How to Stay Chic & Fashionable on a Budget

There is no excuse for looking anything other than chic even if you’re on a budget — yes, it means doing your hair and makeup too. And don’t feel like you need to sacrifice style just because you’re working with limited funds. Think outside the box, and try these more unusual styling tips!

Daytime Basics

There is nothing wrong with wearing white jeans, but keep them new and crisp. How? Use a pair of black leggings as a base for the outfit. This creates the illusion that you have better-than-normal legs and looks more style. A black leather jacket is an excellent way to toughen up an otherwise girly outfit, so don’t be afraid to play up your femininity with this trick. Pre-owned designer clothing is a great way to get the look without the huge price tag. This is also true of pre-owned handbags, jackets, and shoes.

If you feel exceptionally “stylish” and want to wear a pantsuit, try a patterned fabric in an unusual color. Navy and turquoise are always the hits of any office. Pantsuits don’t have to be knee-length. A great way to wear trousers is with booties or flats. This makes them look more like shorts than pants and allows you to accessorize with minimal fuss easily. Scrunched-up jeans can look very chic if your skirt or dress is fitted around the waist and legs. Make sure you’re wearing something that contrasts with the color of your skinny jeans (and shows them off all the more).

Also, consider wearing the same color shirt and shoes to give your ensemble more depth instead of a different color shirt and shoes. Think of this as clothing within clothing instead of adding yet another layer. Cotton or silk blend button-down blouses will always look put together and professional. A great way to keep an everyday length skirt from looking frumpy is by wearing a high-heeled pair of boots with it. You can use heels for more than just special occasions now!


The right accessories can send your outfit from drab to fab, even on a budget. At the very least, you should always have a small bag that holds all your essentials and add a few great-looking pieces to it.

Please keep it simple. Don’t fuss with bangles or necklaces, or earrings that are too large or too small. You want something simple but eye-catching to anchor the rest of your look. Try earrings that are long and swoop down into diamonds, making them appear more like bracelets. If you’re in a hurry, grab some sunglasses with gold frames (preferably square) when you step out the door.

If you’re wearing something that already has excellent detail, such as an evening dress or a pair of shoes with fancy heels, add some jeweled earrings. When wearing a metal watch, choose one that matches at least one accessory. A classic metal watch has an almost iconic air and will always look good with any outfit.


Keep your wardrobe neat and simple by sticking with a few colors. You won’t have to buy a whole wardrobe because you need some new staples. Also, utilize that you can easily find great-looking neutrals for less than $10.

Keeping up with seasonal trends is always tricky when looking for new clothing. For example, a great neutral to wear if you like floral prints is hunter green in the winter and summer. Look for pastel colors in the spring (like yellow), and don’t forget about accessories like hats, scarves, and gloves.

Consider your skin tone when choosing an outfit — if you’re fair-skinned, avoid wearing anything with black in it, and vice versa. Dark red or deep purple always looks excellent, but beware of wearing too many dark colors. Look for shades of the same color that contrast nicely (like a red shirt and purse or black jeans and silver necklace).


These tips will help when it comes to staying chic on a budget. Just remember: keep it simple, and experiment! If a look doesn’t work out after a few tries, don’t fret — there are plenty more where that came from! You’ll find what works best for you soon enough. Remember to also have fun with it and choose different looks for different situations to show your individuality.