How to dress well on a budget (without fast fashion) | Justine Leconte

Hi everyone, it’s Justine Money is quite an important parameter in fashion, because the industry is built that way Every season you have something new something different, something better and you have to want to buy it buy it buy it buy it So it looks like the more money you have, the better your wardrobe is going to look like And I disagree with that, because money cannot buy taste or style it’s something that comes from you no matter which budget you have at your disposal There is a shortcut to buy many clothes with little budget, it’s called fast fashion but when a top or shirt costs 10 euros in retail, including shipping, customs, and all the logistics behind it, then there is one person at the end of the value chain or at the beginning of it, the person who’s actually sewing that garment, who’s not earning a living wage so it’s a bit difficult for ethical reasons. That’s why in this video, I want to give you 8 tips to be stylish even if you have a limited budget and none of those tips include just buy cheaper clothes. Number one: go for simple, clean designs If a garment has too many details like a fishnet fabric, a fancy closure, a print, and ruffles, then it’s a fashionable piece Fashionable pieces are much more likely to go out of fashion faster Either the fabric or the print are not going to look cool In a few month anymore and the garment is just going to sit in your closet, wasting money. So instead, go for designs that are cleaner, leaner, they’re called timeless for a reason. Number two: choose solid colors over prints For mass-market clothing, the margin is extremely important, Otherwise the retailers won’t want to sell the clothes at all. So when you see two garments in store, similar ones, one is a solid color, one has a print on it The one with the print is very likely to be of cheaper quality somewhere else to compensate for the extra work of designing and producing that print So the fabric might be thinner, the quality of the fiber might be lower, you just don’t know it. If you go for the solid version, it’s more likely that the fabric has a higher quality. Also, people won’t be looking at the print, that catches the eye a lot, they will be focusing on the plainness of that pretty fabric, and on the cut. Full looks in one color are, because of that, extremely elegant and chic and sleek. Number three: go for pieces that you can layer, and combine with other pieces Let’s say you’re in a store and you see that dress which looks fabulous. Thinking about it, you realize that it wouldn’t work with a cardigan or a sweater or a coat on top, it only works if you’re wearing killer heels, this and this way, as shoes, well then the chance that you actually wear that dress often enough for the money you’re going to pay it is very low, isn’t it? So instead of owning three dresses that only work each in one outfit, and no other way, own one dress, but that you can layer and combine. People who do capsule wardrobes, there probably are some among you, know that very well and are experts at combining and layering. That’s the whole secret of having a full wardrobe with only 30 or 40 pieces. Number 4: a looser fit is better than a skintight fit. You might say it’s just my personal opinion and taste Might be, but I feel that when the look is a bit loose and drapey, the lady looks more elegant. So I’m a big fan of buying for example for tops and sweaters, One size bigger than the size I would actually need. It looks a bit drapey, it looks a bit effortless, which I like. It’s also a lot more comfortable And if you’re not checking all the time if everything is sitting pulling in your belly so that people won’t see it Then you can display a lot more self-confidence and “zen-ness” Number 5: spend more on basics This may sound like contradiction in a budget-friendly video, I know, but especially if your budget is limited and if the number of pieces in your wardrobe is limited, It is extremely important If you consider it this way, why spend your disposable income on specific accessories that you know you’re only going to use on specific occasions where instead you could invest the same money in the core pieces in your wardrobe, in the pieces that you’re going to wear every day, and those are called the basics. Also if you invest in good basics, you’re not going to have to replace them as often. so on the long run, it definitely is worth it financially. Number 6, stick to your color palette and to your style, now the designers are saying that you shouldn’t try anything new Not exactly. But let’s take an example. You go shopping with a friend and in a store you see a fantastic dress. You grab the hanger, show it to the friend, and say, “I love it! What do you think?” And she says, “Beautiful piece! But it doesn’t really work with anything else you have in your closet and it’s not really in your colours.” “Is it?” If you hear that Put the garment back. It’s gonna clash with your wardrobe, you’re not gonna wear it often enough. No matter which price you’re about to pay for it. Number seven, make the textures vary, not just the colors. Let me explain. When you mainly wear navy blue, black, and white in your closet, at some point you might feel bored and feel the need to add extra color. But then if you add, like what, red? One piece in red. It’s not working with anything else you own. What do you have to do? Expand by more red pieces. So your wardrobe is growing a lot immediately. Just because of that one piece. Instead, you could add textures in your existing color. That is a solution which is way underestimated, I think. You have navy blue jersey, basic stuff. And then you have navy blue organza. Almost transparent. Very light. You have navy blue neoprene. Which is stiffer and sheer. Navy blue faux fur. Quite luxurious. Navy blue silk. Super shiny, etc. So instead of expanding your wardrobe by a whole red segment, consider adding single pieces in the colors that you already own, but in new textures. And you might feel that your wardrobe is not boring at all anymore. Number 8, make sure that your existing clothing looks impeccable I’ve done a video earlier this year on how to properly care for your clothes, based on the fabric type, the care instructions, how to wash them, how to store them I’ll link that video here in the corner and down below in the description, have a look there if you haven’t seen that video already basically it means make sure you don’t have folds and creases where there shouldn’t be any so.. for instance one tip was right after you wash the clothes, hang them up so that the own weight of the fabric is going to pull down everything nice and flat and you have less ironing to do later i favor not ironing at all as far as i am concerned and then there are fabrics that are just more difficult than others. if you have been wearing garments made of pure linen, crisp linen, then you know what i mean. No matter how crisp and flat and ironed it was in the morning at the end of the day, you are going to look like you slept in your clothes so a good tip for that is steaming it goes a lot faster than ironing. you can find mobile steamers hand steamers online for a cheap price order that. It doesn’t have to be any particular brand or anything. if you have a steamer, you save time and it always looks classy if you have a crisp garment that looks *clicks tongue* nice and flat It’s a lot more elegant, immediately. So to sum it up, I think that dressing well on a budget is definitely doable if you plan and buy for the long run, not short term, if you stick to your style and what you feel good in, always, and if you focus on building a high quality core wardrobe. And I think if you do those three things, then you’re fine. When people say “I can only afford fast fashion,” I think it’s an impression. Before fast fashion existed, people were not going around naked. They just owned less pieces, and appreciated the value and the quality of each piece, more than we do now, today we buy disposible clothing We have full closets and nothing to wear. There’s something wrong. I hope you enjoyed this video. Thumbs up if you did. If it made you think a little about your own wardrobe and the way you do things Thank you so much To get my videos every Wednesday and Sunday, click subscribe and then click on the little bell to get the notifications. I wish you an elegant and well dressed day. Take care. Bye bye.


