It is often hard to build up a wardrobe, especially if you're not as interested in fashion as a stylist or designer and even more difficult when on a strict budget. That being said, I do believe everyone has the potential to style themselves, though sometimes after a little help. I love fashions and style and I enjoy putting together. I have been told that I am very good at styling outfits as well.
Since I believe in spreading knowledge in order to help others, I'll be giving some advice on how to rebuild/start building your wardrobe, especially on a strict budget.
1. Do your research ahead of time
This is the part of fashion most people don't do; however, it is vital because it reduces the chances of wasting any money. Research allows you to know the style you want/like, what fabric is best for different clothing types, what's in style, etc. You can get the opinions of fashion experts, those who shop for a living or for fun. Research includes reading fashion blogs like mine, watching fashion YouTubers, watching runway showings, scouring Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration, etc.
2. If you don't LOVE it, don't buy it/keep it
90% of your purchases should leave you feeling like you just met the love of your life, or something close to that feeling for those of you who don't get as excited over fashion. Yes, this rule applies to basics (T-shirts, tank-tops, jeans, etc.) because the basics I love today are ones I knew I wouldn't be happy without adding to my wardrobe.
3. Spend the extra money
This is difficult for someone on a budget to follow because, from a young age, we believe more is better when it comes to fashion. MYTH! I know many people with closets two times, even three times the size of mine and yet don't wear half of it. When you spend the extra buck per clothing item, you are paying for quality. You can ensure you won't be replacing a worn-out version of that item within a year which allows you to add more NEW stuff to your closet each season. You wear everything in your closet which means no dollar goes to waste. This rule is especially important when purchasing shoes, accessories, and lingerie because these are meant to stay in your closet year after year after year.
Below are links to some stores that sell affordable, good quality items:
H&M (especially for their basics), Target, Forever 21 (this one is a little tricky when it comes to quality), ASOS, and Aerie (lingerie for ladies).
4. Sales and outlets are your best friends
Don't be afraid of sales or visiting your local outlet! That being said, a majority of items in sales and outlets, particularly for higher-end pieces, are past-season items. I wouldn't recommend buying all your trend pieces on sale because you could be purchasing something that is out of style, but if you do your research prior, you could find out what trends are going to be sticking around for several seasons at a time. Sales & outlets are definitely places to find decent staple items/basics since these never go out of style.
5. Return, return, return!
Don't purchase anything from places that have a "no returns" policy when starting out and if you don't wear a new purchase within two weeks, return it! We often believe that we will eventually get to wear the clothes in our closet even after weeks of just passing them by when picking outfits, but this is not usually the case. It is best to make those returns to free up money that can be used for another purchase. There are a couple of exceptions to this is including something you bought for a special occasion (wedding, church, a date, etc.) or a bathing suit you happened to fall in love with in the fall/winter season, on sale.