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  • Laurie

How to dress during winter 2020 for cheap - BUDGET MEETS FASHIONISTA

Updated: Jan 13, 2020

Living in Canada, we know that dressing in winter is hard, because it's so cold, and we know it's even harder when you're on a budget because popular nice knit sweaters (you know the kind) are super expensive. Lucky for us (and you), we know how to look the best, without spending a lot of money, during the coldest season of the year.

So, in today's post, you'll find:

  1. Our essentials

  2. Our tips and tricks for the season

  3. Our no-no lists (what you shouldn't do or buy)

Note: We aren't trying to tell you what to do/wear and what to not do/wear. These are simple things we like and we suggest and you are free to do whatever you want with this information. We hope that you find this helpful and it helps you feel good with your style.

The winter 2020 essentials

1. Long sleeve mock neck

I recently bought these two "turtle necks" (a black and a white one) made with rayon and spandex and they changed my life. I had seen so many fashion influencers feature outfits with those and I couldn't find one anywhere. I was getting really upset every time I went shopping because none of the stores I went to sell them. Finally, I found mines at Garage for about 25$ each I think and I was so happy.

I love them because...

  • They aren't too thick, so I'm going to be able to wear them almost all year round, but they still protect me from the cold;

  • They look super good on their own AND layered under t-shirts, blouses and pretty much anything (even if it's just to make the turtle neck peek out of a sweatshirt, you know?);

  • They go with almost everything I own.

I really like the plain ones I have, but I also really like ones with some kind of pattern, like stripes, or a funky color. Follow your own style and choose one that will make you happy and that will match with most of your closet.

2. Oversized flannel

I recently bought these two "turtle necks" (a black and a white one) made with rayon and spandex and they changed my life. I had seen so many fashion influencers feature outfits with those and I couldn't find one anywhere. I was getting really upset every time I went shopping because none of the stores I went to sell them. Finally, I found mines at Garage for about 25$ each I think and I was so happy.ed to the DIY way and it looks pretty good and pretty easy.

As you can. see from the pictures, they look really great with mock necks (the essential previously mentioned), but I guarantee you that they also look great on their own or layered with a t-shirt or a cami of your choice. Pairing one of those with jeans, leggings or skirts is so cute and I love the look of it.

If you don't like the lumberjack look of plaid flannels, I've seen a few places selling ones with different patterns, but they are usually more expensive. For example, the following image features one that has the tie-dye look from Urban Outfitters, but, because it's Urban Outfitters, it's really expensive (65$ I think). If you look up "Tie-Dye flannel" on Pinterest, you can see that some people resorted to the DIY way and it looks pretty good and pretty easy.

3. Simple/Trusty cardigan

Last year, I bought a very simple black cardigan that matched with everything and kept me warm. The end.

It's as simple as that! I've been wearing it ever since for most of the year and I'm so happy I made that purchase. I often wear it on top of a t-shirt just to make sure I don't freeze to death. I have to admit that it's mostly for practicality and that it's not totally "my" style. I normally prefer wearing cozier things, but I still manage to wear outfits that are very "me" with it. Those are the kind of cardigans I'd like to own:

These are both from H&M, the longer one is 35$ and the shorter one is 15$, and clothing pieces like these usually last awhile. They have that vintage look that is super trendy, as well as the comfy and oversized aspects. If you're hesitating between the two of those, you first need to considerate the price, because one is 20$ more expensive than the other one, and your body shape. I notice because I'm on the taller and skinnier side, the longer one would probably fit me better. I think it's because not having any shape would be too obvious with the shorter one. Actually, I think a cropped one would be really great to define a waist and not just have an awkward shape.

The reason I suggested owning a black cardigan is that black goes with everything, in my opinion, and so I personally don't have to color coordinate when I wear my cardigan. Thought colors are pretty great and so having a colorful wardrobe would make owning a colorful cardigan easier.

4. A winter coat

When it's really cold outside, it's obvious that you need a cold, but how obvious is it that it needs to be durable and actually warm? I see so many girls focus on the aesthetic or the coat and, while I agree that fashion is great, they should focus on if it'll actually keep them warm. I would opt for a duvet coat because I have one of those and it is so warm and cozy. Mine is pretty long and it kind of looks like a sleeping bag but more so like a sleeping bag you would wear to a fashion show. It's pretty much street style and so I know that not everybody would be comfortable with that (even though it's super comfortable, I swear) and if you prefer something fancier you should try having one that is cinched at the waist or a faux fur one.

I wouldn't suggest buying wool and polyester coats because, even though they look super good, they aren't warm enough and you'll most likely get tired of yours. If you want to wear it but every day is "too cold for it", you'll get tired of even trying and it'll be a waste of your money, which is the last thing we want because this post is about dressing for cheap.


