, though, it's time to say goodbye.

Donate what you can't or don't want to use anymore. You could also have a clothing swap party with friends to revamp everyone's wardrobes on a budget, which works great if you have a lot of gently worn items you don't need anymore. With a clothing swap party, you and your friends get rid of clothes you don't wear while adding new options to your wardrobe. Once you've gone through what you already have, start filling the gaps with some shopping.

Shop Smart

These tips for how to update your closet on a budget will help keep you on track. When you're getting ready to upgrade your outfits, be sure to:

  1. Evaluate your closet: After you've considered your existing pieces and pared down your wardrobe, see what you need. Figure out what articles you're lacking, what you want and what would be useful. Plan for various events, occasions and seasons to get the most use out of what you buy.
  2. Go in with a list: Create a list as you evaluate your closet and be sure to stick with it. If you're a shopper that tends to get distracted, following a list will keep you on track and on budget. As you create your list, you'll also get a better idea of the outfits you can create with your current and new items.
  3. Shop once a season: If you continuously shop for pieces throughout the year, you may run down your budget. Work out what you need each season, creating a list, and focus on must-haves. Get a few short-sleeved items for warmer months and sweaters for colder months. If you need more outfits for work, focus on business attire or consider what different events you have each season. For bonus savings, save your wardrobe revamp for the end of the season. Waiting will get you more deals, but this option is best for those who already have items to work with in their wardrobe.
  4. Buy pieces that play well with yours: Don't buy a statement top or jacket if you have nothing to go with it. If you do, you'll have to buy a whole new outfit, which isn't a budget-friendly way to expand your wardrobe. When clothes shopping on a budget, think about what you have that will match a new item you want. Aim for a few existing articles to match the new one to get the most use out of it.

Following these guidelines for updating your wardrobe on a budget will keep you on track no matter why you're shopping for new clothes and accessories.

Change Your Style

Sometimes, everything in your wardrobe is great, but it's just that the outfits don't match your style or personality anymore. When that happens, you'll want to change up your style, and you may be tempted to toss everything out of your closet.

Don't get rid of anything just yet, though. It's possible to reinvent your wardrobe on a budget while still keeping some of your pieces. For a new look that stays within budget, try to:

  1. DIY new styles: If you still have comfortable pieces that fit you but not your new style, revamp them with DIY projects. Add lace for a soft look or metal studs, buckles or rings for something edgy. Even changing the buttons on an item could refresh it with a new style. Play with different combinations, colors and materials to develop your new look, no matter what that might be. You'll get a custom piece that's perfect for you.
  2. Keep the neutrals: Even if you want a totally different aesthetic, you can still use neutral pieces in your wardrobe. Pick up a few clothes with the print or material that evokes your new style and mix it with the white, black and brown pieces you already had. You'll save some money on basics while revamping your look.
  3. Add some edge: If you want to do a 180 from a frilly floral style, add some edgy pieces. Go for black leggings or a faux leather jacket that you can mix with the light and bright colors you already own. Get statement jewelry with an edge, like cuff bracelets or hoop earrings, to add something extra to the style.
  4. Soften your look: If you want to switch from an edgy, all-black style, do the reverse of the last tip. Add floral print layering options or pastel accessories to your biker jackets and metal-studded clothes. Mixing the styles will help transition you into your new look.
  5. Class it up: For a classy or business-appropriate style switch-up, add some formal staples. Heels, blazers, suits, slacks and skirts can elevate your existing items into a new and more formal style. Choose solid, neutral colors that go with prints and bright colors you already own to maximize your budget and your wardrobe.

Keeping items that you already have and adding a few key ones for your new style will save your current and future budgets if you ever change your mind. You don't want to get rid of all your current clothes to wind up wanting to go back to your previous style. Avoid any future wardrobe regrets by enhancing what you already have.

Upgrade With Staple Pieces

When you're shopping for clothes on a budget, try to pick pieces you'll wear a lot to get your money's worth. The more you wear a piece, the lower its cost per wear will be. To get a lot of use out of items, get some staple pieces. These articles are basic options that function in countless outfits. You'll wear your statement pieces more if you have staples to pair with them, lowering the cost per wear for all of your items.

Consider staple pieces to be canvases or building blocks for other outfits. While the black dress is a classic staple worth adding, you can't forget other wardrobe building blocks, such as:

The key to choosing staple pieces for your wardrobe is to think about what you normally like to wear. Do you often prefer skirts or dresses to pants? Would you rather spend every day in leggings than ever look at a pair of jeans? Is your style more on the side of comfort, or do you pick out clothes based solely on what they look like?

Whatever you prefer, pick versatile staple pieces. You'll be able to incorporate them into a broader range of outfits if the items serve multiple purposes. Be sure to pick out staple pieces that feature:

  1. Neutral colors: Staple pieces build the foundation for a wardrobe that features statement items. If all of your clothes have fun patterns or bright colors, you limit your combination options. Instead, get black, white, grey, navy blue or shades of brown. You can pair tops, bottoms or dresses that feature statement designs with staple items, opening up your wardrobe's potential. It's easy to find neutral options, as well, and many of these items will be budget-friendly.
  2. The right fabric: Depending on the weather where you live, you may be able to get use out of pieces all year long. Choose fabrics that aren't too heavy or too light for a truly versatile piece. Layer year-round tops or dresses with sweaters, jackets and other outerwear during colder months. Add tights, especially fleece ones, to skirts and dresses in winter and fall. For the summer and spring, keep it simple with flowy fabrics or very light layers.
  3. Simple materials: Again, fabric is a vital consideration, but this time it's for fashion's sake. While some texture is good for adding variety to your closet, it becomes difficult to mix and match pieces in all the same or all different materials and textures. Some materials combine well together, but if everything you own is more textured than simple cotton, you may limit yourself on what you can combine and create.

