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Ask Rosalee: Style on a Budget

October 18, 2010

Dear Rosalee,

I am wanting to add to my wardrobe but I don’t have a lot of cash. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks!

-Katie, 34; Fitchburg

Hi Katie,

I love this question! You can look like a million bucks, without spending a lot! Be sure to check out the “Luxe for Less” fashion feature in BRAVA Magazine’s October issue. Here are a few of my favorite tips for expanding your wardrobe without expanding your budget.

Budget Fashion Tips

Swap Party – Get together with friends and have a big swapping party. Everyone brings a few items they no longer want and you take turns trading between friends. It’s one of the easiest ways to get new things for free, and it will help make room in your wardrobe for your new items.

Make It – Try making your own clothes from scratch. You can start with something simple like a loose-fitting shirt or a circle skirt. You can use either a pre-made pattern or create a pattern from a piece of clothing you already own and love.

Customize – Adding a little extra detail can make a simple piece of clothing look incredible and expensive. You can purchase cheap embellishments online or in fabric stores. Some ideas are studs, braiding, sequins, buttons, trim or iron-on patches. Play around with different embellishments until you find a look that works.

Thrifting – My favorite tip! Scour local thrift stores and charity shops and you’re bound to find a bargain. It does take a lot of patience, but it can be a wonderful way to look chic on the cheap.

Classic Style – One of the best ways to save money in the long run and have more celebrity style is to purchase classic pieces that are timeless and high quality. Classic pieces are more of an investment but if you shop smart, they can last forever. Tailored black trousers, a crisp white button down shirt, and a trench coat in camel or black are often chosen as timeless pieces that are worth the investment.

Sale Shopping –  January and August are the ultimate sale months ans when stock gets replenished for the next season. Visit your local stores towards the end of those months to find loads of reduced items. Sale shopping is better in some stores rather than others, so keep your eyes open. Some department stores like Kohl’s and Old Navy have really great sales on a regular basis.

Have confidence Dolls,  you are beautiful!


Send your fashion and beauty questions to

Please include your age and city.

Join BRAVA Magazine for an open casting call Saturday, Oct. 23, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at TGIFriday’s Greenway Station.
If you are 26 or over, this is your chance to have a little fun and possibly be chosen to hit the runway at the 2010 Madison Women’s Expo Saturday and Sunday, November 20 and 21.
One Comment leave one →
  1. October 19, 2010 10:58 am

    Another great resource for your readers who want to look terrific on a budget is the concept of clustering, or Five Easy Pieces™. With five interchangeable pieces, you can create a myriad of different outfits, creating a lot out of a little. People don’t need to have a huge wardrobe in order for it to be stylish.

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