Today’s post is from my awesome staff writer Jordann. Enjoy!
Like lots of people, I love clothing. I’m not a clothes horse per say, after all, I tend to have a minimalist wardrobe, but I definitely appreciate a piece of well crafted clothing that fits properly, is well made, and priced right.
I’m pretty careful about what I buy these days. Back when I was a starving student I would only buy the cheapest clothing. I didn’t have a lot of money to spend and I just couldn’t justify dropping a huge portion of my piddly clothing budget on a single expensive piece of clothing with a credit card. The downside of this strategy was that my clothes didn’t last long before they shrunk, got holes, or were otherwise compromised.
Since I didn’t have much money to spend on clothing, I was usually very sad when something I bought only before fell apart, even if it WAS only $5.
Then, after I graduated from university and got my first real job, I found the wonderful world of brand name clothing. I did a complete 180 on my clothing philosophy. I still wasn’t buying much for clothing, since I had a ton of debt to pay down, but now I was only buying expensive clothes that I thought were much higher quality and much more suited to a recent graduate. Of course, once I fully grasped the magnitude of how much debt I was in, that spending habit stopped.
So, is buying expensive clothing worth it? I’ve had the chance to buy both bottom of the barrel clothing and reasonably high quality clothing, and the two are very different.
The verdict? Sometimes.
Not the definitive answer you were looking for right? Unfortunately, that’s the truth. Sometimes it’s worth it to spend the extra money on well made clothing, and sometimes it’s just not. Here are my top instances where buying expensive clothing is worth it, and when it’s not:
I’m running a half marathon this Spring. To prepare for this, I’ve been running a lot. In fact, some of my runs are over two hours in duration. For these situations, I need high quality performance gear. I’ve run in the expensive lululemon gear and the cheaper alternatives, and the expensive gear performs better every time. While this might not make a huge difference for the weekend runner, for me it’s the difference between making it through a run unscathed or making it through with blisters the size of quarters.
No, your Uggs don’t count. I’m not talking flash in the pan fashions that’ll be gone in a few years, I’m talking a simple grey winter coat that’ll stay in style and last for years. I’m talking about black dress pants or a suit. These things will still be perfectly acceptable to wear in several years, so paying for a quality item that won’t fall apart is worth it.
Personally, I don’t spend a ton of money on accessories. My reasoning for this is that I can easily update my wardrobe by purchasing a few accessories every year that are in style. Since those styles are apt to change in a few years, spending a huge wad of cash on those items wouldn’t really be worth it.
I’ve definitely spent more than a few minutes drooling over a party dress or bathing suit. The truth is though, when it comes to clothing I’m rarely going to wear, I don’t like to spend a lot of money on it. My $15 bathing suit is three years old and looks brand new because I wear it about three times a year. An expensive one wouldn’t look much better at this point. The same goes for that party dress, which, since I’m so frugal, wouldn’t be worn any more often than the bathing suit. For clothing that I don’t often wear, I tend to go for the more economical purchases.
When it comes to buying clothing, everyone is different. Some people might think I’m crazy to even be considering buying expensive clothes, while others are drawn to brand names like a magpie. I try to balance spending as little as possible with buying enough quality items that I don’t have to head back to the store every month to replace clothing that’s no longer wearable. To me, that’s a good balance between frugality and fashion.
Hey everyone! Today’s post is all about spending less money on clothes.
And there’s a giveaway too. I’m glad to be a part of another giveaway. I really am enjoying taking part in these, and I hope you guys still love winning stuff! If you’re anything like me, then you probably enter tons of giveaways every week.
I made a post early last year titled A peak into my insanity (AKA my closet). At that time, I talked about how I had TONS of clothes. My closet is actually the old laundry room (we have the washer, dryer, etc. in the basement), so this is a decent sized closet that I have. And it’s COMPLETELY packed. You can hardly walk into it now.
I don’t wear a ton of it because a lot of my daily outfits are business clothes for my job. I had over 50 dresses, over 20 skirts, over 70 shirts, and so on. And this is with me selling my clothes every month. If I never sold clothes or got rid of them every month, I can’t even imagine what my closet would look like.
While I would love to save that my shopping problem is under control, it most likely is not. Yes, I’m not spending as much money as I used to, but I really need to start selling things in my closet in order to make things more efficient. Spending an hour each time I’m looking for a specific clothing item is just a little excessive.
Jordann, on my blog, recently talked about Maintaining a Minimalist Wardrobe. This is something that I definitely want to work on.
