Is it okay to spend money on clothes? For many of us, this question represents a long-held debate in our heads, especially if we’re trying to save or when we’re establishing a living budget. The answer is more straightforward than what we’d think:
Of course, it’s okay to spend money on clothes! It’s a basic human necessity.
Clothing helps us keep warm, speaks volumes about our social standing, and can help us improve our mood. But with so much in the fashion industry going on, it’s hard to make work what seems to be opposite ideas: dressing well and saving money.
How are we able to achieve dressing sharp while keeping a budget? Read on to find out!
How much of your salary should you spend on clothes?
Much of what we buy is a product of impulses: offers because we “deserve” it because we are going to an event because our clothes are “out of fashion,” and dozens of other pretexts. But what about our clothing budget?
This is a matter that deserves reflection: We can’t buy designer or costly clothes if we don’t have the money or wear them enough. But we also can’t constantly buy fast-wearing or cheap clothes because we may spend more and are wearing low quality.
If you’ve ever wondered if you’re spending too much on clothes, maybe you’re not managing your budget well with your buying decisions.
When it comes to dressing well and saving money on it, it’s best to seek balance and comfort for you and your finances when investing in clothes and not “splurge.” Therefore, it is best to allocate between 5 and 7% of your monthly salary to buy a garment or accessory. Yes, only 5 to 7%.
Only runway and style professionals are ‘forced’ to invest very high capital in clothing and accessories. However, having a ‘fashionista’ mentality in everyday life is very dangerous for your pocket.
How much should I spend on clothes a month?
Again, it depends on your salary and your work field. Only by considering these two things alone, the amount goes down considerably for most people. As stated before, dedicating 5 to 7% of our monthly income to clothing doesn’t seem like it’s enough, but it stacks up over time. And the truth is that having a set amount to spend on clothes monthly doesn’t mean you have to spend it every month. It’s best to hold the money designated to clothing for a while and spend it when and where it counts. More on that below!
How do you save on clothes?
Going out shopping and coming home with several bags full of clothes is the dream of many people. The problem is that it’s a pleasure that can be very expensive. We are talking about saving on clothes, however, stop shopping is not the solution. To save on buying quality clothes, you don’t have to stop consuming. You have to stop wasting. Saving on clothes is like getting in shape. The way to achieve this is by applying a series of habits.
At this point, several guidelines will be helpful for you to buy and save on clothes:
Identify the valuable items in your closet
If you take a look at your closet, you’ll notice that you regularly wear less than half of the clothes you own. This might lead you to reconsider each garment individually. If you use your emotional criteria to value them, you will discover the high sentimental value for you. Whether because they have lived with you a thousand and one adventures, because they have been a gift that you have worn on many occasions, or because it is a comfortable garment that you wear regularly and that enhances your style, you will also find others that you bought on a whim. Performing this exercise will make you reflect and will make your spending much more restrained.
Prepare a shopping list
Shopping can be costly because of compulsive shopping. On many occasions, trendy clothes and big sale posters will make you end up buying clothes you don’t need, so make a shopping list with all the things you need. This way, when you go shopping, take the list of clothes and follow it strictly, don’t improvise. When buying the items on the list, choose clothes that combine with at least three other things you already have in your closet. It will allow you to create different looks using similar items. This is one of the keys to saving on clothes.
Fewer and better quality garments
Suppose you have done the exercise of identifying the clothes in your closet. In that case, it will be easier to identify those that need to be renewed. At this point, you can encourage savings and limit impulse purchases. For every new item of clothing, you buy, remove one old item from your closet. One of the items on your list may be worth the same as five other simple items that don’t suit you. An expensive piece that you like and find comfortable will be more valuable than five cheap clothes bought on impulse. Cheap usually comes out costly. Although the investment is higher, you will amortize it with clothes of more outstanding durability and resistance.
