How to Look Fabulous while Being Frugal

Hey RichMamas – think you need to spend a lot of money to look good? Think again! It’s entirely possible to look fabulous while being frugal. Here are some tips on how you can look great without breaking the bank. Here are some great ideas.

Go Shopping…in Your Closet

If you’re like a lot of people, you probably have stuff hidden in your closet and bureau that you forgot you had. Go shopping – pull everything out and take a look. Include shoes (even those dusty ones from the back of the closet). Put together outfits by creating new combinations.

For example, if you have a skirt and top outfit but the top is stained or damaged, look for another one that works with the skirt. Twin sets are another place to look – maybe the cardigan or top is too worn to wear, but you can take one or the other and put together another set. It won’t be monochrome, but it will be uniquely fabulous!

Clean It Up

Remember those dusty shoes we mentioned? Go ahead and pull them out, along with stained clothes. Give shoes and clothing a second chance. Treat clothing stains with a commercial, oxygen-based treatment and run them through the washing machine.

Shoe stains can often be lifted with store-bought cleaners or baking soda and a brush (baking soda helps odor, too). Use shoe polish on leather shoes. Suede shoes can be brushed with a stiff brush. Water stains, ironically, can be washed out with water. Brush on the water in a thin coat, paying special attention to the edges of the water stains, and allow to dry.

Give clothing a new life with ironing and stitching up small rips and tears. If you can’t do that, look into iron-on patches.
The point is to take a little time and clean up your clothes rather than just giving them away and buying new ones.

Don’t Shun Used

Some people get all kinds of compliments on yard-sale outfits and consignment shop finds. Don’t forget your existing wardrobe as you shop for used clothes – you may find the perfect shirt to go with a skirt, or a top that will look great with one of your existing pairs of pants.

Don’t forget about online options, too. The internet offers an enormous selection of used clothing on eBay and other online venues. You can often find name-brand items for a fraction of the price, and sometimes they have not even been worn or worn only once.

Hair and Accessories

Save money by coloring your hair at home (if you color it). Put styling aids like curling irons and hot rollers to use rather than paying for a salon job. When you get your hair trimmed, see if you can get just a trim, nothing else. It costs a lot less. Experiment with styling your hair yourself, or with various up-dos.

Antique stores and yard sales are great places to find used but beautiful jewelry. You can often find unique pieces that will get you lots of positive attention. Think outside the department store!


Budget-Friendly Work Wardrobe Must-Haves

It’s an exciting time for you – so you landed that new job – great! Now that you have to give back the suit you borrowed for the interview, you’ll need some work clothes. Or maybe what you wore to the interview is all you have. Regardless, no one wants to spend their first three paychecks before they even receive them just to look good in the office! So how can you put together a budget-friendly wardrobe?

Here are some tips on decking yourself out without breaking the bank. The key is to go with affordable essentials that can be mixed and matched. Here are some suggestions on how you can get budget-friendly work wardrobe must-haves!

Look at What You Have Already

Go through your current wardrobe and pick out some basics that you can use. Simple shirts and knit tops (especially solid color), dress pants and nice shoes are probably hanging around in your closet, but maybe they don’t go together. As you shop for the basic must-haves, keep these pieces you already own in mind.

Basic Pieces

You really don’t have to spend a lot to get a few basic pieces. Think neutrals for pants, skirts, and blazers/jackets. Don’t shun the suit just because you are on a budget – you may find it’s actually less money to buy a suit in a neutral color and then take it apart to mix and match. Remember those clothes already waiting for you in your closet? Think of how they will look with the suit skirt, pants, or jacket.

Generally, you can expect the following must-haves:

* For men, 3 jackets, 3 pants, 4 button-down shirts, 3 ties, and 2 pairs of shoes.

* For women, 3 jackets, 3 pants or skirts, 5 tops such as button-down or solid knit, 1 or 2 twinsets that you can mix and match, 4 pairs of trouser socks and/or pantyhose, and 2 pairs of shoes (yes, ladies can get by with 2 pairs of shoes, too).

If you can, buy 2 suits that you can mix and match, and you are well on your way to being finished with your work wardrobe shopping.


If you’re on a budget, accessories are an area where you can easily cut back. You don’t need different bracelets, necklaces, earrings, shoes, and handbags for every outfit, for instance. Think basic and neutral, as you did with the basic pieces above.

A black, tan, or navy handbag will easily interchange between outfits, as will neutral shoes. Bracelets and earrings do not really have to be worn, but if you want to accessorize, buy an inexpensive set in silver and one in gold. Or go with a set in neutral colors made of ceramic, glass, or wood. These tend to be less expensive than precious metals.