  1. Hi everyone! It is hard to recommend specific brands, because it depends on the availability in your country. But I did a video on how to "filter" and recognize ethical brands, a while ago. It is here: Might be a good complement to this video. Have a wonderful day! 👋🏼😊

  2. Great and informative video! This was the first video I watched and I had to subscribe! Thank you so much. 😁

  3. Also, however small the budget, however restricted the options… make sure you buy things you LIKE. Otherwise you will simply not wear them or you will not feel confident in them. Now, that would be a waste…

  4. Thanks for the steaming tip! It would be great to see a video regarding your thoughts on mens fragrances and if you have any favourites.

    Thank again! 😊

  5. In my life I've only ever met two women who had fantastic style. One was a grade higher at the same school as I attended. She had a lot of clothes but looked fantastic in everything she put on. She had long dark, straight, hair tinted with red and wore goth type make-up long before the Goth look took hold. I could barely stop staring at her. She was breathtaking. Unfortunately, she starved herself with Anorexia and died, I learned later on in life when I met with her sister a decade or so ago. Another I met in my twenties – a flatmate of a friend of mine. Her name was Nancy, sometimes she called herself Karen. She was not all that classically beautiful or slim but she had a lot of personality and what she wore just looked fantastic, especially her hats. Both women – one I knew as a teenager, another in her twenties – remain very clear in my memory to this day and I'm now 58 years old. A lot of women who try to look stylish just look like they try too hard. There is no way to define style verbally – to try and work it out and emulate it: you either have it or you don't. It's really a talent with wearing clothes and creating a look. Possibly an art-form. Trying to describe it or why it works on one person and not another is near impossible.

