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Even though many people and institutions might imply that your clothing doesn’t matter, it’s okay if it does. After all, fashion is a form of expression. It can become a part of your identity in a way that’s inspiring and empowering. The key is making sure you don’t allow fashion to overtake your budget and control you. This is especially true when you’re on a budget. Thankfully, there are plenty of tricks to the trade. In order to dress fashionably on a budget, consider the following tips.

1. Plan Ahead

If you’re on a budget, you already know that it’s important to allocate money for expenses such as housing, utilities and food. Put clothing on that list. It’s important to you so it shouldn’t be a haphazard expense. At the end of each month, sit down for a budget-planning session.

During this session, determine how much you’d like to spend on clothing. If you want more money, it’s time to develop a new income stream in order to maximize your budget. It’s also wise to plan for the expenses you know you’ll want to make in the future.

2. Look Out for Deals, Sales and Clearance Racks

Keep an eye out for boutiques that consistently offer great deals. Nowadays, so many retailers offer clothing at affordable price points for their customers. You can even find womens clothes under $10.

In addition to pinpointing those stores, don’t forget about the sales and clearance racks of your favorite department stores. By combining coupons with clearance rack sales, you can score high-end pieces at low prices. You’ll get the benefit of a high-quality garment that’ll last a long time as well.

3. Shop at Local Thrift Stores

Thrift stores are underrated treasures. The average person wears their clothes seven times before they get rid of them. If they’ve taken great care of that item, this means that it’s still in good condition for someone else to wear. Knowing this, it’s a wise idea to focus on shopping in local thrift stores when you’re looking for classic items like jeans, button-down shirts and blazers.

If you’re concerned about the way a certain piece hangs on your body, take it to a tailor. Ask them about their rates, and include those costs in the budget. Tailoring isn’t as expensive as it might seem. It’s also an excellent way to elevate the appeal of your look. If you already know how to sew, you can easily fix a hemline and customize a garment to fit your body perfectly.

4. Shop at the End of Season

You always know that each season you’re going to need a few new pairs of jeans or other garments. Depending on where you live, boots are a cold weather staple. Knowing this, wait until the end of the winter season to stock up on some of the nicer items as the retailers provide major discounts to clear their old inventory.

While trends change by the season, staples remain. If you can find classic closet staples like t-shirts, sweatshirts and jeans at major discounts, they’ll still be relevant and brand-new when you’re ready to wear them the following year.

5. Rent Your Clothing

If you’ve been invited to a friend’s wedding, you already know you probably won’t wear your dress too many times. Instead of spending a lot on one cocktail dress, consider renting a dress instead. There are plenty of fashion-forward rental services you can choose from.

You’ll gain access to stunning high-end pieces at a fraction of the price. This is also an eco-friendly way to operate. The rental service takes care of the cleaning and sanitizing process. Typically, you simply need to peruse through the selections to find a garment or two that you like. Then, order the garment in a timely fashion, and it’ll come straight to your door. When you’re ready to return it, you can easily ship the package back to the company.

As you include these tips in your approach to clothing purchases, consider it a game. Keep an eye out for ways you can score great deals without breaking the bank. When you’re able to cultivate a great eye for design and quality, you’ll simultaneously cultivate a stunning sense of style that tells the world a bit about you before you even open your mouth.

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