• Nash Amber

How to Look Stylish on a Budget

Updated: Feb 1, 2019

Crop tops, skin tight dresses, short shorts and plenty of cut outs. This is what we commonly see in stores, social media and our favourite lookbooks today. But in the midst of all this style of clothing how can a godly woman look modest on a budget?

At times it can seem like, with a small budget the only suitable outfit choice is a bodycon dress from your favourite online store. But is that really the only options we have? I don’t think so. I’ve had clients with budgets of £30 for an outfit. Not a big budget I know, but I've put looks together which are not the usual skin tight dresses.

It would be great to have more budget friendly stores with clothing that are modest straight off the hanger, but it’s not always easy to find. I don't allow this to be a barrier to me and my convictions of modesty. I know that God put this standard in the word for us/His daughters, and so He will give me/us the grace to live it out. And live it out well!

“By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.” - 2 Peter 1:3

I created this outfit within a budget of £40!


I knew that this look needed an updo style with my own hair. I love going to events with my own natural hair styled. This is such testimony as years ago I would have been so quick to get a weave or braids, to put my hair away when going out. Nowadays, I mostly plan my best looks with my own hair first before any protective style.

I styled my hair myself, and was inspired by a photo I had saved on my phone from back in 2015, when my hair was a lot shorter. I saved the style as inspiration for ‘one day’ when my hair grows. A complete faith move, because I really did believe my hair would grow and be healthy with some TLC. I tweaked the hairstyle to suit my face and outfit.

If I’m not styling clothes and playing dress-up, I really enjoy playing hairstylist and making creative looks with my natural hair. Styling is from head-to-toe as a cute outfit aways needs a nice hairstyle.

The Look:

Styling yourself and still being modest doesn't have to be boring. You're allowed to think outside the box and create something that works for you, if you don’t find something straight off the hanger. I applied this principal for this look and really enjoyed putting it together. I’m not sure when it started, but I’ve truly grown to appreciate sequins - it’s my new thing. So this caught my eye.

Believe it or not, this skirt you see is actually a kimono, restyled as a skirt! When I saw this sequin kimono from Primark, on sale for £8, I knew I had to get it. It was a recent purchase after I was gifted with some spending money for clothes. As soon as I saw the colours and the fabric, I envisioned it being styled as a skirt. I knew it was a challenge but I could see it so clearly! I brought the kimono and then started to build my look. I had no plan B outfit as I had so much confidence that it would work. By faith I continued to plan this look and opted to wear it with this lovely ruffle top. Such a lovely piece for my wardrobe. The detail on the shoulder does it for me every time!

I know that shopping on a budget for a modest outfit, can be difficult. The temptation to wear anything you find will always be there. But just because we’re fed up of looking again and again, doesn’t mean we should just give up on modesty altogether. We have to push past feelings and press on to win. I know the struggle of working with a small budget, but honestly my attitude during my searches effects my perception on things.

When I go shopping or get dressed I keep an open conversation with God during it all. I always see such a massive difference from doing this. I spot items I wouldn't have seen, come across deals I wouldn't have known about and create looks I wouldn't have thought of.

Through styling I’ve learnt that God is concerned with every area of our lives, not just the 'spiritual' side. He is extremely practical and wise. He is the most creative being, above any artist I have ever known or seen. Why? Because He is the source. He loves me and will help me. I may not get the answers on day 1, but if I keep holding on, I shall get what is right for me - like this outfit.

5 tips on making your outfit look more expensive:

1) Forget trends - Go for timeless pieces that suit your shape rather than being current. Items with simple details, like this top I'm wearing. A classic black top with very simple details which appears very timeless and makes you look more established.

2) Get your items tailored - An expensive dress/jacket/skirt always fits well because it's cut well. If you wear items that doesn't sit well on you, even if you paid £300 for the item, it will look cheap and not suit you as much. Using my sewing machine, I tailored the kimono into a skirt to ensure the waistband sat well on my tiny waist. I opted to use a black satin belt as it's a lot more richer than using standard cotton, for this colourful fabric.

3) Textures - Go for textures that look rich like velvet. My green heels are velvet - not real but they're nice and soft. They look even better in person than how they photograph. The velvet deepens the colour of the shoe, and that gives it a rich emerald finish. The same shoes and colour in leather would have brought the overall look down.

4) Go easy with so many colours - Keep it simple. Either wear one solid colour all the way through, or do colours in a minimal way e.g. a red dress with gold accessories or an all black look with red heels.

5) Earrings - If you're going to go for gold, stay away from a bright yellow gold. Opt for jewellery that has some body to it and does not look flimsy and light. It doesn't need to be heavy, as you do not want to put too much weight on your ears, but it just needs to appear rich in the materials used.

Outfit details:

Kimono/Skirt: Primark - £8.00

Top: Shein - £16.99

Heels: TK Maxx - a gift

Clutch: Asos - old clutch

Sunglasses: Boohoo - £7.20

Earrings: Primark - £3.00

Total Spent on new items: £35.19 #ShopSmart

Hair: @setapartstyle

Make Up: Ask Anu

📷 : @AskAnu