  6. Thank you so much for your videos, Justine. I really appreciate you taking the trouble to make these videos for us; I am finding them very helpful.

  7. Hi Justine. I just want to say that you've opened my eyes about fast fashion industry. I just felt like I couldn't afford designer clothes but didn't want to support fast fashion stores either. So, the solution for me is to try making my own clothes. Now I'm still learning but I can make simple tops and a few styles of skirts. My ultimate dream would be a wardrobe that is full the clothes I make, so there are no labels and brands. And, I will be sure that no one is treated unfairly when it comes to their labor. You've sparked my inspiration and I thank you for that.

  8. После вашего произношения пришлось уши промывать водой.

  9. I really don't care what's in fashion. I wear what I like. Some of my favourite clothes are thrifted.

  10. You give wonderful and sensible advice! I just subscribed and can’t wait to watch more of your videos 😊

  11. You are the greatest. Who is better than you? NOBODY! I really enjoy and learn from your videos. Thank you, for your time and effort.

  12. Love your channel, but will really appreciate more pictures to explain what you are saying. It will really help us 'non fashionable' gals😏

  13. I love how your videos are straight to the point, no rambling, and the content is fantastic and incredibly helpful!! 💛

  14. What works for body, lifestyle, and preference will change with age. I used to wear dresses a lot (no brainer because no mix and match required) but not anymore. Instead I wear elastic waist pants and a simple top. As a late middle aged person I feel more comfortable wearing elastic waist pants and skirts. I would have been horrified in my younger days. Also, I don’t wear denim much due to the stiffness and fussy cleaning process (put jeans in ziplock and in the freezer). Soft, drapey, and has some stretch are now my motto.

  15. Easier to buy for the long run when your style is vintage 😁 and it’s also easy to get basic pieces that when teamed with a vintage (or vintage reproduction) piece and other vintage style, fits perfectly. For example, a nice white blouse will fit with almost any style, from any era from the 40s onward. And keep an eye out for those basic pieces, and also for when (if you have a style set in a particular decade or decades- as I do) fashion comes back around again to those styles. And it will. I’ve seen a lot of flared and circle skirts and dresses around recently, which is great for me, as I tend to prefer 40s and 50s styles.

  16. Justine, Thank you for al, your valuable advice. I love your channel. You are so accurate and make the most sense in your fashion advise.

  17. How about Cos. Anyone buy from them. The only reason I like them is every item on clothing from Cos has pockets.

  18. This vid should be lesson material at secondary schools. If I were a personal finance teacher, I would actually use this vid when explaining how to budget. Budgetting is not about just not spending money, it is about spending money consciously in order to look great. And indeed: Style Over Fashion!

  19. Hi Justine! Please, can you help me?
    I’m 21 and can never save money to afford good basics so I’m always forced to spend all I got on single fast pieces I need but never like or fit properly and never match my wardrobe/style nor complete an outfit despite I know my season, my colors and shapes. It’s a crazy Italian summer and I’m still without a pair of shorts or sandals!
    Really, the only shops you find in commercial centres where I live are H&M, Pull & Bear, Bershka, Stradivarius, Tally Weijl, OVS or absurdly very expensive ones no one buys from. There’s no middle ground between fast and high end and thrift shops don’t exist. Boutiques on the street are too mature and expensive.
    Do I have an escape? I’ll never trust online shops, I know just Zalando and it looks awful. Thank you!

  20. I found this video at a perfect time! Was just thinking how do I stop my visits to stores who contribute to child labor? I have way too many clothes, yet never anything to wear. And the video was spot on about limiting your color swatches and stop buying things that only go with one or two other items! Thanks Justine ❤️

  21. People have never understood why, even during times of my life where I haven’t been making a lot of money, I always insist on buying premium stuff.

    I often buy it secondhand, or at sample sales, or at the end of a season, but I really like to know that something I’m buying wasn’t made at the cost of horrific human suffering!

    My garments and bags and shoes also last me DECADES. Literal decades.

