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How to Revamp Your Wardrobe on a Budget

Fashion is constantly evolving. Except for a few classics, most styles and trends come and go. 

Revamping your wardrobe is one of the most effective ways to stay well-dressed, maintain a new and updated look, or help you get out of a rut.

But let’s face it…constantly rebuilding your entire wardrobe isn’t practical. Even replacing a few key pieces can take a HUGE toll on your budget, and with everything being so expensive these days, we’re all looking for ways to save.

The good news is that you can update your wardrobe without breaking the bank

Here are some practical and creative tips on revamping your wardrobe on a budget!

How to Revamp Your Wardrobe On A Budget

How to Revamp Your Wardrobe on a Budget

Clean Out And Organize Your Closet

Clean Out And Organize Your Closet

You knew I was going to start here!

Revamping your wardrobe doesn’t always mean having to add new clothes. Especially if you don’t know what is currently in your closet. This is why I suggest starting with a closet purge

You clear your space, your mind, save time, money AND likely find a few options you forgot you had.

The most effective way to clean out and organize your closet is to start by removing every single thing. This not only gives you a blank canvas to work with, but it makes it easy to see everything that has been hiding in the corners of your closet. 

Then, before you start putting things back into your closet, carefully consider each item. Do you wear it often? Does it make you feel good? Does it fit your current taste or style? If you answered no to any of these questions, donate it!

Resell Modern, Gently Used Items

resell items ThredUp

You might have given a lot of thought to how much you’re spending on clothing, but have you considered how much you can potentially get back selling the clothes you currently own?

If you have modern, gently-used items that are only taking up space in your wardrobe, consider reselling them. Reselling clothes, shoes, and accessories online is easy with apps like Thred-Up and Poshmark

I use Thred-Up frequently. It couldn’t be easier. Simply print off a label, pack up a box, and drop it off a the post office. My most recent boxes we’re uploaded quickly and I got several hundard dollars back.

You can also try selling to local thrift and consignment shops or on Facebook Marketplace. You might even have some luck posting on social media!

Create A Shopping List With Must-Haves

As you clean out and organize your closet you’ll likely find that you do need to do some shopping, so be sure to create a list before you go. 

Making a shopping list of must-haves is a great way to ensure you know exactly what you need while minimizing your temptation to buy something that you don’t. 

Consider a Capsule Wardrobe

How to Revamp Your Wardrobe on a Budget

I love a capsule wardrobe!

I recently read that an ideal capsule wardrobe should have about 50 pieces, which I think makes so much more sense then trying to make 10 – 12 items work. Most of our lives are multidimensional and require a range of different options.

Personally I have different capsule wardrobes for various activities.

For example, I have a collection of items I wear when I’m being a sports mom, which is different from date night, which is different from traveling or working from home.

Of course, there will be some cross over, but I’ve had a lot of success thinking about my wardrobe as a collection of capsules. It’s helped reign in the chaos.

If you’re hoping for a fresh start but don’t want to shell out a bunch of money for a brand-new wardrobe, a capsule wardrobe is the key.

Building a capsule wardrobe involves investing in several classic pieces that can be mixed and matched to create different looks. Pieces like a black dress, light or dark wash jeans, and a few tops in a neutral color palette. 

We’ll get more into the art of mixing and matching in a bit.

Host a Clothing Swap With Friends

Do you have super fashionable friends? Or maybe you have a close friend who wears the same size as you. 

Suggest a clothing swap!

Put out a cheese board, pour some wine and have all of your friends get together and bring clothes that they would otherwise resell or donate. Then you can swap pieces with each other to get your hands on some new clothes and accessories without spending a dime!

Set Sale Alerts For Pieces You Know You Need

If you have your eyes on a few things, but don’t want to pay full price for them, set up sale alerts. This way, you’ll receive a text or email notifying you when each item goes on sale and clearance. 

With this tactic, a little bit of patience can pay off big.

Shop Your Closet

Remember when we mentioned earlier that sometimes we forget what we have in our closet? If you haven’t taken inventory recently, now’s your chance!

