Every single personal finance resource I’ve come across has treated clothing as just another number in the budget. Did you know that “most financial experts say around 5% of your budget should be spent on clothing”? 😳 But why?
Money is a thing but it is not everything.
If you already have more clothes than you wear then buying more clothes may not be the best decision, especially if it comes at the cost of your other financial goals (see what I did there 😉).
On the opposite end of the spectrum, wearing clothes that are falling apart in order to save money is not a sustainable solution either.
So how does one find balance?
Start with the end goal in mind.
💭 My objective is to wear my favourite clothes all the time
If I can wear my favourite clothes all the time, it becomes easier to say no to new wardrobe additions I don’t really need. And if I identify I gap I want to fill, I can plan my finances accordingly.
The solution that works for me is to keep a minimal closet. This means being able to wear everything I own on a regular basis (weather and occasion permitting).
Here’s are some resources to get you started:
- If you like following rules, check out Project 333 (wear 33 items of clothing for 3 months) or the 10×10 challenge (wear 10 items of clothing for 10 outfits, over a 10 day period).
- If you like to go with the vibe, try Marie Kondo’s spark joy test. Or perhaps a core + seasonal capsule like Use Less, or a year round capsule wardrobe a la Jessica Rose Williams.
From all of this I’ve distilled 3 simple guidelines that help me make better decisions –
1. Quality over quantity
How many items do you really need? Probably less than you think! For example, 10 tops x 10 bottoms = 100 different outfits. If each outfit is repeated 4 times then you have the year covered (of course subject to weather and occasion requirements).
2. When will you wear it?
Work or play? Perhaps for both? Buy for what you need.
It’s ok to repeat outfits (and even post them on Insta) #capsulewardrobe #outfitrepeater 😏 I can also guarantee no one at work will notice if you wear the same outfit multiple times in a week (tried and tested!).
3. Browse more, buy less
Experiment. Discover what you like. Find your favourite brands. Develop your personal style and realise that makes it much easier to shop.