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Build a wardrobe on a budget

By Shannyn Allan · Bankrate.com
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Posted: 4 pm ET

How many times have you opened your closet to put an outfit together for a party, conference, casual shindig or meeting, only to be stumped on what to put together?

In the average closet, it's not a matter of "not having enough" stuff to wear -- many of us face the challenge of having the "right" things to wear. Here are some basic tips that will get you started on building a wardrobe that covers the basics without breaking the bank.

Take notes, and refer to them when you shop

One of my favorite tricks is to make a mental note or leave a note in my phone when I'm struggling to put an outfit together at home and wish I had a black pair of tights or a blue cardigan to go with what I want to wear.

Most of the time, we waste money at the store simply because we're looking for that perfect thing without being able to pinpoint our dissatisfaction or remember the little item we need. Whenever an idea pops into your head, make a list and stick to it.

Before you buy an item, ask yourself questions such as, "How many outfits will this make?" Or, "What will this item complete?"

Invest in 'seasonless' staples first

Trends are tempting, but costly. Focus your budget on the basics. Stick to what you need and supplement only with any extra spending money.

For example, a classy black cocktail dress is a versatile staple that can be dolled up with a trendy feather pendant, a big pair of earrings or hot pink pumps in a dozen different ways.

Be patient when building a great wardrobe

You may not walk away with the perfect pair of jeans that hug you like a glove on your first try. Additionally, jumping right to the clearance racks may turn up last season's less-than-flattering trends instead of the wardrobe staple pieces a girl on a budget needs.

If you're looking for the timeless essentials when you're on a budget, know it will take some research and some time to find a deep discount.

It may be frustrating to exercise patience. But eventually, you'll have a killer wardrobe that means you're never without the right thing to wear. And your pocketbook will thank you.

Shannyn Allan is a lifestyle blogger on a budget at FrugalBeautiful.com and tweets @FrugalBeautiful.

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1 Comment
Sharon
December 27, 2012 at 4:03 am

The little black dress to so easy to dress up or down for any evening event.

Choose your favorite color as your core color. Find a designer who you can mix and match around that color. You can't lose. You can make dozens of outfits.