Trendy on a budget

It’s possible to stay stylish on a limited budget, just by tweaking certain fashion habits and accessorising differently. Tanvi Malik suggests thrifty ways of staying trendy.

Fashion, sometimes, can be a real fair-weather friend. It comes and goes as it pleases, leaving us in the lurch with empty pockets and a closet full of “so last season” clothes and accessories. 

We are unwitting victims of its many whims. We cannot resist the power houses of fashion (think Dior, Chanel, Alexander McQueen, Saint Laurent et al), while at the same time getting swayed by the newest trends. 

But to spend big bucks for a dose of fashion that you know will be obsolete in six months may not seem worth the effort. However, be rest assured, for there is a way out. After many trials and errors, we’ve figured out some thrifty ways of staying trendy. 

So, the next time you see a worthy trend, you’ll know how to invest in it while remaining very much within your tight budget. Here’s how you do it:
n Do it yourself

Instead of buying a pair of trendy studded denim shorts, try refurbishing your old ones with a bunch of inexpensive, store bought gold/silver studs. Similarly, if you’re lusting after those artfully tattered boyfriend jeans that cost a bomb at Diesel, just bring out an old faded pair and cut a few holes in it. The messier the better. The point here is, you can often easily transform old favourites into trend-updated stuff, with just a few creative touches.

n Pick an accent piece

It’s no secret that metallic tints are really big this season. But instead of going for that maddeningly expensive gold-foil skirt, which, let’s face it, you’ll only wear once, pick something which you’ll get more wear out of. 

In this case, we’d recommend picking up mirrored gold pumps or a distressed gold leather handbag – either of which can be repeated multiple times and are as trendy as the gold skirt/top.

n Don’t splurge on drastic trends

This is where you need to use your judgement. Splurging on a trend like florals, which you know is going to last for seasons to come, is much more sensible than buying into a lot of grungy logo tees and leather. Think slightly longer term when you’re buying into trends and go for those with longer shelf lives. 
n Wait for sales

Don’t be too impulsive with your shopping, and plan a little in advance. Most high-street brands, especially online brands, have mid-season sales and festival discounts every few months. Sync your more expensive buys with these sweet sales so that you can stay trendy while getting some good returns for your buck.
n Accessorise smart

It’s a no-brainer, really. Buying into versatile accessories which you can wear at dozens of occasions, will always be a better investment than spending the same on apparel. A fringed bag, which you can accessorise with casual and evening looks; a pair of polka-dot block-heeled sandals that you can wear to the beach and to a party; or a chunky gold necklace, which you can wear with your office shirt and your little black dress: These will all ensure you’re bang-on trend, and within your budget. 

(The writer is co-founder and design head, FabAlley.com)

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