Now, I don’t plan on just not buying anything ever again. I do love clothes and dressing nice. Instead, my plan will be to focus more on quality and not just quantity. Yes, I will buy the occasional “trendy” dress from Forever 21 or Express, but for the most part I want to be saving my money and spending it on better quality items that will last longer. I will also be following a lot of the tips that are listed on J’s site How to Save Money on Clothes. I love her website and how she’s able to come up with so many different ideas.
I also plan on not buying items until I clear out items out of my closet. For every 1 item that I buy, I want to put TWO items from my closet into a bag that will be either sent to be donated or sold.
I do want to start spending less on clothes as well of course. I want to spend the least amount of money out of my own pocket on clothes that I can. My goal is to spend less than $100 out of my own pocket on clothes per month. So this does not include whatever I spend on gift cards or the money I get from selling clothes.
This is not exactly a “no spend” year, but it is a start. I know many people who spend much more than this amount every week on clothes.
This doesn’t seem like too hard of a task for me to complete, but it’s also about me cleaning out my closet. I have a couple hundred in clothing gift cards already, and will make a couple hundred more from credit card rewards. Also, I already have a ton of clothes in my closet that will work for the next year and still look great, so it’s not like I’ll be going naked everywhere.
I have a decent amount of clothing gift cards that I have received lately. Some I received for Christmas from my sister, and some I have won from giveaways. I plan on trying to use gift cards to fund my clothing spending. This won’t be super difficult, as I also plan on using the gift cards and cash that I earn from my credit card rewards towards this as well.
I also plan on selling a lot of my clothes that are currently in my closet and using this money towards buying new clothes as well. Wish me luck! At the end of 2013 I will make an update post on how much I spent on clothes throughout the year, and how much I spent out of my own pocket on clothes.
I have many reasons for having a minimalist wardrobe. I move around a lot, I haven’t lived in the same place for more than eight months in awhile, so not having a lot of clothes to pack up and unpack is beneficial.
I also live in a 400 sq. ft. house, which, needless to say, has no walk in closets. Finally, I’m trying to pay off $20,000 in debt, so buying fewer clothes means more money (read further about how to make extra income) to send towards my debt.
That said, I love to shop. I really didn’t spend too much cash on my wardrobe in University (what with have no money and all) and now that I’m out and earning a steady paycheque, the urge to upgrade, replace, and spend spend spend has been strong. My preferred poison is online shopping, where I can agonize over the perfect pair of jeans, hunt for free shipping, and make wish lists galore, all from the comfort of my couch.
In order to keep that shopping urge under control, I try and keep my wardrobe minimalist. Here’s how I do it:
This rule really is the minimalist in me. I hate have multiple items that perform the same function. That’s why I don’t have an eReader (I already have a laptop and a big smart phone) and the same principle applies to my wardrobe. I don’t need two red scarves, I don’t need more than one winter hat. If I must own multiples of one item (like jeans) I make sure each pair has a unique feature, and I still strive to own as few as possible.
If I’m thinking about buying something online, it must serve a purpose. It has to fill some kind of void that my current wardrobe just can’t fill. If I want to buy a fall jacket, it has to be because my wardrobe is sincerely lacking a fall jacket. If I can get by with lighter jackets and my heavy winter coat, I don’t buy it.
I never buy anything that can only be worn for one specific occasion. That’s why I don’t own a party dress, or anything else that I would only wear only a few times a year. If I want to buy something, I must be able to get a lot of use out of it, otherwise, it’s not worth my hard earned cash.
When I was in university, I bought cheap clothes. I couldn’t help it, I had no money and clothing ranked lower on the list than “feed myself” but I still had to maintain some level of professionalism in my business school presentations. I remember getting really sad when I’d finally plunk down the cash to buy a new top, only to have the stitching completely unravel after the first wash because the piece was so cheaply made. These days I make sure to spend a bit more money on quality clothing that I won’t have to replace anytime soon.
Before hitting “checkout” during my online shopping endeavours, I try to think to myself “Seriously Jordann? Do you need that?” Even if whatever I’m buying meets all of the other criteria, but I can’t honestly say that I need it, I generally don’t buy it.
Of course, all of these rules are guidelines that I occasionally completely ignore because something is flashy or is on serious markdown, like the top I ordered yesterday that I’m completely excited to get because it was 60% off and had free shipping. But generally speaking, these guidelines help me maintain a small, functional, minimalist wardrobe that’s easy to move, easy to maintain, and easy on my credit card.