CHIC ON THE CHEAP: How to Dress Fashionably on a Budget - Broke in London

CHIC ON THE CHEAP: How to Dress Fashionably on a Budget

7 tips, including styling, accessorizing and hiring, in order to stay on trend on a budget

By Helly Barrett

Living in one of the most fashion-forward cities in the world, staying on trend in London is a must; however this isn’t always the most budget friendly pursuit. So, if you’re trying to stay chic on the cheap when it comes to your clothes follow the tips below and don’t forget to check out dressing smart on a budget as well.

#1 Fashion is fleeting, style is forever

Skinny jeans, flared jeans, florals, monochrome, miniskirts, maxi skirts… Fashion trends – blink and you’ll miss them.  Instead of endlessly pursuing trend after trend, one way to successfully dress on a budget is to firstly establish your own style. Decide whether you want to rock the tailored, androgynous look or the more feminine silhouette and then use this as your foundations to build fashion trends around. This isn’t saying you can’t indulge in fashion, but it’ll make what you buy more focused and mean you limit yourself to a few key items.



#2 The 3 Rs: Recycle, Renovate or Rubbish?

Before you run out the door to buy the latest fashion, firstly ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Can you can you get anything you want by recycling clothes – here I mean swopping with friends or popping down to your local charity store. A lot of fashion is essentially rehashed vintage and originals can be found littered throughout your local Oxfam shop or vintage stores.
  1. Can you renovate any existing clothes to make them more-up-to date? This one’s for all you creative types and DIY-ers! Those old boot-cut jeans could make the perfect summer shorts or maybe that old silk scarf could be used to fashion a new spring headband?
  1. If after the first two options you still feel you have to buy that new item, before you do choose one item in your wardrobe to either chuck out, sell or take to your local donation store. It’ll help you clear some wardrobe space and maybe make some money in the process.

Check out the Free mobile app Depop (available iPhone and Android) – the little shop in your pocket. It’s essentially an ebay-like mobile store for the fashion conscious shopper on a budget

CHIC ON THE CHEAP: How to Dress Fashionably on a Budget


#3 It’s all about the accessories

Like with deciding on a style, another way to appear chic on a budget is to focus on accessories rather than entirely new outfits. Statement pieces like hats, scarves, sunglasses and jewellery can update your look in an instant and at the fraction of the cost compared to a whole new ensemble!

#4 Do your research

Finding the best bargains doesn’t come easy; it takes some time and effort. Taking the time to really rummage through sale racks, research nearby sample sales and travel that little bit further to outlet stores may seem like an unnecessary chore, but it’ll be so rewarding when you find some great fashion steals.  Fashion often swings in roundabouts, so what you buy off-trend one year will probably be bang on the next!

To stay ahead of the curve without putting a dent in your wallet, check out Samplesaleguide.

CHIC ON THE CHEAP: How to Dress Fashionably on a Budget

Image: Sample Sale Scene – the film Confessions of a Shopaholic

#5 Hire your attire

From cars to dogs (and everything but the kitchen sink) it seems London is becoming ever more eclectic with the opportunity to hire everything and anything you can think of – and clothes are no exception. Men always hire suits and tuxes for weddings and formal work dos, so why can’t women do the same? Websites like offer a rental service for dresses and occasion outfits; perfect for those of you don’t like to be seen in the same outfit twice, but without the commitment of an expensive price tag and your already limited wardrobe space.

CHIC ON THE CHEAP: How to Dress Fashionably on a Budget


#6 Sign up, sign up

It’s no secret that shopping online offers some great deals over and above the high street. TK Maxx , Boohoo, ZalandoASOS or even Ebay are just some examples of the array of cheap fashion sites out there. However, going online also has an additional benefit. Although it might clog your email and newsfeed, you should definitely be signing up to every newsletter and following every twitter account you can! Popular brands usually email, tweet or Instagram discounts and deals exclusively to their online subscribers, so get signing up for budget friendly discounts you might not find on the high-street.

CHIC ON THE CHEAP: How to Dress Fashionably on a Budget

boohoo Autumn sale

#7 Don’t budget

Contrary to the rest of this post, there are times when I don’t advise buying on a budget. A good coat, jeans, blazers, bags and boots are a few things you should never skimp on! Although the investment may seem painful at first, trust me, replacing these items over and over again will work out more expensive and your bank balance will thank you in the long run.

CHIC ON THE CHEAP: How to Dress Fashionably on a Budget


For more fashion gems have a look at our UK deals and freebies page.

You may also want to have a look at 5 shopping tips for vintage fairs.