Building a Wardrobe of Basics

When I meet people that read my blog in real life, the most common questions I get are; do you really wear the clothes you take pictures in, and how much do you spend on clothes every month? I’ve written before about my clothing budget but since this outfit is made up of mainly new purchases I though it would be fun to break it down for you. Before I tell you what everything costs, let me remind you of my most important wardrobe building rule: never buy an item unless it works with at least 3 other pieces in your existing wardrobe. Do not buy an item that matches nothing you already own!

hat-love-pink-chai-styleAnother rule I mostly follow is buying basic pieces that will work year after year and can be dressed up with accessories like a statement necklace, scarf or bright lip. You will find very few trendy or loud pieces in my closet. Okay, I know enough all already, you want to know what this outfit costs…..head to toe I paid: $62.60 for this outfit. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Jeans $19
  • Shoes $11.40 (on sale 40% off clearance price)
  • Sweater $9
  • Necklace $3.20 (clearance price 70% off)
  • Hat: $20 (on sale)

My secret to building a wardrobe I love without breaking the bank is basically; shopping with a list, looking around, finding sales, using online coupon codes – whatever it takes to find clothes I love at prices I can afford. Oh, and not being a label junky. It can be a pain to shop at Walmart because the racks are overcrowded and the line-ups are long – but I love their sweaters and you can’t beat $9. I hope that inspires to you hunt for bargains and curate a closet full of pieces you love!

fall-fashion-hats-pink-chai-styleBonus tip: hats tend to come back ‘into fashion’ ever few seasons, but they are the type of piece that you can invest in if you are getting a classic style. Once you find a shape you love on your face, go ahead and splurge a little – just store it carefully in the off season!



  1. September 5, 2013 / 8:12 pm

    I love basics. They go with everything.

  2. September 5, 2013 / 8:37 pm

    Great tip about making sure it goes with at least 3 other pieces. I am really bad at buying an “ensemble” – meaning it only exits as that one outfit basically. except for maybe the jeans. I need to follow this rule more!

    Love the hat.

  3. September 5, 2013 / 9:30 pm

    I really like how your outfits are trendy but cost-effective. Love the hat!

  4. September 5, 2013 / 9:47 pm

    This outfit is so stinking cute! I need to save up some money and have you go shopping with me. Can’t believe how inexpensive this outfit was. It looks like a million bucks. 🙂

  5. September 6, 2013 / 12:34 am

    What a terrific post! I am all for sale shopping and mixing basics creatively too! The hat and lip color give this outfit a glamorous edge..well styled!

    • September 6, 2013 / 3:23 pm

      Thanks for stopping by Sanaya – simple outfits are the best in my books!

    • September 9, 2013 / 7:53 am

      Applying the rule of 3 has been so helpful to me in the last year. Now my wardrobe actually works together!

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