Books to Build Your Wardrobe on a Budget

Being stylish doesn’t have mean you need to empty your bank account on trends and over-priced designer duds–not with so many affordable options right at your fingertips.  I’ve got some of my favorite tricks to shopping smarter, guides to getting crafty, and secrets for swapping styles I want to share with you.

  • Be smarter when shopping chain stores.  I know, I know, fast fashion brands are often looked at as disposable clothing, and therefore you’re throwing your money away when you shop them, but that doesn’t have to ring true. The key to shopping these types of stores are to really examine each piece before you buy it.  I have sweaters and dresses that I’ve had for years that are still going strong because I picked fabrics and styles I knew would last.  Always start by checking for pulls and tears before you buy, and also read the tag. If the fabric seems like it’s not going to hold up, it probably won’t. Better yet, be mindful of how you care for your clothes.  If you treat your garments well, they’ll hold up better for you, no matter the price tag.
  • Keep an eye on sales. Thanks to the internet, it’s easier than ever to make the most of special sales and promotions. You can search for coupon codes with the click of a mouse, and more importantly: you should. I make it a rule never to shop online without first checking to see if I can find a promotional code. Whether it be free shipping or 15% off, every little bit helps.  Just be sure to keep in mind that just because something is on sale, doesn’t mean you need it.  That blouse may be half-priced, but if it’s going to just sit in your closet with the tags still attached you’ll only be wasting money.
  • Shop your own closet. I love rediscovering old pieces I forgot about. Store pieces away seasonally, using that as the time to sort out what needs to be donated, tossed, or repaired/tailored, and then when you pull everything out the following season it will all feel fresh again. Another idea? When you’re sorting through your closet, consider hosting a clothing swap with friends.  That sequin top you don’t have a use for anymore might be exactly what your bestie has been on the hunt for, while the basic black blazer she never wears is what your own wardrobe needed.
  • Give DIY a try. There are so many great resources these days for do it yourself fashion ideas, and many of them offer step-by-step instructions on how to re-create those expensive trends you’ve found yourself lusting over.  DIY fashion is not only practical, but it’s fun, and so much easier than you might think!  Some of the DIY bloggers I turn to for inspiration have all written coffee table books that make it simple and stylish to be crafty.  Take a look at I Spy DIY Style by Jenni Radosevich, P.S. – I Made This… Erica Domesek, and DIY Fashionista by Geneva Vanderzeil to guide you.


  • Get inspired.  I love turning to Pinterest, fashion blogs, magazines, and books for styling ideas and inspirations.  Just seeing certain colors mixed together can leave me looking at my closet in a whole new way. Some of my favorites for those “I have nothing to wear” slumps? Lucky Shopping Manual by Andrea Linett and Kim France, The Little Black Book of Style by Nina Garcia, Lauren Conrad Style by Lauren Conrad, Style A to Zoe by Rachel Zoe, Influence by Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen, and 100 Years of Fashion by Cally Blackman, just to name a few.


Still want more fashion tips on a budget? Freakin’ Fabulous on a Budget by Clinton Kelly and The Cheap Chica’s Guide to Style by Lilliana Vazquez also pack a lot of great tips and hints!


Sarah Gleeson

By: Sarah, Raving Fashionista

Be sure to follow her on social media to see all of her fabulous finds!

Twitter: @ravingfashionista

Instagram: @ravingfashionista


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