Yes, I Made a 2023 Budget—6 Under-$200 Outfit Formulas That Fit the Bill

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(Image credit: @helenacuesta)

Responsible budget-making millennial here. I’m working on lowering my average monthly spending, so this is an accountability article. I'm hoping that you clicked in with similar goals in mind. I challenged myself to put together outfits that add up to under $200 total for the mutual benefit of our budget-management goals. 

Classic outfits don’t have to cost a paycheck, especially if you instate staple pieces that can be utilized throughout your wardrobe. Unexpected combinations of these pieces and bold accessories are a lasting way to expand your closet without actively spending a lot. Unexpectedly pair your white button down with party pants or your black trousers with a colorful cardigan. 

As a starting point, I’ve picked outfit inspiration that incorporates basic staples and standout pieces so you can supplement whatever you may be lacking to create this perfect capsule closet.

Cardigan + Black Trousers + Sneakers + Bright Bag = $180

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Black Dickies trousers and Vans sneakers are the best outfit base. Top it off with a spirited cardigan or blouse and the best final touch to any outfit: a bright handbag.

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Shacket + T-Shirt + Jeans + Sneakers = $189

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A black T-shirt and jeans is the basis for a killer look. These Adidas are every fashion person's favorite accessory right now, and a shacket makes for a casual outer. 

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Button-Down + Statement Pants + Shoulder Bag + Mules = $185

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(Image credit: @helenacuesta)

I have to confess my white button-down has become a workwear staple, a going-out top, a bathing suit cover-up, and more. Sparkly pants, a pretty pink purse, and a vibrant tonal shoe are the spice this crisp top needs to feel playful. 

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Jean Jacket + T-Shirt + Jeans + Ballet Flats = $154

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Canadian tuxedos are one of the coolest ways to wear denim right now. Combine your denim with black leather accessories to keep it clean and classic.

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Striped Button-Down + Denim Skirt + Boots + Bold Necklace = $163

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(Image credit: @nnennaechem)

The denim midi skirt is a trendy piece that is also cost-effective and versatile. Black boots and a striped button-down make for additional classic items that can be styled in many ways. And this puffy heart necklace is just an affordable mood boost. 

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Tank Top + Jeans + Loafers + Gold Necklace = $173

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(Image credit: @cassdimicco)

An absolutely chic, easy outfit is the white tank top and jeans. Other complementary necessities include the gold chain necklace and brown loafers. Essentials only. 

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Next: I Vetted Nordstrom's New Arrivals—These 29 Under-$100 Items Are Just Right

Copelyn Bengel
Associate Shopping Editor

Copelyn is the associate shopping editor for Who What Wear based in New York City. She writes about fashion and accessory trends in addition to creating original content. Before her time at Who What Wear, Copelyn was at Bustle Digital Group working on the accessory market for cover shoots and fashion features across Nylon, The Zoe Report, Bustle, Romper, and Elite Daily. Copelyn has also previously worked at InStyle and Cosmopolitan in the fashion and accessory departments on shopping and fashion market. Copelyn has a journalism degree in editing and graphic design from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In her spare time, Copelyn freelances in graphic and web design in the fashion-and-lifestyle space. She also loves to upcycle clothing and home décor as well as collect an embarrassing number of colorful sneakers and experiment with her hair color.