How to Reinvent Your Personal Style Without Breaking the Bank

Change is often a good thing, especially as you get older. If you’re in your late 20s or 30s and you’re still wearing raggedy T-shirts and jeans every day, you might want to think about reinventing your look a bit. It doesn’t need to be drastic, but if you’re out in the dating world, dressing well will turn heads and make you immediately more desirable.

The problem with changing your style is that it can be super expensive if you’re not careful. Sure, you can spend thousands at designer shops and high-end department stores… or you can take our advice and keep some of that hard-earned money in your bank account. Here’s how to get a whole new look without depleting your savings:

  1. End of season sales. It’s 2018, which means that clothes shopping has never been easier. Basically every brand sells their catalog online and you can often find fantastic sales throughout the year. One of my go-to moves is to catch end-of-season sales on my favorite websites. If you wait until late March or April, you can find discounted prices on nice jackets, sweaters, and boots. Wait until September and you’ll find shorts, polos, and swimwear for 60, 70, even 80% off. While you may have to wait a few months to get any use out of those new clothes, you’ll be happy to know you bought a whole new season-specific wardrobe for next to nothing.
  2. Subscription boxes. We’re neck deep in the era of subscription boxes. Whether you want nerdy swag, pet supplies, or alcohol, you can get whatever you need delivered to your door on a monthly basis. This includes clothes. Companies like Menlo House and StitchFix curate clothing boxes based on a style profile you provide them. They’ll send you boxes based on your desire for formal or casual wear, as well as what time of year it is. Many of them, like StitchFix, allow you to pick and choose what you keep and send the rest back without losing any money. These boxes are perfect ways to find a new style without any risk.
  3. Online tailors. It doesn’t matter if you work in an upscale office or out of your home, you’re going to need a good suit at some point. Buying a nice, custom tailored suit might not seem like the best use of money if you’re only going to need it two or three times a year, but it’s worth it. There’s no better feeling than slipping on a suit specifically designed to fit you. When you walk in a room wearing it, people will notice. The best part is, you can make use of online tailors these days. Sites like Hockerty and Oliver Wicks make it easy to design the perfect fitting suits.
  4. Underwear brands. If you don’t think having high-quality underwear is important for your look — especially if you’re dating — you’re insane. Frankly, wearing comfortable boxers or briefs will help you feel good and help bring together your new look even if no one else sees them. But, when someone eventually does seem them, you’ll be glad you bought nice pairs that fit well. I recommend MeUndies. If you’ve ever listened to a podcast in your life, you’ve heard of this brand and you can usually find discount codes floating around online.
  5. Shoe resellers. While you’ll often find a site like StockX selling high-end, rare sneakers for above retail prices, you can also find a lot of older, more common kicks for well below MSRP. Buying through a site that uses its own authentication process (StockX) ensures that your purchase is safe and that you don’t spend money on fake shoes. This way, you can avoid shady eBay sellers. Or, if you do want rare shoes from an actual sneaker store, check out Flight Club.
  6. Consignment shops. If you live in or near a decent-sized city, you shouldn’t have an issue finding consignment shops that resell brand-name and designer clothing. Most of these stores have strict guidelines on what they buy from customers so you’ll only find clothes in mint condition. The best part is that you’ll likely find some very nice clothes for half (or less) of what they were at retail.
  7. Thrift stores. This is pretty obvious. Thrift stores have always been a good source for finding clothes. Sure, clothing from these spots will be much more hit-or-miss than at consignment shops, but if you’re just hoping to try out some new looks without spending more than a few bucks, it’s worth a shot. I’d say avoid Goodwill and look for a locally owned thrift store. In my experience, the selection at the local spot is much better — and cleaner.

Reinventing your look is both fun and slightly scary, especially if you don’t know where to begin. Hopefully these tips help you get your quest for a new style off to the right start.