A Broke Brit’s Guide to Staying Stylish

Rent is around the corner, you’re on your final packet of noodles and you just spent the last of your savings on a chic new pair of jeans from H&M. Then, disaster strikes: you have nothing to match those jeans with. What do you do? Sell your phone? Start a GoFundMe? Rob a bank?

Okay - your shopping habits are probably not that extreme (hopefully). But it is true that fashion can be an expensive hobby, and working on a shoestring budget can make it difficult to delve into the styles you enjoy. What isn’t true is that staying stylish requires a loaded wallet.

Where you shop, what you buy and how you utilise your wardrobe is what really makes the difference. So, while you probably can’t empty the shelves at your local Gucci store, you can use the following tips to get your fashion fix and look amazing on a budget.

Opt for Quality

Fast-fashion retailers may try to convince you with their sales and discounts, but avoiding cheap clothing and opting for quality will save you money in the long run. Take it as a discipline exercise and slowly invest in a collection of versatile, high-quality garments. In about a year, you’ll have a wardrobe filled with top-notch staples that will last a lifetime.

Don’t Pay in Full

At some point or another, every retailer discounts their products. Sign up for email updates on your favourite stores so that you know when they’re having a sale. End-of-season price cuts are usually where you can save the most money.

Buy and Sell

A crafty way to supplement your fashion budget is to buy limited pieces at retail cost and resell them for a profit. This method is especially popular in the sneaker market. Take this Yeezy pricing guide. You’ll notice that the Air Yeezy 2 ‘Red October’ now fetches over £4400 on the resale market - a fair bit more than its original £200 price tag.

You can employ a similar strategy with designer pieces that gain value over time, such as Chanel handbags and Hermès scarves. Provided you’re confident that your investment will pay off, you can finance the initial purchase by taking out a personal loan. A good option is Bingoloans, which offers loans for bad credit at flexible and affordable rates.

Thrift More

Macklemore knew what he was doing when he waltzed into the thrift shop with his leopard mink and gator shoes. Buying second hand clothes is a great way to save money - and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You can pick up pre-loved garments from the comfort of your own home through websites such as eBay, Oxfam, Vinted and Depop.

Shop Menswear

Button-downs, t-shirts, knitwear and jeans are often much cheaper in the men’s section. Don’t hesitate to take a look at what’s available on the other side. You might find an opportunity or two to save.

Buying second hand, waiting for sales, investing in quality and popping into the men’s section are all great ways to stretch your fashion budget. Perhaps becoming a reseller is worth a try, too. Who knows what it will lead to?