how to look cute on a budget

How to Look Cute on a Budget

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Unless your last name starts with G and ends with ates, you’re probably on a budget. With that comes trying to look cute without spending a lot of money. Well try no more, just do (is that a Star Wars line?), because here are some top tips on how to look cute on a budget!

Shop at budget-friendly places

It may seem obvious but the first step to looking cute on a budget is to shop at budget-friendly places! Here are places that offer cute clothes that aren’t hard on the budget:

If you prefer quality over quantity, even while on a budget, don’t worry because it’s definitely possible. Find your higher-end and slow fashion brands for cheaper at places like ThredUP, Poshmark, eBay, and thrift stores.

Want to look cute on a budget? It's not always what you wear, but how you wear it, like this belted blazer. Want to look cute on a budget? It's not always what you wear, but how you wear it, like this belted blazer.
(blazer from Target, belts from H&M, jeans from American Eagle)

Shop the sales

President’s Day sale to Black Friday, there’s always a sale going on for something. Wait just a few more months (or weeks) for a holiday or event to arrive so you can take advantage of it to pick up some cute discounted items!

Continually check clearance

Whether the store is already inexpensive or very high-end, always check out the clearance rack. You never know what you will find. As a reminder, don’t buy something just because it’s cheap. This doesn’t actually save you money in the long run if you don’t need it!

Additionally, there have been so many times I’ve had my eye on something and really wanted it, only to pass and check back regularly to find it half off or more! Sometimes patience is key.

Shop offseason

When the seasons are changing and inventory is getting marked down, you can score some great deals. You might just have to be a bit more strategic and plan ahead, such as getting your new winter coat as stores start to introduce spring and summer pieces.

Love ’em or hate ’em, it doesn’t change the fact that if you’re wearing what’s trendy at that time, you’re going to look cute in people’s eyes. That’s just the way it is! But no matter what’s trendy, only wear what you like and what looks good on you!

*THE BIGGEST TIP* It’s not what you wear, but how you wear it

At the end of the day sometimes it doesn’t even matter what the clothes are that you are wearing, but how you choose to style and accessorize them.

I gather inspiration from places like J.Crew because their layering game is on point and their models always look elevated. You can do these same tricks with your own clothes!

Don’t just wear a t-shirt, but knot it, tuck it in, belt it, etc. Related: How to Elevate a Simple Tee and Jeans Outfit

Want to look cute on a budget? It's not always what you wear, but how you wear it, like this knotted tee with a french style skirt for summer

Don’t just wear shorts, but cuff them.

Want to look cute on a budget? It's not always what you wear, but how you wear it, like these cuffed summer shorts

Don’t just wear a jacket, but layer it over an open button-down and a basic tee.

how to look cute on a budget

Taking that extra step from “just wearing something” to doing something cool and unique with it is KEY for you to look cute on a budget!

Want to look cute on a budget? It's not always what you wear, but how you wear it, like this chain belt! Want to look cute on a budget? It's not always what you wear, but how you wear it, like this chain belt! Want to look cute on a budget? It's not always what you wear, but how you wear it, like this chain belt!
(necklace used as a chain belt)

Want to look cute on a budget? It's not always what you wear, but how you wear it, like this faux fur scarf belted over a blazer Want to look cute on a budget? It's not always what you wear, but how you wear it, like this faux fur scarf belted over a blazer Want to look cute on a budget? It's not always what you wear, but how you wear it, like this faux fur scarf belted over a blazer
(faux fur scarf belted over a blazer)

Here are some outfits I like and roughly how much they were and where I got them from, so you can see looking cute doesn’t have to cost a lot or require only shopping from super-duper fancy places!

how to look cute on a budget

LOOK CUTE ON A BUDGET RECAP!

  • Shop at places that sell cute clothes that are inexpensive (refer back to list of shopping places), especially if you’re not confident in your thrifting ability
  • Wait for the sales to save $$
  • Don’t buy just to buy. If you don’t love it in the store, don’t buy it
  • When in doubt, keep it simple
  • If it doesn’t fit quite right or is missing buttons, etc, PASS
  • Always check the clearance rack. It requires digging, but there will be some goodies in there
  • Shop regularly, but don’t buy regularly. Meaning you’re always keeping an eye out on stuff but you don’t always have to buy something!

You can also swap clothes with friends (you may have a new way to wear them that they didn’t!) or borrow from your mom or grandma’s closet (vintage is in!).

Up Next: How to Look Expensive 

how to look cute on a budget
Carolyn Arentson
Carolyn is the founder and creator behind My Chic Obsession. When she's not dreaming up new content, you can find her watching a funny tv show with her husband, raising her two boys, or planning her next trip to Paris.