Keeping up with fashion trends can get pricey. Are you sick of spending all your extra cash on outfits that you only wear once or twice? Tired of blowing your budget on clothing that only clutters up your closet?

If you’re keen on saving money and simplifying your closet, there’s no better way to do this than by minimizing your wardrobe into a small collection that easily mixes and matches. Rather than cramming your closet full of clothes you rarely wear, strip down to a few style staples that you love.

Not only will this save your wallet, but it’ll also make getting dressed easier (since there’s no guesswork involved.) And will undoubtedly make your life feel more orderly and streamlined.

Here’s how to save money on fashion (and, not to mention, de-clutter your life!), by paring down your closet to the essentials:

Fashionable Woman Thrifty Lady

Pick Out Your Uniform

First thing’s first: It’s time to pick out your “uniform”, aka what you truly love to wear and feel completely comfortable in, no matter what (and only you know what this is). Look through your closet and think about what you wear all the time, then start to formulate your uniform accordingly.

Remember, the goal is to have two or three basic types of ensembles (for work, school, weekends, etc.) — not tons of isolated pieces that don’t go with one another and that you don’t really like to wear, anyway. Figure out what you want your uniform to be and stick to it. Then, when you do go shopping, you’ll have a better vision of the kinds of staples you should be buying.

Buy Out of Season

Buying out of season is one of the best ways to stock up on wardrobe staples when you’re on a budget. Retailers put out-of-season clothing on clearance to clear the stock from their stores, so you can seriously save when you buy cold-weather clothing in June or a swimsuit in November.   

Head to Thrift Stores

Thrift stores can be hit-or-miss in terms of quality. So, tread carefully! However, they do sell older and newer clothes at a discount. If you truly want to save on style, head to your nearest Goodwill or another thrift store to find wardrobe essentials on the cheap. There’s no need to buy new if you have access to a decent thrift store.

Think in Terms of Color Palette

Remember that, from now on, you should only be purchasing clothes that are part of your uniform and that flow effortlessly with the rest of your wardrobe. This is why curating fashion staples in the same color palette can be helpful—when you have a group of staples in the same color palette, it’s so much easier to mix and match items. For example, if you have a variety of blue shirts, try to look for black, gray, khaki, or even blue pants.

Stick to Simplicity

Instead of stocking your closet with all the latest trends, it’s important to keep it simple. After all, if you try to keep up with fashion trends, you’ll only waste money — and, not to mention, you won’t look like you. Simplicity is the key when you’re trying to pare down your closet to what matters; trendy clothes cost more and have a shorter shelf life.  

Take Care of Your Clothing

Once you’ve accumulated a closet full of staples, it’s so important to take excellent care of your clothes. This means washing your clothing on the gentle cycle in cool water, hand-washing delicate items, line-drying your clothes, and taking clothes to the tailor when they need to be repaired.

However, not all types of clothing are meant to be taken care of the same way. For example, certain sweatshirts and jeans can be worn multiple times before being washed. According to Russell Athletic, the inventor of the sweatshirt, you can go nearly five or six weeks before you throw your favorite sweatshirt in the wash. Of course, this all depends on how many times you’ve worn it or how dirty it has gotten.

 By taking care of your clothes, you’ll get far more use out of them. Which can be a big-time money saver.

Quit Being Sentimental

Out with the old, in with the new! Got a bunch of old clothes from high school still hanging in your closet? Donate or recycle all the old stuff you never wear, to make room for your classic clothing staples. Just because a dress brings back happy memories doesn’t mean you need to hang onto it, if you never wear it anymore. If you haven’t worn it recently or worse, if you never wear it, there’s no better time than the present to get rid of it.

Only Buy (or Keep) Clothes That Fit

And while we’re on the topic of getting rid of old clothing, you should only buy or hold onto clothes that you can wear today. Buying something a size too small because you want to lose weight is never a good idea. Even if you do lose weight, you may realize that you don’t even like the way the item of clothing fits on you. Either way, it’s an unnecessary gamble that only wastes money.

Clothes can be expensive, especially if you tend to keep up with the latest fashion trends. If you follow these few simple tips, you’ll be saving money in no time.