Whether you’re looking for a comfortable outfit to wear while you work from home or a dress for an upcoming event, shop your closet first.

Learn The Art Of Mix And Matching

As we hinted at earlier, the art of mixing and matching is a fantastic way to revamp your wardrobe without spending a bunch of money on new clothes.

Arguably the easiest thing to mix and match is a pair of jeans. You can wear jeans with just about any top, shoes, and outerwear. 

But the skirt in your closet might not be as easy. In this case, experiment with other pieces in your closet to discover new ways to wear the skirt and create new outfit possibilities. 

The more you can mix and match the pieces in your current wardrobe, the fewer new things you need to buy. 

Consider Thrifting Or Buying Second-Hand Online

Similar to how you can resell your clothes online for extra cash, you can find new clothes the same way.

Look online and browse nearby thrift stores and consignment shops for clothes, shoes, and accessories to add to your wardrobe.

This is a great way to find staple pieces at more affordable prices. Plus, you might get lucky and find a highly discounted luxury item.

The key is to know your preferred brands and designers and understand what suits your lifestyle and body type.

Some people can build an entire wardrobe thrifting, which is fantastic.

I don’t have a ton of bandwidth right now, so when I need something, I need it immediately.

However, popping into a local shop with a wishlist is a fun and earth-friendly way to stay on a budget.

Be Sure You Can Wear New Purchases Three Different Ways

Before you shell out your hard-earned money on a new purchase, make sure that you can wear it at least three different ways.

This is an easy way to prevent unnecessary purchases that not only break the bank but add unnecessary bulk to your wardrobe. 

With these budget-friendly tips, you don’t have to break the bank to revamp your wardrobe.

Which tips have you found to be the most helpful? Tell us more in the comments below! 

Then, head over to my blog, The Well Dressed Life for more fashion tips and style advice!

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MEET THE AUTHOR

Megan Kristel

Megan Kristel is an entrepreneur, working mom, and former personal stylist. Tired of the one-dimensional portrayal of women online, she founded The Well Dressed Life as a resource for other professional women.

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Louise

Wednesday 17th of January 2024

I love the idea of a collection of capsules.

Shaun Smith

Wednesday 17th of January 2024

Hi Megan,

Always enjoy your posts with such practical advice. I have rediscovered thrifting after a long hiatus. I sell my unwanted luxury good on The Real Real and a lot of main stream brands on Poshmark. TRR is super easy and I have had good results. I occasionally buy from them, too. Most of the time, it’s a good experience and I save a lot of money. I especially like their accessories. Poshmark takes effort; I always wrap my sales in tissue paper and include a brief note of thanks. I donate anything that won’t net me at least $10.

Was very interested in your comment on ThredUp. My last experience with them was terrible. They kept my things for six months without putting them up for sale and could never tell me when I might expect to see my things for sale. I finally asked for my things back and, thanks to good timing, I did get them back. Shortly after that, they stopped offering that option. I sold a lot of the returned items on Poshmark, so I don’t think there was a problem with style or condition. Hope you continue to have a good experience with them.

Keep writing your wonderful, down to earth fashion advice. While I am a 65 year old grandmother, I still love clothes and dressing well. You speak so well to a broad audience. Good luck with the college search! These are the best of times!

Shaun

Mara

Wednesday 17th of January 2024

This is great advice about clearing out, shopping the closet, etc. We know it, but need to be reminded every once in a while. I support the concept of thrifting for unique pieces. I live in a small state, but in big ten college town, and some of the clothes that end up in the locale resale shops are amazing -- you never know what you might find. Using the "shopping list" in those situations is a must. Thanks again!

Linda

Wednesday 17th of January 2024

Great post with lots of good ideas! I've also used a number of your outfit formulas to try various styles and make purchases go farther.

Mary Ziebell

Wednesday 17th of January 2024

Megan...you are my favorite fashionista. You're practical with the best sense of humor and writing style. I'm a young at heart 70 year old...70 is the new 50, right? I have registered for the Wardrobe Essentials Checklist several times over the last few years and have never gotten it my inbox. What am I doing wrong? Regards, Mary