How Much I Spend on My Clothes
So I am not going to lie, it appears as if I have a crap ton of clothes and I am always shopping. And, I know some people may be thinking wait a second, she's not working right now, her husband is a teacher, and she has three little kids?!!! So, do I have a money tree growing in my backyard? No. I am going to explain how I shop, what I spend money on and what I don't and how I am able to create a budget for myself when it comes to my clothing, shoes and accessories.
1. PURGE AND SELL
It pays to take good care of your clothing, literally it pays. I go through my closet at the beginning of each season and pull out items I haven't worn in a year or more and bring them to consignment. If you are local I recommend, Callie's Contemporary Consignments. That is where I bring all of my stuff. Callie is my neighbor and her store is just like her home, immaculate. I truly believe in finding a quality and reputable consignment shop if you would like to get some good cash for your clothing, shoes, accessories and even home goods. Recently, I got a check from Callie for 500 bucks! Crazy, right? Some people also do well selling on websites like Poshmark or Ebay. I honestly don't want to go through posting and shipping on a regular basis so I prefer local consignment, not to mention I like supporting local businesses. I have, however, sold some designer handbags and jewelry on Ebay and did very well.
2. DON'T OVERSPEND ON TRENDY ITEMS
Seasons change, styles and trends change. There are absolutely certain styles that are more classic and some trends that have held strong over a couple of years, but overall I do not spend a lot on what I believe is a current trend. For my trendier clothing and accessories, I make out well at stores like Target, Kohls, Old Navy, H&M, and Nordstrom's BP department. If you have been following me then you know that I LOVE Target. Target does an amazing job of keeping on top of the latest trends and offering them at very reasonable prices. Some online shops like Goodnight Macaroon, Shein, and ASOS are popular among fashion bloggers. These sites have great styles and reasonable prices too.
3. BUY WITH A PLAN IN MIND
I typically don't go shopping just to go shopping. I usually have an idea of a type of outfit I am looking for or a specific item. If you go without a plan, I find that you come home with a bunch of random stuff, and what you bought doesn't always go well with what you already have. Which leads me to my next tip/strategy...
4. DO AN INVENTORY OF WHAT YOU ALREADY OWN
This is where my regular closet cleanup I mentioned above comes in handy. If you know you have some good essential pieces to work from, make a list so you know what you have, and then decide what you would like to complement those items. I for one know that I am OBSESSED with white jeans, I have three different styles of white jeans and I wear them A LOT, especially in the spring and summer. To find some ideas and inspiration you can always use Pinterest and type in the search"white jeans outfit", or you can keep following me, wink wink. I find that if you start off with a good base wardrobe you can add some inexpensive trendier pieces along the way to refresh and update what you already own.
5. BUY FOR YOUR PERSONAL LIFESTYLE
When I was teaching, I tended to buy clothes that I could wear to work as well as out with my husband or friends. My wardrobe was very "teachery" looking and a lot of what I purchased came from stores like J.Crew and Banana Republic. Now that I am home with three little ones I buy more leggings and athleisure-wear. I still eye some super cute blouses, but know that the reality is I will not end up wearing them often, and the same goes for heels. Buy what you'll actually wear.
6. SPULRGE ON QUALITY AND ITEMS YOU WILL GET A LOT OF WEAR OUT OF
When it comes to shoes I tend to spend more money on good quality boots. I pretty much buy all of my boots during the Nordstrom Anniversary sale which is when they have the best deals on new styles for fall. A winter coat is also an item I am willing to spend more on if I know it is going to be worn for several years to come. Finally, items that I wear often, (that I know I will end up washing a lot) I prefer to buy higher quality so they can hold up to all of the wear and washing. For example, my Zella leggings that I won't shut up about, I definitely feel are a good investment seeing as I wear them daily.
7. EVALUATE YOUR RETURN ON INVESTMENT
What the heck does that mean? Well as I mentioned in strategy 6, if you wear the item A LOT it certainly helps to justify the higher price tag. You can calculate your ROI by taking the price of the item and then dividing it by the number of times you have worn it. For example, I spent roughly 100 bucks on my Nike sneakers, but I wear them daily to either work out, run errands, or play with my kids. I have not done the math but the return on my investment in that case is high, a lot higher then let's say...a pair of super high deisgner heels. Bottom line - if you aren't going to get a lot of use out of it and it's very expensive, think hard about how much you really need that item.
8. CREATE A CAPSULE WARDROBE...KIND OF
So the deal with a "capsule wardrobe" is to create a limited wardrobe of essential pieces that are all pretty much interchangeable with each other. Many people like the idea of getting rid of all of the excess clothing and the convenience of not having to stress or think too hard about what to wear. I just don't think I could full blown get on the capsule wardrobe bandwagon. I do, however, try to have some basic essential pieces that are neutral and work well together. I will have a separate post discussing in further detail what my favorite wardrobe essentials are.
9. BE PRACTICAL WITH YOUR PURSE GAME
Back in the day before I had three kids, I had a much larger collection of bags. Those were the days when I had the time to switch over my purse when it didn't match my outfit. These days I am lucky if I time to go through and throw out the 500 receipts that are stuffed into that bad boy. Do I still like and appreciate a designer purse? Yes, but only to a certain extent. I have significantly scaled back my purchases of designer bags because I just don't feel the need. My go to bag right now is a cross-body because it allows me to have free hands when trying to keep three children close to me in the middle of a parking lot or load grocery bags and 4 jumbo boxes of Pampers into my minivan. There are several trendy "it" bags out right now, the Chloe ones in particular I like the most, but there are also several dupes out there and I am more than content with rocking a dupe. Which leads me to my next strategy....
10. EMBRACE THE DUPE
There is no shame in my game when it comes to finding a look for less. When I like a certain style, I am always on the hunt to find a good deal to achieve my desired look. I don't think that you need to have a ton of money to have good style. HERE is a post I did on splurge versus save options for spring shoes. I plan on doing more posts like this so if you don't have time to do the research, don't worry sisters I got you covered, xo.
11. NEVER PAY FULL PRICE
I am totally "that" shopper who always has a coupon, or goes back to the store to get the difference if something I purchased went on sale for a lower price within the allowed time frame. Why pay full price if you don't have to? I will also ask the sales associate when I check out if there are any additional coupons in email or online that I could use. I mean we have smart phones now why not utilize the technology and save a few bucks, right? I embarrass the heck out of my poor mother when I am in the check out line rifling through my emails and pulling up coupon codes, but again, no shame in my game. There are some places where I will pay full price like Marshall's and Target, but if it is a store that does have sales and coupons then I never typically pay full retail.
So I know, I know you opened this because you really want to know how much I spend right?!!! I honestly don't know exact numbers because I haven't factored in all of my consignment earnings, but truthfully I am very budget conscious and try to give myself a set number per season that I am able to spend comfortably. Hopefully this post offered some insight into how you can create an affordable and still stylish wardrobe.