    People would see me spend a month’s rent on an outfit, but literally 15 years later I still have and wear that outfit… but they didn’t it on only one month of rent.

    Obviously people have to live somewhere, of course! lol.

    But so many people would be SHOCKED that I spent maybe 300$ at a sale for a shoe that retails for 700….

    But would spend that much drinking on a night out in NY.


  22. I'm very much a minimalist fashionista myself. I often get comments on my outfits because simplicity with a little splash of colour can really draw the eyes (In an elegant or cool way). Lately my fashion budget has been 0 but moving into August I'll be investing in some fashion again & I'll follow these tips. 🙂

  23. I have a very big wardrobe and it's a sea of colors I do have blue black and white clothing though they' re .not my favourite colors I am more likely to wear something bright with them but this video still gives good advice

  24. I keep a color palette for my wardrobe: blue, red, and neutral colors. I went off track once with something orange and I regret it now

  25. I knit and crochet, good patterns and good yarns leads to an affordable way to get great pieces that last well. At the end of the day I'm not putting all that work into something that isn't going to last!

  26. Can you suggest brands that have clothes with good quality and maybe a reasonable price? I'm all about having clothes that I like and with good quality, but when I go shopping, I can only find fast fashion that is getting expensive because of the brand and not because of the quality

  27. This is really helpful. I’m finding that my tastes are changing. That I don’t really want to wear my old clothes from when I was in my twenties. A lot of graphic t’s. It’s fine for the weekend, mucking about in dirt or chores that can be hard on clothing. But not for the office. I’m hoping to expand my business causal wardrobe. And add some shoes, other then my steel toes, unless I can find a nice steel toe office appropriate shoe, cause I’m more comfortable in those thanks to my more casual punk days.

  28. "How to dress well on a budget": learn to sew so u can take advantage of designer clothes in sizes too large for you, ie, designer sales ♡.

  29. I learned about this the hard way. I used to buy all sorts of colourful dresses and shirts, but then I would have to buy more clothing to go with my colourful clothing so that I would have something to wear.

  30. I love this video. I spend my days off flicking through second hand store racks. Flick flick flick flick OOOH SILK flick flick DESIGNER flick

  31. So dress really really boring then? As an athletic frame I need all the tightness I can get or loom like a box. And black is boring all the time.

  32. What would recommend for exercise clothes? Is it worth investing in better quality tshirts and leggings when they take so much abuse?

  33. I like to buy good basics like a t-shirt and then embellish them myself, maybe to add a texture, just have to be careful not to add too much that it is not a classic piece any more. Buying secondhand can be good too, but recently it is becoming more difficult because my local charity shops look like a fast fashion graveyard unfortunately.

  34. I work with children and often get clothes destroyed. So I prefer to buy cheap one colored pieces 4 or 5 of the same color. I couldn´t afford to have more expensive clothes destroyed with food or paint stains. Nowadays I can choose ecological cotton at low price, but it still is fast fashion. Really don´t know how to do otherwise. When it comes to clothes not used at work I have nice pieces that I used for 5 – 15 year or more.

  35. I adore your use of words, very well-spoken lady and I agree with you 100% quality versus quantity I would always choose quality

  36. Thank you Justine! My great Auntie also held this view. She always looked impeccable, her clothes were timeless. It was always shocking to see her closet…there was not much there, but each piece was the best quality. She used scarves to accessorize, with a modest amount of jewelry. My grandma used to be annoyed that my great Auntie wore the same basics so often. She thought that her wardrobe should be more extensive and that maybe my great Uncle was stingy. Alas, I think that Grandma was a snob. 🤭 I just think that Auntie was the classiest lady that I've ever known.

  37. I used to do that in my 20s and 30s, I would chose a luxurious fabric and I would design the model by myself- it was wonderful feeling, like I was creating something. And when i was wearing it, it was only me with that skirt or that dress… Now no matter what I buy and wear the feeling is never the same… I feel just like everybody else.

