How can I achieve a polished look on a low budget?

(26 Posts)
Romy75 Sat 12-Apr-14 20:06:59

I am in my late 30's, a size 12, athletic build with long limbs.

I do not have a 'look' as such as my clothes are a jumble of items dating as far back as 2006.

I do not have enough disposable income to recreate a new wardrobe for each season. I can only buy bits in DP/H & M/Primark. I end up looking okay but never well put together like the beautiful women on Pinterest.

I like the blazers with fitted top and jeans. Never owned this type of blazer.

I like the maxi dress with cropped jeans jacket. Never owned a maxi dress.

I like the jumpsuits. Never owned one.

I rarely buy anything I like-only things I can afford. sad

Limafresco Sat 12-Apr-14 22:54:25

Watching with keen interest smile.

Have you tried places like Tkmaxx, brandalley etc for naice things on a budget or even eBay??

TripTrapTripTrapOverTheBridge Sat 12-Apr-14 23:20:59

Sometimes everything5pounds has some fab items in too!

WipsGlitter Sat 12-Apr-14 23:35:34

Maxi dresses £10 in Tesco last year! Instead of cheap bits and pieces save and get one "better" item?

ginorwine Sun 13-Apr-14 00:07:57

Try getting items in similar colours so that they co ordinate and look well put together.eg blues. Then buy a supermarket scarf to bring it together ? Saisnburys have fab ones and often reduced.

Ruprekt Sun 13-Apr-14 00:10:34

Try and stick to a couple of colours.

I love navy in spring and summer so will buy navy linen trousers and mix with different tshirts or jacket or cardigans. Big scarf, ballet flats and sunglasses.grin

ginorwine Sun 13-Apr-14 00:10:48

Also charity shops can have good items .you may get a maxi there? My dd got a fab shirt and a really unique unworn t shirt y day both came to less than a fiver but were also things she wd have actually wanted to buy at full cost. Also dress agencies?

ginorwine Sun 13-Apr-14 00:11:47

R up - we just posted similar advice re colours! smile

ginorwine Sun 13-Apr-14 00:13:12

If you know that a brand fits you e bay .

Ruprekt Sun 13-Apr-14 00:15:21

smile Great advice then gin!! smile

I like the blazer and jeans look too - I've only just found the right style tho, after looking for ages. I think it depends on your shape as to what shape jacket looks nice. There are some lovely short tweed jackets around and this www.debenhams.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/prod_10701_10001_028020221563_-1 is a short, classic style which would look great with jeans, skirt, dress etc.

If you're on a tight budget, I think mainly sticking to classic shapes which will last a long time is better than buying up-to-the-minute fashion items which will be long gone next year. There are some gorgeous maxi dresses around, like this www.debenhams.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/prod_10701_10001_61252+266096_-1 or this www.asos.com/Club-L/Club-L-Maxi-Dress-in-Tropical-Print/Prod/pgeproduct.aspx?iid=3948280&cid=5235&Rf981=3680&Rf-300=2077&sh=0&pge=0&pgesize=36&sort=-1&clr=Multi which would look great with this direct.asda.com/george/womens/coats-jackets/dark-wash-denim-jacket/G004498929,default,pd.html

Try to put together a few basics that will mix and match - jeans, jacket, skirts, tops etc and then add a brightly coloured top or a patterned scarf which coordinates with your basic colours.

TK Maxx are great for scarves and all sorts of tops.

DaftSkunk Sun 13-Apr-14 05:48:52

Also ASOS may be worth a look too, free postage and returns and they often have codes (particularly on their sale stuff). I've just ordered a few blazers to try with the hope I keep one of them.

Romy75 Sun 13-Apr-14 18:27:55

Thanks for the tips!

Navy and white does look quite classic.

I need to buy more scarves and learn how to wear them.

VarsityQueen Sun 13-Apr-14 18:53:03

Maybe some of the longline vests from H&M for layering, I feel more put together with a vest although obviously no good for the height of summer!

goodasitgets Sun 13-Apr-14 19:02:39

Accessories. Also hair and makeup
Immaculate nails, good skin, and polished makeup go a long way. I notice more things like that, and accessories like a lovely handbag or pretty ring
Also like it when people have a "look". One of my friends always wears red lipstick and it looks amazing
I don't think things have to be expensive, it's how you put them together and wear them, the look as a whole

Pollywallywinkles Sun 13-Apr-14 19:40:29

I second the hair and makeup. Looking groomed will pull everything together. Assuming you wear and already have some makeup, it will cost you little other than some time.

bowserthegreat Sun 13-Apr-14 23:40:15

Definitely check out Ebay, if you don't use it already.

