If you have any clothing that's beyond repair, toss it. Clothes that you will never wear again but are in decent shape, you can give away. If you are feeling ambitious, you can try to sell them on ebay or to a thrift shop. Take garments that need alterations or repairs to the tailor (or fix them yourself) as soon as possible. Don't put it off or you'll never do it.
In your "keep" pile, separate your clothes by category (shirts, pants, skirts, dresses, etc.) and then split them into color schemes (neutrals, brights and prints).
Classics that never go out of style include:
For example, a knee-length pencil skirt can be worn with a blazer or sweater to work, but can also be played up with a funky blouse and boots on the weekend. Before you buy anything, you need to determine if it's worth the cost. If it's a pricey item, it needs to be timeless, versatile and good quality.
Fashion jewelry is inexpensive. Pick out a few pairs of dangling earrings, a statement necklace and a stack of bangles or a cuff bracelet.
Select three handbags. An everyday bag that is roomy and stylish in a neutral color, a smaller evening bag that is a little glitzy, and a tote bag or oversized satchel in a fun color or patent leather.
Start with five fantastic pairs of shoes. You don't need dozens of pairs of shoes to look good. Five pairs that you really love will get you started - a black pump, a dressy slingback, a classic boot, a low-heeled sandal, and a casual skimmer.
Buy clothing when it's out of season. Boots and outerwear are on sale in the spring. Shorts and swimsuits go on sale in the fall. Go shopping once at the start of every season. Set a spending limit. Even if it's only a couple hundred dollars, that's enough to get a few versatile pieces.
Steer clear of anything that is too trendy. Low-rise jeans looked great to everybody a few years back, but now high waisted skirts and slacks are in. If you will only wear something for a month or two, it has no business being in your wardrobe.
Don't buy something just because it's on sale. A $100 business suit certainly is a good deal. But if you only wear suits a few times a year, it's not worth it. Sheepskin snowboots at a 50 percent discount are a great buy, but not if you live in Phoenix.
Develop your own personal style. Instead of always following the latest trends, find your own individual style. For example, if belted tunics or wrap dresses are your thing, then there's no reason not to have a few of them in your closet.
The most important thing about building a wardrobe on a budget is to make sure you like what you wearing. No matter how good a sale is, you have to wear the garment for it to be worth the cost. Even if it takes a little extra time or planning, find clothing that you really love.
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