How to always look stylish on a budget - Ethical fashion edition

It can be difficult growing up in a society where your worth as a person is directly linked to how you look and what you buy. We are all constantly bombarded with images of products we don't need but are told will make us better, more attractive and will solve lifes problems for us. If only we had this hair/outfit/car maybe people would like us more and our problems would go away, right? Wrong, learning to feel happy in your own skin without the need to buy things can be really hard but its the best way to develop your sense of self-worth again. We are enough on our own without all of these clothes shoes bags and cars.

Many people including myself don't have the money to keep spending on keeping up with trends and new styles; this is why I put together a little guide on how I've tried to build a stylish high-quality wardrobe for next to nothing. I got these ideas from reading and watching a lot of information on style and capsule wardrobes and how to put outfits together. I have been trying this the last few months with my own wardrobe and it seems to have worked quite well.

(Some may disagree.. but I think there have defiantly been improvements!)

The first thing to do I feel is assessing what you already have and go through everything in your wardrobe. Look at the colour and style of each item and decide if you really want them or not; if you don't want something try and sell it on Depop or eBay to get some money back but if it is beyond selling then take it to a charity shop.  Once you have cleared everything out you will be able to see the gaps in your wardrobe and what items you actually really need.

I did this by dividing what was left into a basics pile and a signature pile. Everything in the basics pile was, for example, jeans, white or black t-shirts, vest tops leather jackets etc. This is a really helpful way of seeing what you have if there are any gaps in your wardrobe and if you have the basics you need to build outfits.

With basics, I always think it is important to make sure whatever your style that you have the essentials. Essentials, however, are different for different people but the most important thing is that they are good quality natural fabrics and very plain. This, I have found, helps when you are building outfits to make sure you can create the desired look. It's also important to all basics that they fit really well; try all your basics on and see which ones fit and what can be altered. Everything that doesn't fit you can donate or sell on Depop. Once you have your basics sorted you can identify any gaps and the write down what  you would like that is missing. All basics should work  the colours white/black/Gray/denim; these can then be put with other things to build outfits. For me I'm trying to stick to 30 items but I know other people use 10 or 15 in more of a capsule wardrobe.

For me this is where the biggest gaps in my wardrobe are, I have an awful habit of buying garish signature pieces or random vintage items but no basics. I think it's easy to get caught up in styles and not focus on the longevity of an item. For me this is the area that really needs building and adding to to make the most of the rest of my wardrobe.

To get a wardrobe with really good high quality basics I think the best thing you can do is look on Depop or Vestier collective. There, it is easy to find good quality items at a fraction of the price. Although designers and high-end clothes aren't always better i feel like 7/10 they are; that's why personally I would recommend looking for clothes that are a bit more expensive but you know they will be made well from a high quality fabric. High street brands will usually be a poor quality, poor cut with poor design. For example, instead of looking for a black jumper on Depop from New Look or InTheStyle, look for one from French Connection, Joules, &Otherstories or All Saints.

My next tip for building up basics and looking stylish on a budget is always buy basics in a high quality fabric. Cashmere, Silk or organic cotton if you want to dress well you need quality fabrics. In my mind it is irrelevant where a silk shirt comes from, but you can always tell a silk shirt from a polyester one.

The cut of something is also really really important! For some reason in the last decade cut has become irrelevant, but I grew up in the era or Trinny and Susanna and for me they are still my go-to people when I'm considering buying a new item. Following some of their simple rules can up your style game completely; work out what your body shape is and remember their rules when making new purchases!

Lastly, I think learning how to put an outfit together well is one of the things that can take your style to a whole new level. This is one of the biggest things I struggle with just knowing what goes with what and putting outfits together well! Things that have helped me A LOT are Pintrest, Trinny and Suzanna and watching YouTube videos on style (my favourite ones are by Justine Leconte officiel.)

I hope you all enjoyed my post, I'm not saying that I always look good and I am defiantly still working on my wardrobe but I just wanted to share what has been working for me recently :)