There seems to be this huge myth that having a whopping clothing budget will turn you into a fashionista. So many people seem to use tiny budgets as an excuse for not experimenting with clothing or fashion. I am here to bust this myth.
I believe that having a smaller clothing budget actually improves your sense of style. There are a few reasons for this. Having less money to spend on clothes forces you to be creative. If you need something special to wear to an event, but you don’t have the money to splash out on some brand new gear, then you have to look inside your wardrobe at what you already own. If you aren’t rushing out to buy something new every other week, you become really good at working out new ways to wear things, mending and altering clothes to give them a new lease on life and working with the pieces you already have.
Having less money to spend on clothing also means that you might become more savvy with what you buy, limiting your shopping time and only spending money on things that you really love and which work well with the rest of your wardrobe. You are more likely to save money for investment items and refrain from blowing all your hard-earned cash on trendy items that won’t last. You might also be drawn to second hand shops and thrift stores, which opens up a whole new world of fashion experimentation.
Most importantly of all, I believe that a reduction in your clothing budget improves your personal style, because you no longer feel bound by the latest trends. Fashion is an industry, which is built on the premise that people have money to spend on whatever garment designers, magazines or television tell them they must be wearing at this instant. When you don’t have a huge clothing budget, you can’t afford to keep up with the latest trends, and this could be the best thing that ever happened to you. When you are no longer a slave to trends, you are free to begin experimenting and discovering your own style. You will choose your purchases with an eagle eye, so that everything in your wardrobe is a unique piece that speaks to you and means something to you. You will be able to open your mind to new subcultures of fashion, or create a look that is entirely your own. Some of the most stylish and creative women I know are extremely frugal. Although they don’t have a lot to spend on clothes, they spend their cash wisely and use innovative means to set their look apart from everybody else’s.
Money can’t buy you style. If you had a huge pile of cash to spend on clothing, it’s likely that you would wind up with a wardrobe full of items that you don’t wear, because you bought them just for the hell of it, not because you love each and every piece. Money doesn’t improve your ability to put together an amazing outfit, or apply makeup, or style your hair. You can have a closet filled with beautiful designer pieces and still come out looking like a bag lady. Just because you spent $200 on a new foundation doesn’t mean that you will magically be able to apply it if you have no makeup skills. Just look at Paris Hilton or Lindsay Lohan. These girls have bucketloads of cash, and yet they look as though they just crawled out of a swamp. If you could just buy a new outfit whenever the mood took you, you might enjoy it, but you would be missing out on the sheer joy of playing dress ups in your own closet to find out what new combinations you can dream up. When you have all the money in the world to spend on clothes, each piece is just like the next, and you don’t have the sense of having worked hard to buy a special item that you really, really want.
Reducing your clothing budget really opens you up to a world of fashion experimentation. It allows you to freely define your own style in your own time and on your own terms. It gets the creative juices flowing and forces you to think outside the box, to mend and make do and to create pieces that are all your own. Not having a huge clothing budget isn’t as bad as some might think, and it is very true that money can only buy clothes, it can’t buy style.