Whether you love clothes shopping or not, at some point spending your money on new clothing is necessary. Buying clothes can be a huge investment, especially when you’re in need of a completely new wardrobe. But you can lessen the impact on your wallet by planning ahead. Building a clothing budget is a smart move, especially if you are moving into a new job or stage of life.
That said, burning through your wallet just to look nice and feel confident isn’t a good idea. You’ll want to select your new pieces thoughtfully so you can get the most bang for your buck. You also don’t want to splurge on unnecessary items just to find them unworn in the back of your dresser later. Fortunately, we’re here to help! Keep reading for four tips on how to afford a new wardrobe.
1. Save Without Thinking About It
What if we told you saving could happen whenever you swiped your card. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, having a debit card with a round-up saving feature is a stress-free, easy way to build your savings. You can use this extra money to restock your wardrobe. It’s like the adult version of saving your pennies from your piggy bank and using them to go shopping!
Another way to save money without the hassle is automatically transferring money from your paycheck each month to a reserved account. At the end of the month, you can use this money to spend on wardrobe items. Start with a realistic amount such as $50 or $100. This way, you’ll have plenty left in your account for necessities such as rent, insurance, and groceries. Pretty soon, you’ll likely be able to increase the amount to get that leather jacket you’ve been eyeing for a while.
2. Take Inventory and Clean Out
Before buying anything new, it’s a good idea to see what you already own. Taking inventory will allow you to see what items are missing from your current closest. You can then focus on saving up for these items first. You’ll likely also come across items you no longer wear or need as well as duplicates such as multiple black leggings. Spend a full afternoon going through all of your items and displaying them to see what’s in your wardrobe.
For anything that you no longer want, see if it’s worth donating or selling. There are multiple online sites where you can easily sell your items or exchange them for a gift card. If your items are in a good condition, chances are someone else needs what you’re looking to discard. Additionally, reselling is as great for the environment as it is for your wallet. Use the funds you earn on your clothes to buy new pieces, or gently used items from others looking to clean their closets!
3. Prioritize Your Wardrobe Needs
Now that you know exactly what’s in your closet, it’s important to prioritize what you actually need now and what can wait. Let’s say you’ve just moved from sunny Los Angeles to snowy New York City. Buying new swimsuits and tank tops shouldn’t be as high on your wardrobe list as a waterproof down jacket. Prioritization will help you seek out promotions, sales, and discounts for your must-have-now items and concentrate on finding those pieces first.
Creating a prioritization list can also help you build a thoughtful wardrobe. You’ll never buy another additional pair of black leggings because you’re unsure if you like the one you currently own. Of course, your list may change as the seasons change or as different events or priorities come up. If you’re invited to a wedding, for instance, you may need to add a cocktail dress to your list. Be flexible, but also be smart about what you really need now and what can wait a bit.
4. Focus on Quality Over Quantity
One of the key secrets to a great wardrobe is quality, not necessarily quantity. Filling your closet with “fast fashion” items that were cheap to make and buy will only bring you back to where you started. In a few years, you’ll find the items didn’t last. You’ll likely need to donate them because they are in such bad shape. To create a new wardrobe, think about the quality of the item before adding it to your cart.
High quality doesn’t always mean expensive, however. There are plenty of online and in-store retailers that offer steep discounts on name-brand items. Signing up for retailers’ newsletter lists can help you save even more and be the first to learn about sales. Moreover, doing some research online and checking out local high-end thrift stores could also benefit your wallet. At the end of the day, it’s better to have a few nicer pieces than a lot of cheaply made ones
Building a new wardrobe can — and should — be exciting. Feeling your best can mean adding new pieces to your ensemble and changing up what you typically wear. And best of all, affording a new wardrobe doesn’t need to be rocket science! Saving money and spending wisely on high-quality items is key to coming out feeling great about your decisions.