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 Budgeting in the Fashion World

By: Erin Foley

HottyToddy Fashion Contributor

Many people have “budget more” on their 2022 resolutions, including me. And what’s my biggest weakness when it comes to wanting to spend? You guessed it: clothes. But I normally don’t spend an absurd amount on clothes because of my fundamentals of shopping. I stay on my budget because I never, ever, impulse-buy clothing.

Let me tell you how you can do that as well.

First, my personal rule of shopping for anything—but specifically expensive clothing—is to divide the price by how many times you will realistically wear it. For example, you want this high-end, great quality sweater, but it’s $100. Well, follow these steps to see if it’s really worth it:

–   Take a look in your closet and try to make as many outfits with the sweater as you can. If you can make only five outfits, each wear of this sweater will be about $20 if you wear each outfit only once, if you love to repeat outfits as I do, then the price-per-wear drops.

–   If you have trouble visualizing outfits, then try thinking of places you can wear the sweater. Is it a unique sweater that should be worn only for major holidays? Or is it a casual or maybe basic sweater that can be worn to work or school? Divide the price by all the places you can wear it, then assess whether that price-per-wear is in your budget.

–   If neither method helps you decide, or if it is a statement piece that you can wear only a couple of times, sleep on it. Sometimes the best thing to do is just walk away, and if you are still thinking about it a couple weeks later, then it is probably worth it.

Moving past the price-per-wear rule, let’s talk about quality over quantity. If you have 10 high-quality pieces, you are going to be able to make way more outfits than 20 low-quality pieces. Lower quality clothing should be left for the trendy items that you won’t wear in five years.

When it comes to closet essentials, it is better to have high-quality clothes since they will last you much longer. I spend more on the timeless pieces in my closet, and as I get older, I have begun to acquire things I could wear in the workplace, too.

Finally, find your personal style on a budget. I’ve got four words for you: thrifting and color palettes. You have got to check out your local thrift store. Even if you are not comfortable with buying used clothes, just looking around can tell you a lot about your personal style. Thrift stores have tons of random styles, and just looking through the clothes can help you decipher what colors and styles you like.

Also, thrift stores are much less expensive than regular stores and will easily fit in your budget. If I ever feel the urge to by on impulse, I always go to a thrift shop. That way, even if I do impulse buy, it normally is never over $15 per piece of clothing, which my bank account thanks.

Next, make a color palette on Pinterest! Look at your closet right now and figure out which colors you wear the most. Think about the colors that flatter your skin tone, body, hair, eyes and other features the most.

Then, when you’re shopping for basics, buy clothes that coincide with your color palette. You also won’t spend so much money on clothes when you need only a few colors to build your style.

Budgeting is tricky, especially when you want to have good style, but don’t be intimidated by the prices of the fashion world. You can always find coupons, tricks, second-hand stores, renting options and more to help you.

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
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