Can you be chic on an ultratight budget?

by Sylvia

chic on a budget
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I’m sure you’ve heard and read that being stylish is not about money. In fact, many people believe that men and women with less money are often more creative as they are forced to mix cheaper garments and think very carefully before they buy something.

I am also of this opinion. When money is not a problem, it is all too easy to buy the complete set as the designer intended and just wear it as is, often resulting in a dull look that may be too matchy-matchy. In most cases, even designer outfits, bottoms and tops actually look much better when combined with garments from other (cheaper) designers.

Style has a lot more to do with:

  • how you carry yourself
  • how you have mixed your garments into something unique
  • how the garments tell something about you
  • how comfortable you are in your clothes
  • knowing what looks good on you

Now, I wouldn’t say that the outfit featured in this post is overly creative or unique , but I would say that it is simple and chic. It really gave me the Coco Chanel look and feel, inspired by the film and article I featured earlier. Although the quality of the fabric is not perfect, it is not clingy and extremely comfortable. The thing is, I felt great in this outfit. Effortlessly chic, comfortable and confident to be seen. Although I want to embrace more color in my style, I always feel great in a simple black and white (or in this case off white) combination. Essentially I just love simplicity.

Both dress and shirt combined were only $30. Both garments were bought in Haji Lane, a fun local street here in Singapore where many independant shops reside. As you know I’ve worn this dress with some of my other clothes as well here and here, so it is already a great success. If you shop around, there are many little treasures to be found. If you then combine that with a little creativity, shopping of your closet and a dose of confidence and good cheer, you will have no problem looking put-together and stylish all the time.

No more excuses ladies. You can look stylish at any budget and at any age!

(for admin purposes, please ignore: 9239YQK4G8FM)

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Suzanne

The only thing I would add to this is “fit”. A garment that is tailored to your body looks great no matter how much – or how little – you paid for it. Quality fabrics help too. I do not Thrift shop but I have seen people pick up items for a few dollars, have them tailored, and they look like thay are wearing couture.

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Sylvia

Yes of course. Should have mentioned that as well!

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The Style Crone

You are as stunning as the background in your photo! Is your hat made of straw, fabric,?
It’s texture looks great with your understated outfit.

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Sylvia

Thanks Judith. The hat feels like fabric, but I just checked the label and it says 50% paper(?) and 50% polyester. I wonder if that is an error. It looks and feels like linen fabric. It’s very practical to take on holiday as you can just fold it flat and put in your suitcase.

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Robert

You do tend to be more creative when you shop on a limited budget. Some of my outfits cost me very little money but yet stylish and very comfortable to wear.
Love your outfit! You do have the Coco Channel look.. Great Post!

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Sylvia

Thanks Robert! Feel free to upload one of your outfits on my facebook page to show it off!

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Nanne

I truly believe that it is possible to be chic on a very limited budget. However I do think that you need to have a very clear sense of your personal style, as a small budget/small wardrobe doesn’t allow for much experimenting:)

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Sylvia

So true. That is one of the reasons why I’m writing about that here too. More to come on that subject…

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Ana

I agree with this, because the outfit in which I’ve recently felt ultra-chic and put-together was probably one of the cheapest I’ve assembled. It didn’t look cheap at all, I think, largely because I assembled it out of absolutely classic basics.

I really love the pop of red from your wristwatch band, incidentally. This is a great outfit.

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Sylvia

Thanks Ana!

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Elise Walsh

You can absolutely be chic on a budget. I love how effortless and clean this look is. Great post!

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Sylvia

Thanks Elise!

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Nancy

Every compliment I’ve ever gotten was on an outfit or shoes that were not expensive. I tend to like discount shopping and occasionally splurge on designer items. It’s all in the quality of clothing, the fit and the confidence you have. You look great by the way.

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Sylvia

Thanks Nancy. It’s great to mix & match. I certainly like my silk tops and high quality items, but it’s so much fun to pair them with great cheap items!

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thefashionistachic

Please remember hair and beauty is a part of being chic.

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Sylvia

Very true. In this particular photo I was on holiday, so not much time for all that. One reason why I like hats!

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Rose

If you want to look great on next to nothing (cash-wise) go thrifting or swap with your friends. You will never get as good a bargain in any of the shops, despite the items being “on sale”. The stores still make money, even with the big discounts. You are not getting one over on them.

Cheers,
Rose

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Sylvia

I know, but not so many thrift stores around here. I love visiting them when I’m travelling!

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Petra

I really like the simplicity of this outfit Sylvia. Very effortless, and the shoes look great. I really like the dress/tunic layering look and I think it is very softening on us mature women!

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Sylvia

Thanks Petra. Yes, sometimes something simple is all you need…

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