7 Ways to be Bougie on a Budget

Jul 01, 2021
fashion, style, fashionable on a budget, style tips, fashion tips, style advice

You don’t have to be rich to have style. 

Staying fashionable doesn’t involve selling your first born, your house, and what’s left of your soul.

You just need a plan, common sense, and well – some type of budget. When you have neither of these things, it’s easy to get stressed, overwhelmed, and/or find yourself in mountains of avoidable debt.

Because I care about you and your bank account, I’ve laid out 7 different ways that you can look fly on a budget and not end up homeless because you spent all your money on clothes you knew you couldn’t afford.


1. Define your personal style 

Before you can begin the wonderful endeavor of strutting in clothes that you absolutely love and making all the haters weep with envy, you need to have a plan.

In other words, you need to define your personal style. How do you want to be perceived? How are you perceiving yourself?

After you’ve figured that out, choose three words that will define your style from 3 different areas of your life: Social, Career, and Casual. Maybe you want your casual style to be minimalistic, chic, and easygoing, but your social style to be bold, sexy, and fun. 

For bonus points, create a style a board and keep it on hand as you go shopping. On my Pinterest I’ve created different boards of style personalities: 20 for women, 15 for men. Feel free to use these for inspiration to help you visualize what you want. Having a visual is beneficial and helps you make the most of your budget and wardrobe.


2. Retire all that raggedy sh*t 

Two words: STAWP. IT. 

Quit holding on to your stain-covered t-shirt just because “you can put something over it.” Stop wearing those socks with holes in them because “no one is going to see them but you.” 

Ma’am. Stop this foolishness – it’s ghetto. And even if no one sees it, you’re not doing yourself any favors. The good Lord did not provide you with endless resources for you to neglect them. Go to Target and get you a new t-shirt – and a pack of socks.


3. Invest in timeless and basic pieces


After you’ve defined your personal style and gotten rid of those raggedy ass socks, it’s time to build your wardrobe. Invest in timeless pieces and basics that never go out of style and can be worn with endless outfits.

These classic, timeless pieces include a great pair of jeans, t-shirts and camis in neutral colors, a denim jacket, blazers, white button-up, and black trousers – to name a few. 

More times than I can count, I’ve caught myself buying all of these bold statement pieces that I loved but lacked the basics to go with it. I ended up feeling stuck and would then have the audacity to say, “I have nothing to wear.” (Major eyeroll because have you seen my closet?)


4. Shop at discount stores


For almost 2 years, I worked at TJMaxx. I can tell you now that I didn’t have anything near a paycheck. I joked frequently and told them to keep my check because I would legit clock out just to browse the stock that we got from the truck that day.

I even tried to convince them to keep me at the register because working on the sales floor and stocking the women’s section was a literal danger zone for me.

My point is, you can find sooo many stylish and good quality items (to the point where it’s dangerous if you don’t have a plan) from discount stores like Ross, TJMaxx, Marshalls, and Nordstrom Rack. The major benefit of shopping at discount stores is that they have an endless amount of branded and designer merchandise at lower prices.


5. Be cautious with Fast Fashion


Now I’m not going to sit here and police you about shopping at fast fashion brands (because who am I?). But I want to encourage you to be cautious and shop fast fashion less. The quality of the clothing is typically low (hence why it’s so cheap), which means that you’ll get less wear out of the garment, throw it away quicker (aka destroy the environment), and have to buy that same item again repetitively and – you guessed it – waste more money.

You’ll save more money and get more wear investing in better quality clothing.


6. Go Thrifting 


Years ago, when I would shop at thrift stores, it was frowned upon. It was basically like I committed murder. I would get made fun of for it too. It was so taboo to wear secondhand clothing and now it’s like the best thing to do. Wild!

If you know how to thrift and what to look for, you can find an insane amount of gems at insanely low prices. People donate perfectly good clothing all the time, simply because they lost interest in them or for other logical reasons.

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure … unless it’s actually trash. Then you need to leave it hanging where it’s at.


7. Get Creative


Come on now – life is too short (and expensive) to be afraid of getting creative with your wardrobe! Mix patterns, wear bold colors and accessories – try things that will keep you excited about what’s hanging in that little room within your bedroom within your house (your closet if you didn’t get it).

Being fashionable doesn’t have to cost a fortune, sis. Get creative and live your best style-filled life ever.

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