Looking great on a budget takes time and patience, but you can do it. Here are some tips to help:

Have a budget!

You can't seriously talk about looking good on a budget if you don't have a budget. Know how much you'll spend on clothes each year, plan your spending carefully to get the most from it and stick to your limit.

Buy clothes that fit

No one looks good in clothes that are too small - or way too big for that matter, though that is rarely a problem. Generally, it costs no more to buy clothes in the right size than to buy clothes a size too small. Clothes that are the right size will last longer. Don't buy clothes that are too small as an incentive to lose weight. Buy clothes that fit as a reward for losing weight!

Shop seasonal sales

Nordstrom, famous for great clothes and high prices has two sales each year for women and kids, two separate sales for men, and one for everyone each year. If you need to look professional for work, save your money for these sales. Many other fine stores also have sales with big discounts on a scheduled basis. Check the web sites for detail.

Buy a few nice things

For work, church and other occasions when you want to look your best, buy a few nice articles of clothing rather than having lots of things from discount stores. The higher quality clothes should last longer and make you look better than having lots of outfits from discount stores.

Buy versatile clothes

Don't buy any item of clothing that you can only wear with one outfit; look for clothes that you can mix and match. Five shirts and five pants that you can wear only in match sets give you five outfits. Five shirts and five pants that you can wear interchangeably will give you 25 outfits.

Take care of your clothes

You don't need expensive furniture and cedar wood hangers for your clothes, but they shouldn't be tossed in piles on the floor. Wash, fold and hang your clothes so you can see what you have, find what you want and protect it all.

Two words: machine washable

If you build your wardrobe around clothes you can wash and dry at home, you'll typically spend less on the clothes, and much less on caring for them. You'll also avoid the temptation to wear the dry clean only clothes too often (showing up to work in a wrinkled suit with ketchup stains - not good).

Shop thrift stores and consignment shops

Don't buy anything in a thrift store you won't wear; you're just wasting your money. You can often find clothes for about 20 percent off the retail price in thrift stores, saving you 80%. Remember, once you wear the clothes you buy new in a department store, they're used, too.

Everyone can look good on a budget. You can also choose to spend a fortune and not look good. Follow these tips and you'll always be pleased with your look and proud of your wallet.

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