Avoid fast fashion like the plague
This tip comes more from an ethical standpoint than anything, but it does tie in with saving money in the long run. Fast fashion industries focus on mass-producing low-quality yet appealing clothes for every season, leaving considerable environmental damage behind, added to the less than optimal work conditions these industries often offer in developing countries to save money in production and taxes.
After realizing this, it’s hard to feel comfortable buying from fast fashion brands. But if you need another incentive to avoid them, remember that buying inexpensive clothing that won’t last long is pointless.
Plan what you need
Don’t buy clothes just for the sake of buying. If you go to the mall with your friends, you will probably walk around the stores, see several garments you like, and get carried away by the excitement of the moment. Please don’t do it! Lack of planning leads you to compulsive shopping. You may end up buying 3 T-shirts that were on sale when what you needed was a pair of pants. Has this happened to you?
The best thing to do is make a list of the things you need and set a budget for that purpose. This way, you can plan your expenses and monitor how much money you have used to identify savings opportunities in each of your categories.
Back to the basics
Although they have gained significant prominence in recent years, underwear is still the little sister for dressing. And it’s not that we don’t spend a lot of money on bras, panties, and lingerie in general, but in most cases, it’s the same as with the rest of the clothes. You get carried away by tastes, trends, and fashions forgetting in many cases what you need. What exactly suits you. If the underwear doesn’t fit you like a glove, the outerwear can’t fit you well.
Even if this type of garment is only visible to a lucky few, everyone appreciates its effect, starting with yourself. So don’t skimp on underwear.
An essential garment of your closet, of which I’m sure you have several pairs. Well, although it may seem simple, finding the perfect pair of jeans is not an easy task. My recommendation is that you forget the cheapness. Cheap is expensive. Always invest in quality jeans. They keep their shape and retain their color much longer. And despite dozens of washes, they will always look good.
Cardigans and knitted sweaters
Their delicate and soft fibers are transformed into unsightly little balls by the simple friction with other garments and accessories. And any stain, including sweat, is fixed in such a way to its delicate fabric that sometimes even dry cleaning cannot remove them without damaging the garment. The market offers a multitude of alternatives, perhaps not as lovely but infinitely cheaper and less demanding.
Another one of those basics that you have to have, but it is not convenient to spend a penny more than strictly necessary. Even without breaking, they don’t fit beyond 4 or 5 wears. A sharp fingernail, the skirt or pants’ friction or a stretch something more abrupt than usual and race to the song! Take advantage of special offers or sales to equip yourself for the season and save your money.
Whether to complete an everyday outfit or to give a touch of style to a casual one, you must have a quality blazer in your closet. A blazer always rounds off your look and adds elegance to the outfit.
More of the same. A poor-quality shoe will ruin your look. A good shoe made of leather enhances the category of your flea market dress. This observation works the same with bags and belts. Don’t skimp on these!
Spending money on your wedding ring, beautiful earrings, or a classic watch is justified. If you do it on jewelry that is too flashy, is unnecessary, and your wallet will never forgive you. As with clothing, the classic and minimalist will age less and better than any piece that is too original and flashy. If you want to give a touch of style and personality to your look with an out-of-the-ordinary piece, turn to costume jewelry. You’ll find pieces that are just as effective and that you won’t mind retiring next season. So please don’t spend your money on it.
A good coat is as essential as a good shoe. If you can’t afford more than one, you know, classic cut, neutral color, and quality. So save money FOR this one!
Shop during sale season
The best time to buy cheap brand-name clothing is when it is out of season. In other words, buy clothes in the summer that you will need in the winter, and vice versa. This happens because most stores need to make room for clothes that are about to go on sale, and so they lower the prices of clothes that are already out of season. As strange as it may seem to buy a jacket in the middle of summer, it will be your best decision if you know you need it.
Another way to find bargain seasons is when the stores themselves advertise them. However, you should always check if they are worthwhile offers or just high prices disguised as offers.
Don’t buy clothes you won’t wear
This is part of not planning your shopping or making compulsive purchases. Buying clothes that we don’t wear is something that has happened to almost all of us: we get carried away by fleeting tastes, our mood, the offers, or the rush.