I have had loads of bargains for 99p, including things such as playsuits/jumpsuits, maxi dresses and blazers. You could sell things that you no longer wear and use the money to buy new items from Ebay.

Maisie0 Mon 14-Apr-14 13:13:46

I definitely think that it is possible. I have started to cull my wardrobe too and throw out items that do not "quite fit". Starting to put together the ones which look good as an outfit. I have also started to categorise them back into basic groupings. Casual going out / Smart casual / Smart evening. So it stops me picking up the wrong outfit for the wrong purpose. I am not quite there yet, but I am just trying to categorise the colours and outfit by season as well. Spring/Summer/Autumn/Winter.
I finally figured that, if I throw one out, then I need to replace it back. Then I can't go wrong ! Hehe. (Yes, I am in my mid-30s too. Time to rehaul my life.)

Oh, I used this to help me too.
chummabazzar.tumblr.com/post/20348737766/womenbodytypes

missmagnum Mon 14-Apr-14 13:59:53

As someone has suggested above, I try and buy less 'cheapy' items and save up and buy quality items or just buy when things are heavily discounted. Great Plains is good for quality and has hugely discounted things at the moment, couple of blazers they have:

floral blazer or this more casual blazer.

I think the devil is in the detail. Looking polished to me means neatly painted nails without chips, tidy hair, polished shoes, ironed and well looked after clothes.

I am a fan of blazers with jeans too. Find a pair of jeans that fits you well, I find that a dark denim is more flattering on me. I like Breton tops, the Boden teenage range is great for thick cotton at a good price. I also like shirts, I have a lovely crisp white shirt from Matalan that was less than a tenner. As long as I iron it properly it looks fab. I have a nice navy blazer from Dorothy Perkins, I have seen them in there recently for around £15 (half price in the sale).

I polish my shoes at least once a week. My current favourite shoes are tan brogues from the Debenhams sale (I think they cost around £20). A nice bag pulls things together too, my current favourite is a satchel from Accessorize which cost about £17 in the sale but looks more expensive.

I have short hair and get it cut once a month to keep it sharp. I have it cut by a student though which makes it cheaper. I also have my eyebrows waxed once every 6 weeks, which only costs £5 but makes a huge difference to how I look.

It doesn't have to be expensive, it just takes a bit of effort.

Robfordscrack Sun 20-Apr-14 18:25:31

Shop off season. You can always find really decent things in the sale and for much cheaper. Wear and rewear. Have great accessories. Mix cheap and not-so-cheap. Be internet savvy and scour for discount codes. Sell stuff (bought 150 pound new leather bomber jacket on ebay for 30 pounds and sold it a year later for 30 pounds)
It's a false economy buying cheap items that fall part after one wash. By shopping off season you can get decent stuff for the same amount. Know your sizes in your favourite brands so you can jump on them online when you see them in a sale. I rarely buy stuff these days that aren't heavily discounted. Saying that I bought a lovely white blazer in H&M (fully lined). It was decent quality though.

Tweet2tweet Sun 20-Apr-14 19:20:35

Uniqlo does some great items at great prices. I really like their jersey blazers.

Notcontent Sun 20-Apr-14 20:04:07

Try to stick to plain things in natural fibres. Not all synthetic fibres are bad - but cheap polyester will always look cheap.

I also really like uniqlo for good quality basics.

TheJumped Sun 20-Apr-14 21:33:31

Ooh lots of good advice on here, lurking for more! I think blogs and Pinterest are a great start and help you to get a clear idea of how you want to look - however I also think they lull you into thinking it's necessary to spend £££ on every item you buy, which just isn't true. Jeans from high st are fine, just try on lots and find some that fit perfectly. Blazer is a key purchase so make it a day's project to try on loads and buy the perfect one - probably spend a bit more on that. Scarves are cheap as chips from Ebay, I think they're the modern equivalent to lipsticks that you can buy cheaply to get a fashion fix without spending much.

Make a list of a few key items you want and shop for them ruthlessly, not getting distracted by 'best thing in a crap shop' syndrome, ie when you traipse around Dorothy Perkins for an hour and eventually find something you don't hate and end up buying it! Wait and spend the same money in Zara in the sale.

TheJumped Sun 20-Apr-14 21:35:18

Another vote for Uniqlo too - also Primark for belts and Forever 21 for jewellery.

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