Dress for less!
How do we dress for less?
With so much choice online and offline, everyone can get dressed for less and find their personal favorite looks and styles without breaking the bank. Here are our top tips. Obviously, check out the value pack looks in the Stylishly app, that are often below £100 for the whole look
Stylishly’s “dress for less” guide…….
Dress for Less – Choose the right fabrics
We are always very tempted by wonderful designer gowns, but the reality is, that most of us are on a budget. Luckily, there are amazing choices no matter how much money you have, and dressing for less has become a little competition for the Stylishly team. The look that is the cheapest, but looks the most expensive is the winner in the office. The easiest way to achieve that is by choosing the right fabrics. We love items in cotton and silk for the summer and go for cashmere (yes, Zara, GAP and Uniqlo sell cashmere clothing for sensible prices…) and wool in the winter. We mostly shy away from materials like polyester or acrylic that aren’t breathable (even if we are not often blessed with hot weather in this country, we don’t want to take the risk). Sometimes, going for better materials is not the cheapest option, but good fabrics will keep you happier longer.
We love this white cotton dress (for less) by the frugality!
Dress for Less – Pick fabulous staples
We are a bit torn when it comes to staples… They should last a long time and spending less can result in lower quality. But check out the high street for staples in good fabrics first (we love everything made of silk, cotton, cashmere and wool, as mentioned above) and then it is all about the cut. Even when it comes to a white t-shirt, try it on, compare it and don’t buy it when it doesn’t feel right. Some brands like Madewell and J.Crew are great, especially when the sale is on. But there are also brilliant staples from River Island, Topshop and Forever 21 that we’ve put in the Stylishly app, and also have in our own wardrobes!
White T-shirts – like here – go never out of style, if we get them for less, that makes us even happier!
Dress for Less – sometimes investing is smart in the long run
When it comes to dress for less also think of how often you will wear an item in order to make the right decision. Use the cost per wear as an indicator if it’s worth investing in an expensive item. If you spend £350 on an item that is a classic and lasts a few years and you wear it 3-4 times a week, the CPW is not even a pound. So spending that for a classic handbag that you use all the time is a good idea. Buying an expensive dress that has a big, bold pattern and is not very versatile is maybe more difficult to justify when on a budget…
This Mansur Gavriel bucket bag is a good example of an investment piece and will keep us happy for a good few years. Worn daily, the price tag seems a lot easier to digest. And if we need help digestion wise, there is always a green smoothie 😉
Dress for Less – Shoes that don’t cost the world, but no-one can tell
We just talked about the investment bag. That leads us to another brilliant dress for less trick that makes you look elegant without spending too much money. Go for the expensive bag and cheap(er) shoes.
Generally, with shoes, we have a similar issue like with staples. Spend or don’t spend, that is the question. So here is our rule: Spend properly on winter shoes and boots, where the quality of the leather is crucial. Spend also on shoes when you have feet that need a bit more comfort than others (you know what we’re talking about if your feet have a bit of a funny shape and the leather of your new shoes doesn’t give in with time, no matter what the sweet sales assistant in the shop told you…). But if your feet are a bit forgiving, you can dress for less easily with cheap summer sandals. Even the nicest summer sandals often only have a few straps to them, so they don’t need to be very pricey straps…
These Schutz shoes (around £100) look triple the price next to the Céline bag.
Dress for Less – Buy accessories that have no metal parts to them (cheap metals ruin an otherwise beautiful bag or shoe)
This is one last tip in our dress for less guide. Try to avoid metal parts on shoes and bags when shopping for less. If you choose a very cheap bag or shoe, look for buckles and clasps. Often, the metal is scratched already and has a funny yellow colour (when it’s meant to be golden). Also, with branded bags, the metal buckle is the place where the logo is stamped in. We don’t have much interest in a metal buckle that has a very cheap logo branded in.
Similarly, with shoes, when a metal bit looks glued on sloppily, walk away! Go for shoes and bags from natural materials, like straw or canvas where no shiny metal is needed.
No metal buckles on these beautiful espadrilles from Zara…