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Keep your clothing costs down with subtle fashion

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In 2019 I have decided to do a no-spend year on clothes for myself.  I’ve asked my husband Ben to join in too, but we’ll see if he does.  My wardrobe is down to approximately 50 pieces, not including nightwear, gym wear or underwear.  That’s approx. 50 pieces of normal clothing, including 2 occasion dresses.  Though those dresses are more smart/funeral type, so let’s just hope we don’t get invited to any weddings in 2019!

I love being minimal and was already on this path before it became a trend.  I unknowingly had a ‘capsule wardrobe’ before I read any articles about it.  I wasn’t always like this as I used to have a massive shopping addiction, clothes addiction and debt problem.  I would wear an outfit once and then never again.  I’d shop on store cards and the debt and addiction accumulated.  When it was time to get myself out of debt and go on a debt management program, I really had to learn to budget.  I had to sell most of my belongings, including nearly all my clothes, and I lived in a bedsit for the cheapest rent possible.

It was here that my minimal journey really began as I lived in one room!  That room was my bedroom, kitchen and living room in one!  It was small, but it had to do.  I had to learn to lie minimally as I simply had no space for anything else – not even one storage cupboard!

Now I love to live minimally.  I also like a challenge and I have a financial savings goal this year too, so I’m interested in all these no-spend challenges I’ve been seeing flying round the internet.  We’re going to try a couple of no-spend months and I’m personally trying a no-spend clothing year.  Buying less clothes helps to support sustainable fashion.  I did buy a backpack as I didn’t have one and a couple of bras as mine didn’t fit and now that’s it.  That was all I really needed to get me through a year when I looked at my wardrobe.

Whilst not buying any clothing for an entire year might be a little too extreme for you, there are still ways you can cut back on your clothing spend, but still look and feel great.  One of these ways is with subtle fashion.

How to do subtle fashion and keep your clothing costs down

Subtle fashion is simple fashion.  It’s knowing what looks great on you and keeping it understated, but at the same time also looking great!  It’s perfecting your own style and throwing together a look that looks effortless.  I want to show you why subtle fashion is the best fashion, and how you can easily achieve the look without it looking boring.

Here’s how to do subtle fashion:

Keep it neutral

You can’t really go wrong with neutral colours and most people actually like to wear simpler things.  You can still look great in neutral colours by picking the best fits for you.  It doesn’t have to be boring as you can match it with a nice bag, some shoes, and some accessories.

…and minimal

Minimalism is a key part of subtle fashion as it’s about being subtle and not going overboard screaming look at me!  It fits well with a capsule wardrobe and minimal lifestyle.  It’s about choosing pieces carefully for the wardrobe and choosing well.

Accessorising is essential

It’s easy to make the plain and subtle fashion look more interesting through accessorising.  This is always a cheap and cheerful way to add interest, colour and pattern to a neutral outfit.  It also keeps costs down as you can alter the look of the same outfit with a few new accessories, which are much cheaper than buying clothes.  One great way to keep the look subtle and not clunk it up with jewellery is with a lovely pair of earrings.   It can add some bold features to the look, especially if you have your hair out of the way. But for a subtle look, we think simple earrings are the best, rather than going for something like big hoops or a statement pair. Minimal jewellery has been on trend and suits the subtle look perfectly.  Choose thin band rings, dainty necklaces and bangles.  Then just wear one or two at a time.  In the winter months a simple hat or scarf in a bright colour or monochrome pattern could be all you need to make your outfit more bold.

Keeping it comfy

There’s nothing better than being able to keep it comfy and that often comes in the form of the shoe that you’re wearing.  Subtle fashion for me is all about being comfortable and not overdressing, so flats are a must for me.  A good pair of comfy flats such as TOMS are great for a casual daytime look and some flat lace-up boots are perfect in the winter.  It’s possible to look chic, but also be comfy in slim stretch jeans and oversized jumpers.  Leggings, ponchos and flat knee-high boots.  It’s about being comfy and stylish all at once.

Adding subtle colour

Sometimes if you find yourself wearing all neutral colours, you need to find a way to add a bit of colour without making the look too bold. Bags can definitely do this for you. If you’re wearing all black then a contrasting colour such as mustard or red will really make the look pop, without making it look too chunky in colouring. Again, you can also choose a scarf or hat for a pop of colour.

Mostly it’s about comfy clothes that are still stylish – a minimal wardrobe of your favourite fits that look great on you with accessories to add interest, colour and pattern.  Keep costs down by replacing key pieces when you really need to and looking to accessories to rejuvenate your outfit instead of an entire new outfit.