Wardrobe Wonderings

Posted in Daily Outfits, Second Hand Shopping.

This week’s Wardrobe Wonderings comes from a girl after my own heart – she’s on a budget! If you’re a regular reader of A Little Bird you’ll know I try to keep my stylish spending to a minimum by hunting down bargains and thrifting my way through trends. I knew I’d have lots to say about this…

“I don’t have a large budget to spend on clothing. Could you suggest something cheap and cheerful?”


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Thrifted dress, 50p, Primark cardigan, £5, H&M belt, £5, New Look shoes, £10, thrifted brooch, £1, Primark ring, £1, thrifted bag, £2

Total outfit cost – £24.50

Cute, cheerful and totally cheap! I don’t believe in spending huge amounts of money on everyday clothing. If it’s something special, go ahead and invest (I’m thinking your wedding dress, Jimmy Choos, an Alexa bag…actually, anyone want to invest in my wardrobe? Well, it’s a more sensible choice than oil and banking!). But looking fab for the 9 to 5 shouldn’t cost a whole month’s wages. Here are my tips for being stylish without being a spendthrift…

  • Go secondhand. Yep, you’ve heard it all before, but car boot sales, charity shops and eBay are your thrifty friends. My top things to look out for are floral dresses, bags and jackets. Don’t be afraid to buy out of season and put things away – I picked up a faux fur leopard print jacket at the weekend, which is waiting patiently in my wardrobe ’til October!
  • Check out the cheapies. My favourites are Clothing at Tesco, Peacocks, Matalan and, of course, Primark. Look for natural fibres (cotton, silk and wool can all be found at purse-friendly prices) and check for missing buttons, hanging threads and pulled seams before you buy
  • Share and share alike. Go raid some wardrobes. Oversized shirts nabbed from your boyfriend’s half (okay, eighth) of the wardrobe look great with denim shorts and a skinny vest. Your mum might be hoarding vintage treats, and a friend might just have a bag that goes perfectly with that dress you’re wearing on Friday night. Just remember to repay the favour… although your boyfriend might prefer something other than an invitation to your shoe collection. 
  • DIY. Before you start panicking, I’m not suggesting Gok-style butchery (sorry, enhancement), nor do I expect you to whip up a LBD from a binbag, a length of string and an old pair of tights. Start simple – make your own jewels, fashion a brooch from felt, rework something old and tired into something shiny and new. Give it a go!

I could go on and on about this particular closet conundrum – it’s something I deal with all the time as a girl on a budget with delusions of grandeur. I’m sure you all have lots of tips of your own, so I’ll pass it over to you – how do you stretch your style budget? Any shop recommendations, tricks or secrets to share? What’s your fashionable fiscal policy? Wow us with your wisdom!

And of course, I now need YOU for Wardrobe Wonderings – the results. I’d like to see your overdraft-busting outfits, your cheap creations and your money-saving style. Email me your photos and tell me the individual cost of each item you’re wearing, along with the total and a link to your blog before Tues 29th. I’ll post them all up next week and you’ll get your own feature on A Little Bird, just like these lovely ladies!


Em x

Don’t forget sales! Invest in classic items in sales rather then grabbing things you’ll never wear because they are cheap.
I can’t believe that dress was 50p, so pretty x


this outfit is absolutely adorable ! you would never ever know it cost pennies, you’re so good at finding bargains! i love it. must get to more charity shops and get thrifty as it’s posts like this that are so inspiring. also totally love the location in the pictures too, summer!! xxxx


another great tip: enter competitions! there are so many roaming the internet to win clothes, shopping sprees, vouchers, bags…etc all it costs is about a minute of your time filling in the form! 🙂

love, jazzabelle. xxx


It would cause me physical pain to pay a lot of money on one item. Ok, maybe not physical, but still. That £65,000 necklace (which you tweeted about) on Gok’s Fashion Fix was just a tad ridiculous!! xx

E is for Eleanor

Agree with the competition comment above!

And also on ebay, checking for misspelled brands, styles etc always brings up some bargains.

Love this post, will definitely be attempting to put together an outfit for next week, keep an eye on your inbox!


Excellent post, especially for impoverished students: I will be photographing my super-cheap (in every way 😉 ) outfits for the WW!


50p for that dress?!
I totally agree with the above comments as well – sales are the way forward. X


Summery, floral dresses are my favorite! I love how you’ve styled yours. And I also love how you continue to prove that looking great doesn’t have to mean going broke!!


Fab outfit – that dress is amazing, can’t believe it was 50p! All your tips are great, charity shops are amazing, I got a brand new Topshop top from one last week for only £3 and it feels really good to be giving the money to charity rather than a coporation. I tend to buy most of my clothes in the sales. Even if it means hunting through the bargain bin or having to try on 10 hideous “I know why this is 70% off” type items to find one decent thing, it’s very satisfying to get a bargain and it feels great to find a stylish outfit on a budget rather than just walking into a store and buying everything at full price! x


wow 50p! i don’t think i have anything that bargainous in my wardrobe but i do love a good sale so i think i will try my hand at your wardrobe wonderings this week.


Great post and I love your dress and brooch!
I LIVE in charity shops. All three thirds of my wardrobe is secondhand/pre-loved/vintage etc.
Oh and flea markets are the best for vintage and -sometimes- designer clothes/shoes/jewellery (for a third of the price!)


Lovely, fresh and cheerful! I think you’ve covered it all with your tips, Jen. My only other advice would be: Don’t get rid of expensive/good quality/designer pieces when they are not in fashion anymore. Put them away and you’ll surprised to have your own vintage piece a few years later.


My advice would be to think carefully about whether you want something before you actually buy it. Sometimes I see something and think that because it’s a bargain I should buy it. Wrong! After all, a £5 pair of shoes might be a bargain, but a £5 pair of shoes that you never wear is a waste of money. And the less money you waste, the more you have to spend on things that you really really want, even if they are a tiny bit more expensive.

Serious bit over, I quite like Asda dresses.


Great post! And wicked outfit for £24!

As I’ve got older, and had a house etc I really do try buying cheaper, I used to harass my mum into getting me topshop only etc. Now I go in and tutt at how expensive it is!
Sales, charity shops, and Tesco, God sends. I may even have to email you a piccie this time.

X x


I don’t seem to have much luck with charity shops – everything is either really overpriced or just not in my size! Car boot sales seem much better and cheaper at the moment, always supposing that some of the sellers are the same dress size as me.

I like to appropriate things from other people’s castoffs. My brother gives away the nicest tshirts and my mum seems bored by quite a lot of her accessories so I quite happily take them. The lost property box at work is also quite good for this…


That 50p dress is a real bargain!
Great tips, I agree completely. Budget all the way.
I love finding bargains and its way more satisfying financially x


Loads of great finds in that outfit! My secret is to shop sales. I am the craziest sale shopper ever. For example, on Tuesday I picked up a pair of boots at 75% off the regular price. Now I know I will be less sad when fall rolls around!


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