It’s part of human nature to make judgments about other people based on what they look like, even if you know nothing about them. It’s not a conscious act, rather an evolutionary mechanism that developed to help size up whether other people were likely to be friends or enemies, and how useful they would be as part of a social group. If you see a guy at a party wearing a Star Wars T-shirt, you will immediately know that either they share some of your interests and might be fun to talk to, or that they are a nerd with whom you’ll have nothing in common, depending on your point of view. Dressing in expensive clothing gives an impression of wealth and social status, but if you’re clever, you can look the part without breaking the bank.
Less is more
Rather than buying a lot of cheap clothes, invest in some more expensive items that can be worn in different ways. For example, a pair of designer jeans can be dressed up with smart shoes or boots and a tailored jacket or dressed down with sneakers and a T-shirt. If the main item of clothing you’re wearing is of good quality, then it can often be worn with cheaper tops without devaluing your overall appearance.
Add your own touches
All outfits can be enhanced with the judicious use of accessories. A nice belt can set off a pair of ordinary pants, and a quality necklace and bracelet combination can bring sparkle to a plain shirt. Personalized accessories will also add a touch of class and uniqueness to an outfit, for example having a smartphone case from Custom Envy that uses a photo you’ve provided as the illustration on the cover. If you have any skills in sewing or needlecrafts, then making your own clothes and accessories will give you that touch of exclusivity that can normally only be found at designer label prices.
There are two kinds of stores you need to explore to find quality clothes at reasonable prices:
- Outlet and discount stores: These stock end of line designs, factory seconds, and overstocks of even the most desirable designer brands, meaning you can pick up a top name label for a great deal less than the original price. You might have to spend longer finding what you want in the right size, but the savings will make it worthwhile. You can also pick up bargains in the sales at regular stores, but you’ll have less choice there than at a discount outlet.
- Second-hand stores: Vintage clothing is becoming more readily available through bricks and mortar stores and specialist websites. In some cases, the clothes can cost more than new versions, but there are also many examples of designer labels being sold for very reasonable prices. You could also get lucky at the thrift store because you never know what gems will get donated to charity.
You don’t need to have plenty of cash to feel smart and well-dressed, and if you shop in the right places and build up a versatile wardrobe, you’ll be able to dress to impress on a budget.