Shopping For Your Capsule Wardrobe on a Budget


I love scoring a bargain as much as the next person, nay probably more, as it leaves me with an incredible sense of achievement. Especially if it is an item I’ve been hunting for for a while. But when it comes to purchasing your whole wardrobe on a tight budget, it comes down to a little more than just scoring that elusive bargain. Below are my tried and tested steps to ending up with a closet you love.

1. Know when to save and when to splurge

A t-shirt is an obvious save as cotton is an inexpensive material and it doesn’t take much to create a great cut. All five my t-shirts come from Woolworths and none of them cost me more than R200 (which was the price of the fancy one).

When it does come to more complicated pieces, like a good quality blue jean it might be worth investing more if it is a cut that will stand the test of time. Other items like classic coats and good boots also often come with a steeper price tag. Witchery, Poetry and Zara are good places to look for investment pieces – think a structured trench or silk shirt.

2. Know how to tell whether an item is good quality

You know the saying, you get what you pay for! But this doesn’t always ring true, and it is especially disappointing when a big ticket purchase doesn’t live up to your expectations. I love shopping IRL versus online as I’m a touchy-feely shopper, in my opinion it still is the best way to tell whether it is a quality fabric or not. Often you can pick up issues with the fabric’s knit or material this way.

When comparing your clothes against designer wear

Fabric is however only one aspect to take into consideration, with cut and stitching being equally important. I found this video very informative.

3. Shop Around

Whenever shopping on a budget, whether it is for a capsule wardrobe or anything else, the biggest tip is to always shop around. Which is why I advocate for allowing yourself more time to find the perfect item at a good price.

4. Patience

You might not find everything on your list immediately, especially when you’re on a budget. Which is why it is important to commit to your capsule wardrobe in the long haul as you might have to wait a few seasons until you find the perfect piece within your budget. This is also why you have to prioritise your needs above your wants.

5. My favourite stores

If I could have my way, I’d buy everything from Zara and Witchery, but my budget doesn’t allow that which is why I only shop there occasionally (mostly during sale season).

Exact – They have great work tops and always some amazing denim shirts and/or dresses.

Forever21 – Black skinny jeans (R150) and great sales. I even scored my faux leather jacket here for under R600.

H&M – Knits (thin and thick) and dresses (like this and this) usually for around R400. Their “workwear” department is also amazing.

Jet – Bargain shoes

Mr Price – The occasional trendy piece or something like this.

Woolworths – Basics from underwear to t-shirts (plain and stripes).

When it comes to online shopping, I really like Superbalist’s own brand dailyfriday and Spree’s Edit for some trendy basics at affordable prices.

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