  38. Looser clothes only work if you're skinny because people can tell straight off the bat that you're not hiding anything. I lost 5 sizes and I wore/wear 1 size up stuff all the time because I can't buy clothes every two months, since I'm still losing weight. (Currently EU 46/US 12) I've found out that loose clothes will eventually make me look fatter than I am, tricking my eyes and diminishing the value of my progress. Good fashion should be about emphasizing the curves or generally your shape, and you simply cannot achieve it going one size up as a general suggestion. You should wear what's made in order to make you look good, not shaggy or fatter. Plus, the correct size will tell you quick enough if you're putting on weight simply because you won't fit in your clothes anymore, or not as well as you used to.

  39. this helped me a lot and now I am more confident about my choices because i split my wardrobe last year and 2/3 of it were new almost newer worn clothes,I took it and put it aside and then looked at the clothes i was wearing and realized no matter how much i love flowers and other patterns i pretty much wear simple casual clothes,so like you said i decided to invest more money in that direction and it paid off,now i have my style and a lot of clothes that i actually wear and it also helped me save money,because i did not spent money on clothes that i liked at the impulse and now i think i am a lot more stylish and i actually have wardrobe filled with clothes that i can combine and almost wear all seasons,so this video really helped me confirm I made right choice.Thank you

  40. Does anyone have any recommendations for non-fast fashion stores. i’m having trouble finding some that suit my style

  41. I just received a new sewing machine. I'll be putting it to good use making things that will last longer for me and my children. The husband had already said he probably won't wear what I'd possibly make for him.

  42. I don't know how I stumbled across your channel, but you videos keep popping up and I always really enjoy them!

  43. I'm excited of the all content on your channel! Thank you)
    Can somebody explain why several video names are written on russian? Curious

  44. The problem I have is that my weight fluctuates, so it’s impossible to have a capsule wardrobe. I’d have to have it in a few different sizes, which defeats the purpose! I know I’m not the only person with this issue. Jealous of all of you who can maintain your weight!

  45. Charity shops aka UK thrift shops are amazing and I don't care if its not seen cool or dirty, I once got a pair of 100% silk trousers french connection brand for £10 from help the age charity shop. What a bargain and it helps a good course.

  46. what a "treasure" find…well for me anyway. Thank you for simple information that will last and the clear way you deliver it. Learn so much from two videos. A gem youtuber!

  47. 1. Clean and lean
    2. Solid colors > prints
    3. Aim to combine and layer
    4. Loose > skin-tight
    5. $ on basics
    6. Rely on your color palette and style
    7. Get different textures AND colors
    8. Take care of your current clothes

  48. I'm happy that now there is an Arabic translation :).. I always wanted to share your videos with my friends but they probably wont be able to understand them thoroughly. Thank you for talking about such topics. Love from Saudi Arabia.

  49. Thanks for considering the ethics as well as the style of it all! Glad I stumbled upon your channel; very appreciative of you and your work.

  50. So…I have like a million Primark t-shirts. They all get worn and I've had them for two years or more. I want to keep them all, and still get the capsule wardrobe. Is that possible? Or is it cheating?

  51. I agree with everything you say except buying clothes to big. Properly fitting clothes are tailored to skim the body not to be too tight or loose.

  52. Unfortunately now expensive doesn’t mean good quality. I started checking the tags with fabrics and look through all stitches after a bad purchase

  53. I have pieces that have lasted 20 years. I sometimes use men's silk tie or thin long scarf to belt trousers. I think fashion can be fun, what accessories do you recommend to change a look beside shoes?

  54. #6 is so important! I would buy clothes that I really like but it wouldn't look good on me. Once I realised there is a difference between clothes I like, and clothes I like and will wear; shopping became so much easier!

  55. i always go for tacky on purpose …but i often find myself wishing I had a classy outfit for when I go to church or stuff like that. me thank you very much this really helped

  56. If you have a veeeeery limited budget then buy just a few good pieces that you can pair with less expensive clothes. For example a good tailored jacket can be worn for the office, or paired with jeans and a crisp white shirt. Make sure your good pieces are of solid colors so that you can pair them with more outfits. Make sure they also are not too trendy so that you will have them for a while as you slowly build a better quality wardrobe. You would be surprised at how adding just one good piece adds class to your outfit.

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