How to Maximize Your Clothing Budget

One of the hardest budget categories to keep under control is the clothing budget, especially when you follow fashion bloggers and get daily exclusive one-day only! emails from stores. And looking at Thursday’s poll, it looks I’m not alone.

Because of this great temptation clothes have on me, I have to be really careful on what I purchase. I want to get the most out of my pretty pennies and the best use of my clothes to maximize my budget. So here’s my strategy on what to spend more on, and what to buy cheaper:

clothing budget
Spend more on:

  • Shoes: I cannot tell you how many pairs of cheap shoes I have thrown away because they were either uncomfortable or didn’t last two seasons before breaking. There are some shoes I can buy cheap (i.e., flats), but heels, boots and tennis shoes? It’s worth paying more for these.
  • Basics and Work Attire: Work clothes include khakis, dress pants, pencil skirts, button-up blouses. These clothes don’t go out of style, so invest in quality pieces and they will last much longer. This also applies for nice bootcut jeans.
  • Classic Accessories: Have you ever seen a designer bag or Tiffany’s necklace go out of style?

Spend less on:

  • Some basics: This includes your basic t-shirt, camisole, underwear, socks, etc. I like to buy these items in bulk when they are on sale at Gap, Target or Old Navy. Personally I can’t tell a big difference between expensive white t-shirts and the ones you can find at Target.
  • Trends: Some people may differ with me on this, but I don’t like to spend a lot of money on trends that may go out of style next season. Think colored jeans, rompers, feather hair thingys (never got into that one).
  • Trendy Accessories: Same as above. Bubble necklaces, hats, sunglasses, tote bags, costume jewelry — I don’t like to spend a lot of money on these things and you can normally find them affordable at places like Forever 21, H&M, Etsy or online boutiques.

Do you spend more money on trending items or basics? Do you look for the latest trends or stick with basic and traditional clothes?

This is day 13 of a 31-day series on Financial Freedom. Click here to see the page with all of the posts listed. Thanks for reading!

 

  • Dorothy Clement

    Great advice Ginna, I definitely agree about the spending more on shoes. I’m in the market now for some good shoes because my “cheap” ones have really only lasted a season.

  • I definitely agree with your list! I’m going shopping today so these are great things to keep in mind.

  • Guest

    I agree with you

  • Mary Beth Hamilton

    I agree with you 100%! I’m a stickler when it comes to shopping. I try to keep the amount of money I spend on an item proportional to the amount of time I plan to wear it/keep it around.

  • I try to stick to basics or trends I know I’ve favored forever. I have two major values that I look at when I’m shopping for clothes – what were the labor conditions and does it contain animal parts or by-products. (The third would be environmental impact but the animal part usually addresses that albeit only partially since it takes so much in the way of resources to use animals for food/clothing. Content of synthetics is another issue I also try to look at.)

    I try to either either good labor-, animal-, environmental-impact stuff new or vintage no-animal stuff that’s re-used. So that really lends itself to basics or trends I’m partial to.

  • I totally agree – but do you know of any good shoe brands in the higher price points? It seems like even DSW does me wrong these days as far as “disposable” shoes!

  • Good question! I have always loved Nine West shoes and normally they have good sales at their outlet store, if you have one nearby. Also, I splurge on nice running shoes (Mizzuno or Brooks), and only wear them when I run.

    It’s also important to know what types of shoes you like and don’t like. I think platform shoes, heels more than 3″,and sling-backs are uncomfortable, so it’s never worth buying those, no matter how great the deal may be.

    Hope that helps! :)