How To Build Your Wardrobe On A Shoestring Budget

Even though your closet is full of clothes, do you find yourself feeling that you have nothing to wear? Perhaps you've realized that your clothes are outdated or that they just don't look fresh anymore. Maybe you've gained or lost a lot of weight and many of your old clothes just don't fit properly. If you want to build a better wardrobe but you have limited funds, join the club! Here are some ideas on how to add to your wardrobe without having to spend too much money.

Do An Inventory - This could take a while, so give yourself plenty of time. It's helpful if you can set up a clothes rack with a mirror in front of it. 

  • Go piece by piece, checking out every single item in your closet and in your drawers. First check the item out to see if it's one of those articles of clothing that was just a passing fad that you don't want anymore. Put it aside and go onto the next garment. Maybe this is one that looks tired. Put that one aside, too. And so on.
  • Next, go through the remaining clothes and try them on. There might still be tops or bottoms that look really good, but you haven't worn them because you didn't have something great to wear them with. Have you overlooked something that would be a perfect match? Consider having a friend help you to do your evaluation. He or she might have some fresh ideas on combining items that you already own.

Go Shopping - Don't be in a rush. Finding bargains takes time and patience, but the end result is almost always worth it.

  • Before you shop, make a pretty detailed list. For example, you would write something like floral shirt for green slacks or sandals for sundress. If it's not too much of a hassle for you, it would be extremely helpful to take the pieces you're trying to match with you so you can try them out with the things you find at the store. 
  • Of course, there are resale shops and thrift stores, but there's a knack to shopping at those. Even though those stores are usually self serve, you can almost always find a clerk who would love to help you. If you find one that has your same coloring, that would be even better because he or she will often go for clothes that will look good on both of you. Be sure to try things on, because resale shops and thrift stores often have a no return policy.
  • Obviously, you're going to be checking the sale racks at regular stores. However, don't stay away from high end stores thinking that everything will be way out of your price range. Those stores have great sales, too. Wherever you shop, try to develop a shopping relationship with one of the clerks. If you feel comfortable with giving out your phone number, ask the clerk to let you know when the store is having a sale. If you liked a particular item of clothing and it was too expensive, the clerk might even call you when that item goes on sale.
  • Another idea is to host a clothes swap party. Trade clothes with your friends and all of you come out ahead!

Get The Clothes Ready - Of course, the clothes that you bought at regular stores might be ready to put on right away. However, the remaining clothes from your original wardrobe and your used articles of clothing might need special attention.

Of course, a lot of the clothes can just be tossed in your washer and dryer and they'll be ready to go. Be sure to read labels that tell you how to care for the clothing. If you're supposed to hand wash an item, remember that it's best to use mild detergents. For those items that need professional care, you'll need to take them to a dry cleaner.

Employees at dry cleaners have been trained to care for different types of fabrics and have an eye for detail. Ask the dry cleaner if they ever have specials and save your clothes for those days. However, even if you don't get a special deal, the fact that you bought something wonderful at a fabulous price makes paying the cleaning bill worth it.

Good luck on building your new wardrobe.