If you aren't one for basic or neutral items, don't force yourself to get staple pieces in the styles we've mentioned. Instead, pick solid colors that suit your style to enhance patterned looks. No matter what you choose, remember to make sure the staple pieces work with what you already own.

Add Accessories

Breathe life and personality into your wardrobe with the right accessories. Show off your style or add useful pieces to your accessory arsenal. Mixing accessories into your clothing options helps you add even more combinations to your wardrobe. It may also help you reduce the amount of clothing you need to buy, saving you money.

Check out what you already have on hand or create a shopping list of must-haves. Either way, you can accessorize and change outfits with:

  1. Jewelry: From casual pieces to formal bling, jewelry adds a lot to an outfit. Incorporate accessories from your collection or shop for a few boutique pieces for a unique touch. You can then add bracelets, necklaces, earrings and more to outfits you already have to create something new and stylish.
  2. Hair accessories and hats: Have some fun with your outfits by adding ties, scrunchies, headbands, clips or hats. You can create different styles from funky to vintage when you add accessories like these to your wardrobe. As a bonus to anyone expanding their outfit options on a budget, hair accessories are often very affordable.
  3. Shoes: Shoe-shopping addicts will be happy to have another excuse to get more of these accessories. For those on a budget, choose neutral options across a variety of styles. When you add to your shoe collection, get a basic sandal, flat, heel, sneaker and boot to add to almost any outfit. These varied shoe styles will also help you ensure you're ready for every season.
  4. Bags: Bags add style and function to an outfit. A statement handbag will jazz up any neutral outfit, or you could choose something more subtle. Go for something in between if you choose a large bag in a neutral color. Have some fun with your bag choice or match it to your shoes for a cohesive look. No matter how you style it, you'll find a handbag adds something new to any outfit.

Accessories are a fabulous addition to your wardrobe, especially if you don't need to overhaul your clothing options completely. You'll get new outfit possibilities at a lower cost than if you bought all new clothing items. Still, don't be afraid to add a couple of staple pieces into the mix when you get new accessories, especially so you can layer your items.

Layer Your Look

One of the easiest ways to reinvent your wardrobe on a budget is to add layers. You'll end up with different outfit combinations perfect for any season. For those in a colder climate, layers add style and function. You may even be able to work with pieces you already own. Some layering possibilities include:

If you aren't used to layering different pieces, it can be a bit overwhelming. Start with neutrals or solid colors and work up from there. You can then get comfortable mixing a patterned piece with a solid color — like a neutral sweater over a floral print dress. If you're feeling adventurous and want to expand your wardrobe even more, you can start mixing patterns.

You can also find plenty of inspiration on fashion blogs, social media and other places online. When you look for inspiration, focus on the pieces you already have. Once you start looking up layering inspo for clothes you don't have, your shopping list grows, and there goes your budget.

Shop for Different Occasions

When you have a specific purpose or event in mind as you shop, you're more likely to stay on track. Think about the most common occasions in your life — work, casual, formal or others — and what you need for each.

If you need business clothes for work, get a few pieces in neutral colors. You'll be able to mix and match these styles, creating new combinations almost every time you wear them. If you choose patterned or brightly colored pieces instead, you'll have more trouble mixing and matching, meaning you'd have to buy more clothes. Maintain your budget as you upgrade your work wardrobe and purchase neutral:

You need more than just work attire, though! Whether you go out during the evening or do a lot during the day, you need a mix of casual and dressy outfits. If you're clothes shopping on a budget, you can find articles that suit day or night depending on how you style them. Transition your outfits into the evening or daytime with:

  1. Shoes: Add heels or strappy sandals to a daytime outfit, and you get one that's perfect for a night out. Switch to fashionable sneakers or flats for something comfortable to wear throughout your day.
  2. Makeup: If you wear makeup, you can transition a look from day to night without even needing to change. Darken your eye makeup or add bright lipstick to make an evening outfit.
  3. Bags: Switch out a large daytime bag for a small clutch to go out for the night. Switching your bags will not only change the style of your outfit but add some function, as well. You don't want to carry around a large bag if you're headed out to dinner or dancing in the evening.
  4. Jewelry: Put on some bold or flashy jewelry for a look that's perfect for a fun night out. If what you're doing in the evening is more formal, you can choose more understated pieces instead. For daytime jewelry, choose fun or casual items or skip the accessories in favor of a simple look.
  5. Other accessories: Get creative with the accessories you already have. Pair tights with a skirt to make it appropriate for daytime wear or add an edgy jacket when you go out on cooler evenings.

Think about other events or activities in your life that require different looks to build your wardrobe in a practical way. Your clothes will work for you instead of you having to work your clothes into your life. No matter the occasion, you'll find accessories and clothes that upgrade your wardrobe at My Sister's Closet.

Enhance Your Wardrobe With Help From My Sister's Closet

Whether you're searching for staple pieces or need a total closet overhaul, check out your options at My Sister's Closet. We offer fashionable boutique clothing and accessories at affordable prices, perfect for making over any wardrobe on a budget. Clothes shopping on a budget doesn't mean you have to compromise. Our stylish, everyday clothes are easy to wear, and you're sure to feel good in them.

Browse our clothing options today to start upgrading your wardrobe on a budget! Check out our new arrivals for inspiration and contact us with any questions you have about our collection. Revamp your look or add essentials to your wardrobe with My Sister's Closet!