There aren’t that many things in life that are truly cheap or free. Okay, fine. I stand corrected. There aren’t many things in life that are cheap – and there are none that are truly free. And the beauty industry, in all its forms and colors, is not only one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, but also one of the most expensive industries. Because looking good, stylish and fashionable takes not only time but money. A LOT of money. And when you’re a broke student like myself money is… not an option, really.
Thus, I have gathered you today to share my sacred knowledge on how to look good while having next to no money at all.
First is, don’t buy something that doesn’t suit you.
Now, it’s important to point out the difference between things that don’t fit us and things that don’t suit us. The first is a rather simple situation – you try something on and realize that the size is not yours: the jeans are too tight, the zipper on the dress doesn’t go higher than your scapula, these heels feel okay when I sit but I really don’t think I’ll be able to walk in them freely – they are too tight (like you’ll be able to walk freely in any heels, am I right?). And so, when something doesn’t fit, we go back in the store, and either leave the item altogether or go looking for the size that would fit.
Now onto things that don’t suit us. Last week, I was walking down the street and saw this truly amazing long-sleeve dress. I knew if I really wanted it – I could afford it. However, all I did was walk past it and continue to my destination. Why? Because I have broad shoulders. And dresses with long sleeves simply don’t look good on me. So why buy it if I won’t feel happy about myself wearing it anyway?
The same goes for clothes people buy on a whim or because it’s a big ongoing trend or because this velvet jacket or that red long skirt looked stunning on my cousin or my best friend or Emma Watson or Kim Kardashian. Don’t go into shopping sprees even if all your friends decided to raid the mall the upcoming weekend – it’s simply not worth it. If a piece of clothing doesn’t make you comfortable and confident in yourself – it has no place in your life and your wardrobe.
Second tip – try discovering something new every time.
Love accessories? Try going minimalistic. Skinny, tight, and slick is you? Well, how about oversize? Patterns is a go-to? Make a monochrome Tuesday. Sick of your own wardrobe but have no money to shop for all your desires? Swap clothes with your bestie or the most fashionable person you know.
This is not just about your own wardrobe – this is about the way you shop, too. I consider it fantastic when someone has their own Holy Grail of stores and brands that fit and suit and are affordable, but the market is immense and only continues to grow every year. And that means there are so many smaller, less known, but amazing brands that are yet to be discovered. The more you keep exploring, the more likely you are to come up with something truly unique and, since we’re talking about smaller or unknown names, less expensive. And the fact that nobody else but you have it is a pleasant bonus. Bottom line is – don’t ever allow yourself to get sick or tired or uninterested in your own clothing.
If you’re like me and feel that almost every single piece of clothing is dear to you because it holds significant emotional value or is an almost sacred memento, a memory from the past, you, too, will find this one cruel. But this is how the world of grown-ups works and in it, you have to make tough decisions. Otherwise, somebody else will make them for you. As heartbreaking as it is, there’s no need to hold on to everything you’ve ever loved, especially if it’s something you haven’t worn for decades. If you really can’t bear to part with something, put it on trial and see how many times you wear it in the next month. Okay, okay. Three months. Ugh, fine! Six months. But if it doesn’t see an official outing, it’s officially time for it to go.
Personal advice – always try to look on the brighter side: once one thing goes, the space is then free for something new to arrive in its place. Besides, it’s always good to go through your wardrobe and see what’s inside – maybe somewhere in there, there’s a secret gem hidden that you completely forgot about. Another reason why it’s so important to know you wardrobe inside and out. Because if you don’t control what’s in there – who does? A clothing elf? More like clothing moths and moles.