It’s all about the mix.

You don’t need to spend a fortune building your wardrobe staples. While social media is there to help you get creative, it has turned into a shopping mecca of sorts. Social media influencers have become walking advertisements which either make us feel great about ourselves or the complete opposite because we can’t afford the uber high-style fashion they are promoting. My fashion mantra? Buy wisely. Mix and repeat. Here are some tips to help you look stylish on a budget!


Shop the staples. Don’t buy because it’s on sale and currently on trend. Consider it a jackpot if you happen to find a discounted item that will last you several years. But let’s go back to basics like a little black dress that you can dress up or down, nicely-fitted pair of jeans, crisp button down white or black boyfriend shirt, or a tailored suit you can wear to formal business meetings or events. I find that sticking to neutrals are the easiest to build and edit your closet. Case in point, I’ve had this little black halter dress for years now. By simply switching to pointed pumps or sandals, wearing it alone or under a kimono or jacket, I can mix and wear it on repeat (read how to wear jumpsuits).

Mix monochromatic or neutrals with color. So you built your staple neutrals, now add a pop of color that compliments your color palette. My favorite way to amp up a little black dress is to throw in a kimono such as the one I’m wearing in these photos. I bet you’ve seen me wear this LBD multiple times, either on the blog or youtube. I don’t agree that to be a fashion blogger, you need to hoard loads and loads of clothes to stay relevant. Mix and repeat. That to me is more creative and sustainable.


Explore thrift or consignment shops. Aside from the thrill of finding gems, shopping second hand items have positive impact on the planet. But again, don’t buy just because it’s dirt cheap. Each time you purchase, pause for a moment. Ask yourself this “will I be able to wear this multiple times in multiple occasions?” (read where I buy second hand designer items). Can I mix and repeat wearing it but make it look fresh again?

Seal it with a bag. I’ve said it before, your bag can make or break your outfit. While I do have a penchant for luxury vegan handbags, I also explore affordable options for my readers and viewers. This handbag which was sent to me by Sonnet + Rose fits the bill for only $50! The size is befitting for a working mom or student and the style is structured yet classic. You can watch my full-length review including what fits inside here.


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13 thoughts on “How To Look Stylish On A Budget

  • I keep many of my pieces for decades, and buy new items that I can wear with them. I need to give some to a consignment shop that have never been worn or worn only once, but I have to get up my courage to do it. The fact that you have to make an appointment, and the shop seems to reject more than they take is a little off-putting. What to do? I like your new bag, and I agree that it’s a good size for a working mom or a student. I’d love the slightly smaller version. Great shade and style, though.

    • thefabzilla

      I sold some to eBay through my husband’s account. Last year, I sold my stuff to swap meet. I plan to organize like a girly swap where we can buy second hand items from each other with light snacks on the side

  • The amount it costs to get a perfect little black dress is worth it. It’s the accessories that I don’t want to spend a fortune on. In all the years I’ve been married I’ve only asked my husband to buy me one expensive item and I wear it every day. I can mix fun less expensive jewelry with it but I know that sometimes those are trendy and I won’t be interested in them in a few years. Mostly I buy handbags in the $300-400 range once a year and I get years of wear from them.

    • thefabzilla

      Agree. All the jewelries I wear are the same ones I bought 20+ years ago. I sleep and bathe with them. They have sentimental value to me so I never remove. Sometimes I’d wear cheap jewelry to mix and match for a change but the staples remain. When I started working (fresh out of college) in late 90s, my goal was to buy me really nice jewelries. Glad I did coz they’re worth every single penny.

  • Classic tips. I also like to add accessories to give a different look to basic outfits—jewelry, hats, scarves, bags, shoes.

  • Very good tips. I used to shop second hand a lot but Ive gotten out of the habit since I purchase so much online now. Bold colors are always my favorite, and Im not afraid to mix patterns!

  • Great tips! I think it’s important to stop trying to keep up with “fast fashion” trends. Otherwise you end up buying new pieces constantly and only wear them a few times.

  • It’s so cute!!! I love how you’ve styled it. What a versatile bag.

  • My wardrobe has been mostly black for a LONG time now, and I’m working on changing that. But I hate the trend of wearing something one season, and never again, and then updating your wardrobe every season. True, we can’t go out in bonnets and bustles, or even in shoulder pads, IS wrong with wearing something that was launched a couple of years ago?

  • Great tips, Kath! I love that vegan handbag! It’s very chic!

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