Holiday Savvy: Styling on a Budget

The merry season of Christmas is upon us! And as the countdown to the 25th draws near, it also means that holiday festivities are in full swing.

So whether you have one or five different parties to attend, the shopping expenses can definitely add up this time of year! Specifically for those fashionistas who do not like wearing the same outfit twice. Plus, throw in buying all those presents, the holidays can be really hard on your bank account… but it doesn’t have to be a total debt monster!

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I personally don’t mind repeating outfits, especially if they make me feel super chic and confident, but every now and then I have those moments where I go through my closet and feel I have absolutely nothing to wear. I’m sure a lot of you can relate, right?

And when the holiday season rolls around, between work, family and friends, I’m usually attending at least 3 parties. Plus, I had my bff’s wedding last month and ain’t nobody got time, or money, to look for 3 completely different outfits from head to toe.

So here are some tips I used for keeping in style on a budget.

1. Utilize what’s in your closet

Now, I generally have strong will power… when it comes to basically everything, but shopping! Though when money is tight, I’ve learned when to say ‘no’ and when to cash out on what is worth spending. Because it’s important to utilize what’s in your closet – and trust me, there is always something in your closet. So I’ll treat myself to one new item per outfit.

I know my closet has no shortage of purses. And I don’t wear heels on the regular, so I couldn’t justify splurging on a new pair, but when it comes to dresses, I only have options for a summery day or a clubbing night out. I lack in the formal wear department since I don’t go to many weddings or functions. And so, this time I’ll repeat accessories, but treat myself to a new dress.

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Dress: Forever 21 price: $44.90 + tax
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Dress: Forever 21 price: $22.90 + tax

2. Set a budget – and stick to it!

Once you’ve decided what article of clothing you are treating yourself to – or even if you decide to get a whole new outfit – it’s always good to set a budget! More importantly though, stick to it!

Be reasonable with your pricing. Only you know what you can afford and what would be pushing it. If you only have $50 in your bank account, then maybe charging $250 for a dress on your credit may not be the best idea.

For my friend’s wedding, I limited myself to $40 – give or take $5. I’ve done it once before, so I knew I could do it again. You’d be surprised as to what your options are for your budget. You just gotta be patient, do some digging between clothing racks and send out into the universe that you’re going to find a killer dress, or heels, or bag…etc.

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Dress: M. price: $32 + tax (on clearance)

3. Get it on sale

It’s the time of year where everything is on sale!

Come November, if it’s not Friends & Family, it’s Black Friday, then Christmas – and if your holiday party is in the New Year like mine, then my fellow Canadians have Boxing Day. So going shopping during the holiday seasons can be affordable, if you’re smart about it.

I’ve developed a habit of heading straight to the sale section, especially in the stores that are beyond my budget. If it doesn’t have a sale tag, I sometimes don’t even look at it because I don’t want to tempt myself in spending more. And if it so happens you buy an item regular price and the next week it goes on sale, don’t be afraid to go back for a price match! Know your store’s exchange and return policies. A lot of them will be understanding and happy to help. So save your receipts for the duration of the return period just in case you need it.

Also, if you’re a slight gift card hoarder like me, then maybe that $50 visa gift card you got for your birthday may come in handy this time of year.

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Earrings: Aldo price: $6.99 + tax (on clearance)

3. Don’t neglect your hair & makeup

If you’re repeating an outfit this year and scared people will remember and give you side eye for being boring, then change the focus from your dress to your face.

I wear makeup on the daily, even if it’s just concealer and mascara, but I put on a full face when I’m going out to a function – and if I have time, I’ll throw in some falsies. I’ll pick a main focus. If I’m usually bare on the eyes, then I’ll go smokey. Or, if I’m neutral on the lip, then I’ll be a little more bold. Draw people’s eye’s to where you want them to look. And same with the hair! If you’re every day best friend is a flat iron, then switch it up and go curly and voluminous. If you’re hair is always in a ponytail, then let it flow.

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Lip Pencils: Nars
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Eyeshadow Palette: Kiko Milano

4. Add sparkle!

A lot of people are scared of a little sparkle and glitter, but I’m sorry – cuz you know what? It’s the holidays! And what would it be without a little glimmer.

You can do it in so many ways! You can keep it simple and leave it to your jewellery. Frame you face with some earrings. Add a little bling to your necklace or cocktail rings. Even your purse can shine. Or you can go all out by getting your dress, shoes and purse to bling blauw.

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(Top) Earrings: Aldo (Bottom) Choker: Forever 21

What are some ways your stay holiday savvy? I’d love to hear them!

Happy Holiday shopping!



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