When times are hard, it is difficult to feel like you can keep up to date with the latest fashions. It might be difficult, but it is the time to begin thinking outside of the box. Here are some ideas on how you can shop on a budget, maintain your individual sense of style and keep up with the fashion from the catwalk.

Trawling thrift stores

There is a stigma attached to shopping in thrift stores, but there shouldn’t be. These clothes are in good condition and some of them have probably only been worn a few times. Here you will be able to escape the overpriced clothing stores and if you search for them you will find some little gems.

Going to factory outlet stores

Factory outlet stores are stores which sell items produced by a certain company, but you will find that they are significantly cheaper than when they appear in the shops. Factory outlets will often sell products from lines which have been over-manufactured or returned to the factory with no noticeable damage.


Swapping your clothes is a perfect way of updating your wardrobe and helping a friend to do the same. You can do this with your friends face to face, or you can swap your clothes online. By swapping online you can open your choices up to a wider range of clothing.

Making your own clothes or adapting those you already have

You might need to read up on some methods, but making your own clothes could be the perfect answer to getting new fashions cheaply. You will be able to find materials and patterns for much less than buying the finished item. This also applies to making adjustments to clothes that you already own. It might be small changes or you could use the fabric to make a whole new garment. Experiment and you could discover a new talent.

Using accessories to turn an outfit around

It is easy to become bored with your wardrobe and this feeling may spur you to rush the nearest mall to max out your credit card on new clothes. You don’t need to do this! A range of accessories can change any outfit and make it seem like a brand new one. It is possible to pick up necklaces, brooches, hats, belts and scarves cheaply and create a whole new look.

Don’t be afraid to shop everywhere

Never discount somewhere because you think it won’t possibly have something that might interest you. Always visit discount/thrift stores, but also visit the more expensive shops as you can never predict what you might find.

To buy or not to buy

Try not to go shopping crazy! Sometimes this is easier said than done, but being selective about what you buy will pay off in the end. Discount stores that sell their products are bargain basement prices may seem appealing, but buying in bulk from these stores will not work out well in the long run. Panic buying like this will result in your purchasing a lot of clothing that you probably don’t even like that much and that you won’t even wear very often if at all.

Be prepared to repair

You always hear that shoes make the man (or woman), so don’t just keeping wearing rundown shoes because you can’t afford new ones. Take them over to a cobbler for repair. A new heel and a great shine will make your shoes look new. They repair handbags and even luggage too.

Consider alternative to dry cleaning

Dry cleaning regularly is expensive and often not necessary. Use dress shields to avoid getting sweat stains on clothing and try out at home options for cleaning your garments.

Guest author Kelly Leah is a woman on a mission – that mission is to help people to lower their monthly spend and to save more. Her advice is designed to allow you to put more into savings products, ensuring you have looked for the best ISA rates first of course because these days you are not even guaranteed a good return with the banks.