How To Shop For Clothes On A Budget

A woman dressed to the nines more often than not gives the impression that she spent a fortune on her outfit, even though in the back of our minds, we know that clothes aren't indicative of our bank account. Take a look at Mark Zuckerberg: his net worth is estimated to be $51.6 billion (!) yet he wears the same grey t-shirt pretty much every day.

But having all the money in the world doesn't necessarily dictate your fashion sense, does it? I mean, I'd like to think that of all people, I should know, being the person who makes a point to always buy affordable clothes (and constantly surprising people when they find out how much I spend on my clothes!). So, by that logic, it’s completely possible to look like a million bucks - figuratively, that is - without breaking the bank.

Shopping on a budget is often easier said than done admittedly, and too many times we fall into the trap of browsing through every aisle and spending much more than originally intended. Sounds all too familiar, doesn't it? But really, it’s all about shopping smartly, ladies! (And dudes, of course!) 

To help you with that, here are a few things to keep in mind:

1) Buy What You Need
Trust me, I know all too well about buying things on a whim, but that is exactly how I know that strictly buying what you need as opposed to what you're lusting after is what will ensure you're being really kind to your bucks. Versatility in your items are key in your buys along with the fabric makeup - which means it’s not enough to purchase on “looks” alone. As Redbook Mag explains, clothing that is short, tiny and shiny will look cheap, no matter how much you spend. Knowing your wardrobe essentials will instantly make your trips to the mall efficient in terms of time and money.

2) Find a Good Tailor
It’s tough finding items that fit you perfectly - something that my pear-shaped self know all too well! Even if you spot a clothing items that is made of great quality material, is on sale and is something you foresee as being totally functional, trying it on and finding out that it is too long or loose might make you give up and hurtle in the direction of an overpriced boutique.

But hold it! As the Full Beauty brand Woman Within states, a great fit is the basis of loving your body, but if there’s an inexpensive item that needs some adjusting, you'll save a lot less to get it tailored to your body rather than hopping from shop to a more expensive shop to find a better-fitting garment - and that may very well end up in you forking out for something above your price range. 

It took me a few tries, but I have found my go-to alteration shop that helps me fix ill-fitting clothes to adapt better to my body. The service is inexpensive, and when combined with the price of my purchase, the total would still be much lesser than buying something higher-end. This way, I'm happy, and so is my wallet!

3) Embrace Thrift Shopping

Hand-me-downs get a lot of flack for being outdated, but you’ll be surprised with what you find at a thrift store! I really got into thrifting when I lived in Paris and Tokyo, both of which were havens for quality second-hand stuff. From vintage pieces to classics and beyond, there really are plenty of treasures to choose from, all at bargained prices.

One good tip for getting a great deal out of your thrift trip? Look for jeans, as suggested by Fuelzee; those jeans will have already been broken into, allowing you to move freely in them compared to a brand new pair of denim jeans!

Any other tips on how to shop for clothes on a budget?


  1. Great tips Liyana.
    I totally agree...but had never thought about jeans!
    Next time I will be looking for them too.

    1. I'm sure there are much better thrift options there in Scotland than Malaysia! I absolutely miss my thrifty days back in Europe and Japan.


Post a Comment

I'd love to have a conversation with you about my post. Please share your thoughts & I'll reply as soon as I can!

Contact Form for Pages [DO NOT DELETE]

Hi, I'm Liyana

I'm a style & lifestyle blogger based in sunny (and ever humid) Malaysia. On The Good Weekender, you can find typed journals of my evolving modest personal style, travel adventures, skincare/beauty updates, home decor things, and stories of other bits and pieces of my everyday life. I hope you'll enjoy flipping through these pages of my virtual book!