Another common mistake is to buy clothes that we will only use once in our life. Did you buy a dress just for a party? A pair of shoes just for your graduation? An extra small size because you imagined that in summer you would be 20 pounds lighter? Be realistic and ask yourself if you will wear what you are about to buy.
Look for outlets
Where to buy cheap clothes? Outlets are a good option to save money, and you can find Outlets of specific brands. There you can find brand-name clothes that are not sold out or are out of season at more than 50% off. However, be careful with the clothes you choose, make sure they have no defects and are of good quality.
Second-hand stores or internet
Instead of paying for quality and durability, sometimes we only pay for the clothes or shoes’ brand name. Many places offer second-hand clothes of excellent quality that are almost new and cheap. Plus, at a thrift store, you are watching your budget and helping the environment. To produce a pair of jeans takes more than 3,000 liters of water.
Note: don’t get confused with Vintage and Thrift stores. The former sell fashion items that are old and cost more expensive, the latter sell new and old clothes at bargain prices.
Buying clothes online is another very viable option to save and where you can get real bargains. Check sites like Amazon, eBay, Craigslist, and Kichink.
Consider using uniforms
Wearing a uniform to work is immensely useful. Not only does it give you a more professional look, but it also saves the rest of your wardrobe from daily tear and wear. Even if you don’t have uniforms at work if you have to dress business casual or work at home, set aside a few clothing pieces as if they were your work uniform does the trick.
Sell the clothes you don’t use
To finance your new clothes, you can sell the clothes you no longer use and are in good condition. A tip to know which clothes you should get rid of is to ask yourself if you have worn them lately. If they have been sitting in the back of your closet for more than a year, sell them. You’ll make room in your closet and get some extra cash.
Consider sewing your damaged clothes
How are you doing with thread and needle? We are not talking about making your clothes, which is much more difficult but having basic notions of fixing the clothes that break. Because yes, no matter how much you buy brand name, there are accidents you can’t avoid.
With a couple of tutorial videos, you should start to manage some techniques to put your fabrics back together. What’s more, you can even go further and learn how to do cute embroidery or turn old pants into a skirt or a bag. Getting creative with clothes you no longer wear is a great way to keep bringing them back to life.
Redesign your clothes
If you have time and it’s within your means, you can give a facelift to that pair of pants or jacket you no longer wear; you can cut them and turn them into shorts or casual vests, embellish them with patches and customize them to your style.
Rent an outfit for unique occasions
Garments for special occasions are undoubtedly the biggest corpses in your closet. Isn’t it incongruous that it is precisely on clothes that you will hardly wear on a couple of events that you spend the most money on?
A special occasion is, by definition, something rare, so change the chip and spend as little money as possible on dresses, shoes, and bags for these occasions. You will have the chance to spend the money on more profitable garments, to which you are going to give them more gear that you are going to wear every day.
It’s a more sound idea to rent an outfit for such occasions or asking a friend for one. And if using someone else’s clothing is not entirely comfortable for you, paying the dry cleaning bill five times before use is still cheaper than buying the outfit yourself.
- Do you usually pay by card? Pay for your purchases in cash, and you will value more the money that leaves your hands.
- Buy your usual and basic clothes at special prices during the sales. You can find discounts of up to 70% off. This is key to saving on clothes.
- Visit the outlets. You will find clothes from other seasons at much lower prices.
- Take advantage of all the coupons and promotional bonuses. Many stores offer loyalty cards with which you will get discounts on future purchases. Subscribe to the newsletters of clothing websites.
- Don’t forget the small stores. You will be surprised by the number of boutiques that sell quality clothes at reasonable prices. Besides, it will be much more difficult for you to run into someone wearing the same coat like you.
- Buy cheap off-season. You will find clearance sales and discounted prices.
- Take advantage of e-commerce to find reduced prices. Amazon, eBay, and on the websites of the clothing brands you are interested in.
If you follow all our tips, you will save on clothes without losing your style.