Fashion Essentials on a Budget


I really want to be able to help college students everywhere avoid living the broke college kid lifestyle – ramen noodles, raggedy sweats you’ve owned for five years, digging through couch cushions for loose change.

Through this blog, I want to offer tips and tricks on saving money in various categories, such as food, fashion, and every day essentials.

Today, I am going to discuss how to stock your closet with affordable fashion essentials. By doing so, you can be fashionable and have a lot of options without breaking the bank.

With the help of Frugal Beautiful, let’s break it down.


The worst feeling is wanting to look cute and fashionable but having  no money to buy this season’s new collection. Living in a fashion-forward city like Pittsburgh, I envied the fashion choices of my fellow classmates at times. I guess, I felt like my fashion was still stuck back home in high school. My only problem? I just spent all of the money I had saved and gotten from graduation on stuff for my dorm and books for classes. Slowly, after starting a work study job, then shortly after that, getting another job at a tanning salon, I started collecting up neutral pieces to help build my wardrobe with the little money I had leftover after paying bills (phone bill, food, transportation, car insurance).

So, if you have a small budget and desire a big selection in your closet, where should you start?

Let’s start at the bottom: Shoes. What’s worth buying and what should you walk on past?

Frugal Beautiful includes a pair of black or nude heels to go with everything, a pair of statement heels, black flats, a pair of classic boots, and a pair of sandals that match practically every outfit. Adding to the list, I think that every girl should own a good pair of sneakers – whether it’s for working out or to go with your sweatpants on a lazy day.

Now, for the clothing items that you shouldn’t live without: a simple pencil skirt to dress up or dress down, a dressier blouse appropriate for church or work, a little black dress (of course), 3 cardigans – one black, one tan, and one that is brightly colored and fun – , 3 pairs of jeans – one pair being a classy dark wash for when you need to dress an outfit up -, 4 camisoles or undershirts that can be paired with your cardigans or layered, and a black trench or peacoat.

I also think a good pair of black leggings (thick enough that you can’t see through them!!) is an essential part to any wardrobe.

To finish off your looks, gather up some accessories that can go with anything. Frugal Beautiful likes a classic pearl necklace and pearl studs, basic gold and silver necklaces and studs to match, a leather belt, a couple of statement items like vintage brooches, tights, and basic handbag that can be worn with anything.

My favorite accessories are scarves – I own over a dozen of them, and Charlotte Russe always has them on sale for $5. They are an effortless finishing touch to any outfit.

Once you buy these essential pieces, you can buy other pieces here and there, when your wallet permits, that go with the items that you already have, and then you can watch your wardrobe grow and grow.

For more information on essentials and how to shop on a budget, visit Frugal Beautiful.


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