  • Booties;

  • Long sleeves;

  • A hoodie.

Our tips and tricks

1. Layering

If you want to look good and to be warm all day, don't hesitate and pile on the clothes. You might think that this could make you look like Joey in Friends when he puts on all of Chandler's clothes, but I swear it won't (unless you really put on everything you own). There are things you can do to avoid looking like a clown but also be original and fashionable.

  1. Choose a color scheme: Don't overwhelm yourself with colors that don't compliment each other. Choose, for example, a light color theme, a warm or cold color theme or any color theme that matches your style or your aesthetic. I think that to have colors that look great together, they either need to be on the same side or opposites on the color spectrum and/or have the same black to white (darkness or whiteness) level.

  2. Don't have more than 1 pattern: As much as I like mixing patterns, layering them can be very difficult and, if you are not that comfortable with fashion, I don't think you should do it. IF YOU DO WANT TO TRY IT, go for it. My tip is to make sure the patterns are very similar or that the colors are the same. For example, layer a patterned dress over a patterned long sleeve, but have them be the same colors or just both black & white.

  3. Have different textures: I know I said that mixing patterns is hard and can look really bad, but having different textured fabrics is really easy and it usually looks really good. For example: wear a satin slip dress over a small (not chunky) sweater OR a jean jacket over an over-sized flannel over a crew neck. The possibilities are endless!

Take a look at the images in the slider right below to inspire you or head over to Pinterest or to YouTube.

2. Always check the weather

Where I live, it's easy to know the kind of weather we need to dress for because every day is the coldest day of the year, but if you live somewhere where things can vary from one day to another, ask your phone how cold it's going to be so you can know how to dress. Think about it, if you wear your chunkiest sweater on a not-that-cold day, you'll be sad because you won't be able to wear it on a cold-as-balls day.

3. Wear boots instead of shoes

Instead of always changing your shoes for your boots and your boots for your shoes and then having your shoes all dirty and wet because you accidentally stepped in some snow, just wear boots all the time. Invest in some quality boots that will be perfect for fall and winter and maybe even spring, but make sure that they are not too warm because you'll want to take them off and walk in the snow bare feet. I really like Dr. Martens as a durable boot or Chelsea boots because they are year-round items.

Black is the most obvious color because winter isn't really about funky colors and it goes with everything, but I really like dark burgundy on boots. They usually look very edgy and they work for me because my wardrobe is mostly warm colors. Just choose some that you like and think you'll still like in a long time. This is a Budget Meets Fashionista post, but most nice boots can be pretty pricey. That's why you should choose them in advance and then use Honey or wait until Boxing Day to buy them.

4. Keep wearing your summer clothes

I don't see the use of having winter and summer wardrobes when there's always a way to wear them. I admit that a knit sweater during the summer is not a good idea, but a cami in the winter is if you wear it the right way. Once again with the layering tip, you can wear said cami over a long sleeve and it'll look great. If all you have in your wardrobe are sun dressed, put on black tights and a cardigan, a coat or a sweater over it and you're good to go.

Our no-no list

These are the things you should totally avoid doing or buying because they will do you no good. You can disagree with this list, for sure, and we won't be mad. We just feel that these things aren't right for winter 2020 and the purpose of saving money.

  • Wool & polyester coats (as mentioned earlier)

  • Shorts over tights: We know we told you to use your summer wardrobe, but shorts shouldn't be part of your winter even if you find out a way to keep warm. This is a trend that needs to die.

  • Tight-high boots: We are getting pretty annoyed seeing those really expensive boots. They were a good trend, but they're over now. If you don't already own a pair, don't think of buying one because no one is wearing them anymore.

  • Slouchy beanies: This looks way too hipster for our taste and I really cringe every time I see someone wearing one, to be honest.

  • Fur: You know those coats with fur around the hood? Or those vests covered with fur? Yeah, we don't like them. However, I admit that some coats made with faux-fur can look really good, but they are really expensive and not an investment worth making.

  • Grey: It's no secret to the people that know me that I hate grey and so it's normal that I don't think it's a nice winter trend. Grey clothing usually looks very plain and depressing and can only be worn it that season or in fall, so it's a no-no.

This is it for this (very long) post. We hope that you liked it and got all the knowledge you need to be stylish on a budget this winter. If you want more of our tips, go read our previous fashion posts.

- Some fashion inspiration from February last year:

- 2019 fashion:

- How you can find your style:

- And more!

Comment your thoughts and this post and leave a like if you agreed with our tips. We'd love to hear from you, so you can contact us with or with a simple comment, of course.

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