Fashion on a Budget – How to Get the Latest Looks for Lowest Cost


For most people, to buy fashionable clothing is a luxury, a luxury that many cannot justify or afford. Once something is marked as fashionable or in season, the prices of these items drastically increase. Not everyone is able to afford the designer brands seen on the runways or match the outfit of their favourite high profile celebrity. Realistically this all costs money, money that many of us just don’t have.

For millennials, still at university or working a low-income job, us fashion is something they want but in reality probably can’t afford.

D*scribe spoke to Deakin students to fine out how much money they spend on fashion each month. “It varies, sometimes nothing at all, sometimes I might go out shopping and spend a couple of hundred of dollars but then not buy anything for a long time,” Laura said.

Another Deakin student Lisa said “I spend roughly $400 a month”, while her close friend Niki said “I only spend $20 a month”. Colleen had the most surprising answer: “I only spend about $5 a month on fashion.”

While the monthly budgets differ, none are drastically high, especially compared to the pricing of fashionable clothing today. Here’s some tips to get the latest looks at the lowest costs.

1. Ensure you have the basics
Basics are essential for every wardrobe and can be paired with nearly any type of look. Basics are the building blocks of your outfit and can be worked into any type of look depending on what you want to pair with them. One of the best parts of any basic is that they never go out of fashion so you know that you can get a lot of wear out of them. Another great thing about basics is that you can find them almost everywhere, meaning you will have many different styles and prices to choose from.

The best basics to have:
– Denim jacket
– Leather jacket
– Black/denim jeans
– Skirts
– Plain tops
– Sweater dress
– Boots (ankle or knee high)


2. Layering/Accessorising
Once you have the basics down pat you can now start layering to create the perfect outfit!
Layering is described as dressing in multiple garments that are worn on top of each other. It is always best to start by wearing your basics and then working your way up from there.
Layering basics with basics is always a good and cheaper starting point.

Here is a layering option using three different basics, all of which most people would already have in their wardrobe. Pairing basics such as this can create a whole new look at very little cost.
Layering using accessories can really make a difference to any outfit.

Just by layering with accessories and pairing an oversized coat with basics can create a whole new fashionable look for very little cost.
Accessories like this can be ones you already have at home such as a watch or a bag, but if not there are so many places they can be found for very little money.

‘Rose Gold Glam Diamante Watch’
RETAIL: $37.99

‘Marlie Crossbody’ Bag
RETAIL: $44.99


3. Don’t be afraid to shop some of the cheaper brands
Often people think that to have the latest fashion you must shop the high-priced brands, but this is not the case. There are so many cheaper-branded stores today that are keeping up with all the latest trends just as much as the higher-end retailers do. The only difference? You can look just as stylish but not spend as much money.

Deakin students say the most popular clothing store to shop at is Kmart. “Sometimes I shop at Kmart depending on what they have,” Colleen said. Lisa agreed: “I shop at Kmart, Target, all the cheaper stores”. Niki said: “Oh yeah, I like Kmart, Kmart is good.”

Kmart is a great example of how a lower end branded clothing store keeps up to date with the latest fashion trends.

‘Chenille Jumper’
RETAIL: $20.00

‘Crew Neck Chenille Jumper’
RETAIL: $49.99

‘Lofty Roll Neck Sweater’
RETAIL: $119.95

Here is an example of Kmart’s fashion compared to higher classed brands ‘Glassons’ and ‘Seed’. This winter a key fashion statement has been the ‘chenille jumpers’. Although these three examples all follow the same trend, are all made from the same material and all share the same colour scheme, each label has a different price tag that matches their audience and brand placement. So, when you’re wanting to be fashionable on a budget, don’t be afraid to shop at the cheaper stores, because it is could just be the label and price tag that will set you apart from owning the same trend at a cheaper price.


4. Buy High Class Brand Inspired Pieces
For those of us who love the look of high class brands but cannot justify spending the pennies, why not look for these styles pictured below at cheaper outlets. You would be surprised today by how many cheaper brands design their products based on higher-end lables.
Today the price tag comes from the label you are buying from, not especially the style or quality of the item. So why not have that iconic style at a cheaper price?

‘Cat Eye’ Sunglasses
RETAIL: $510.00


‘Gigi Red’ Sunglasses
RETAIL: $39.95

‘GG Marmont Matelasse Leather Belt Bag’
RETAIL: $1390.00


‘Quilted Belt Bag’
RETAIL: $59.95


5. Have a browse in Op Shops
For any great bargain hunter, op shops are your place. Today op shops can be one of the best high fashion shopping destinations at the lowest prices. The best part? Not only are you are guaranteed to pick up some stylish pieces for loose change, but they are all one-of-a-kind and unique. Create your own style that no one else can copy. Many of these pieces are vintage and can be worked in with your already existing wardrobe in a new creative way.

“I’m mostly an op shop type of person,” Colleen said. And Laura agreed: “I also love to shop at op shops”.
For anyone on a budget, op shops are your one stop shop to creating that unique outfit for minimal cost.

Fashion is a statement that is created by the individual and should not be labelled by the brand. There are so many alternative options for creating that perfect style at the lowest price.



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