How to Dress Like an Influencer When You've Spent All Your Money

If your bank account took a real hit this December and your fingers are almost strained from inputting your pin code in again and again, get ready to commit these money-saving tips to memory. It's often assumed that money is the ticket to great style, but in reality, you can look just as fashionable and way more unique when working with a reduced budget.

There are some simple ways you can cut back your spending, so you can add to your wardrobe without struggling in the week before payday. Who What Wear UK's editors often shop in charity shops, as you can find many of the key trends of the moment like mock croc accessories and heritage check blazers in your local charity shop. Then there are things you can do within your own wardrobe, from selling the pieces you never wear to styling pieces in totally new ways.

Keep scrolling to see our essential tips for the girl on a shoestring budget.

1. Look for Specific Things on Resale Sites


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Go straight to resale sites like eBay and Depop, and be really specific with your searches. If you've seen something you love on Zara, for example, it's worth checking if it's available for cheaper secondhand. You can also set alerts on sites like eBay and Vestiaire Collective for all the items you wish you could afford full price.

2. Alter Items You Buy in Sale to Fit


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The problem with final markdowns in sales is pieces are rarely left in your size, but it can pay to be imaginative here and buy dresses you or your dry cleaners can alter to fit. 

3. Buy a Slip


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Cheap fabrics tend to cling or look see-through as they aren't lined, so it's worth investing in a slip dress or skirt you can wear underneath all your high-street dresses. It instantly makes them look much more expensive and more flattering, and you can buy a pack of two for £16 at Marks and Spencer.

4. Save on Your Layering Pieces


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Layering is an easy way to add personality and a point of difference to your look, and Alyss Bowen, Byrdie's social media editor, explains that she saves on items that aren't the focal point of the outfit, buying her black roll-necks at Primark.

5. Look at Online Outlet Sites


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You've heard of The Outnet, but did you know that Mango and ASOS also have online outlet stores?

6. Set Up Clothes Swap Evenings


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If you can't handle the stress of trying to sell clothes online, set up a clothes swap evening with your friends. I have a friend who is the same size as me and has similar taste, and so every six months or so, we swap over pieces to borrow.

7. Sell the Pieces You Never Wear


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If you're prepared to put in the time to sell your old clothes, you might have more money than you think sitting in the back of your wardrobe. See our comprehensive guide to selling clothes online for how to make it a pain-free process.

8. £2-Ribbons Can Make an Outfit


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Many of the world's most stylish women have a signature, such as a red lip or a ribbon worn in your hair. These ensure that every outfit looks like "you," and a ribbon can cost as little as £2.

9. Menswear Is Often Cheaper


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Menswear is often a lot cheaper than womenswear, so it pays to shop for basics in the men's department. For example, I buy my white T-shirts in multipacks from Topman for £28. Gucci's logo T-shirt is also significantly cheaper in the men's department, as the women's version is £560 in the women's department (£240 more than the men's style).

10. Shop In Charity Shops


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Fashion is cyclical, so whatever the trend we guarantee you'll be able to find it in a charity shop somewhere. Who What Wear UK's Joy Montgomery found this Western shirt in a local charity shop. 

11. Be Creative With Styling Ideas


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Wear dresses back to front, clash prints, wear dresses as tops… Breaking rules can often work in your favour. 

12. Hair Clips Can Add Interest to Any Outfit


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Hair clips can add personality to any outfit, and this is something you don't need to spend more on. Accessorize, ASOS and even Boots are our go-tos for hair accessories. 

13. Find People on Instagram With a Similar Budget as Yours


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Instagram is often accused of creating a buy-more culture, leaving you envious of everyone with their shiny new designer bags, but there are many influencers who also introduce you to amazing high street finds or shop exclusively in the high street. Take time to follow the people who don't just shop designer, and your Instagram feed will be a daily source of inspiration. 

Next up, see our edit of the best winter coats to buy now.

Emma Spedding