How To Update Your Wardrobe On a Budget

I love adding new pieces to my wardrobes, not only is it fun, but it can also be satisfying. But as satisfying as this is, you don’t want to blow your entire paycheck updating your wardrobe. Take a look at different ways to update your wardrobe, from shopping secondhand to nailing down new styles with old pieces, to shopping staple pieces to accessories and outerwear, there are plenty of options to consider as you update your wardrobe on a budget that can be done on a budget.

To help you stay stylish for the new year, here are a few tips for updating your wardrobe without breaking the bank

1.  Use What You Have Already

Before upgrading your wardrobe, I suggest you look at existing pieces in your closet. It can be difficult to give away items that has sentimental value, but you need to be honest with what’s really worth holding onto. You don’t need to do a total upgrade of your closet, look at what you already have, consider removing anything that, does not fit, is stained or torn, is out of style, or fails to fit in with your color palette. 

Aside from donating and throwing old clothes away, you can also try selling them on Facebook marketplace. For anything you’re not sure about, keep it in a box of “maybes” for a month and see if you wear any of those items before the month is over.

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2.  Buy More Staple Pieces

Trendy pieces are tempting to purchase, however, those same items may be out of style next season. Instead, spend the majority of your budget on items that are stylish, yet not so trendy that they’ll quickly go out of style.

When thinking about what constitutes a staple for you, think about where you spend the most time. For instance, if you spend more time at a professional job, your staples might include professional skirts or suits. If you work from home, your staples will be much more casual

3.   Avoid Trends

When freshening up your wardrobe on a budget, trends are often a double-edged sword. On one hand, they can help you try new styles that you might not have looked into on your own. However, it can also be risky as you could end up spending too much money on garments that will be out of style by the end of the year.

A safer approach is to choose trends based on your current style and color palette. Stick to styles that you already know look great on you, as opposed to splurging on those that stray too far from your wardrobe.

4.  Go for Discount Stores

While you do want higher quality items, you can find these items at discount stores that specialize in selling the remainder of items, such as Ross Dress for Less or TJ Maxx. You can find high-quality clothing that won’t break the bank.  Sometimes discount stores will have brand-name items for a good deal, either because they received them from a store that overstocked or because they ordered them and haven’t sold them all quickly enough.

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5.  Compare Prices Online

While shopping online can be risky as far as getting clothes that fit, if you know your sizes in certain brands, shopping online can save you money. You can compare prices at different stores to see which one will save you the most money. However, don’t forget to add in shipping costs, as those can add up quickly.

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6.  Shop at Your Local Thrift Stores

Not only can great quality pieces be found for too-good-to-be-true prices, but, by buying secondhand, we’re keeping still-wearable garments out of the landfill.  There are tons of thrift websites now, and, just like old-fashioned thrift stores themselves, it takes a little sifting to find what you’re looking for.

7.  Shop the End-of-Season Sales

End of the season is always one of the best times to go clothing shopping. When there is a drastic season change like the transition period between summer to fall, clothes from last season become heavily discounted because they are now irrelevant. While you may not want to buy this year’s fall trends at end-of-season sales, you can find solid staples for a lot less than you’d pay at the beginning of fall. This year’s trends may not be in style next year, but the staples will.

8.   Have a Clothing Swap

Get together with family and friends to swap clothes. You may be tired of a sweater, but your friend may find it’s their new favorite piece. The best part is, it’s free. Another option is to borrow items from friends, while you loan other pieces. You still get to try new pieces, but you don’t have to give up the ones you love permanently. Fall is a great time to exchange pieces like sweaters and scarves.

9.  Add Accessories

Accessories are a fabulous addition to your wardrobe, especially if you don’t need to overhaul your clothing options completely. You’ll get new outfit possibilities at a lower cost than if you bought all new clothing items. Still, don’t be afraid to add a couple of staple pieces into the mix when you get new accessories, especially so you can layer your items.


Whenever in doubt about how to upgrade your wardrobe, simply aim to save money and keep your goals in mind. Don’t immediately go spending all your month’s salary on a new dress that gets tucked away after one wear. Stay open-minded and visit thrift shops or swap with family or friends. If you simply desire to uplift your wardrobe, cut expenses elsewhere and save towards a purchase, it’s also better to stretch your budget and opt for investment pieces that are well-made and guaranteed to last well into the future.