If you want to follow fashion, there are always new
things to be learned, new tips, and new strategies to save money.
As a general rule, I don't follow fashion. I
just like to make it look like I do. I don't want to look like a Goodwill
mannequin. Most people with limited budgets do not spend
lots of money on clothing. There are just too many ways to dress inexpensively.
Garage sales, rummage sales, hand-me-downs, and thrift stores have been around
for years. Now we have eBay, where you can pick up large lots of clothing for
very little money.
When it comes to a frugal wardrobe, less is
always better. I was watching the Home and Garden channel the other day. I
believe it was the show "Dream Builders". You would not believe the size of the
closet the wife of the couple building the house insisted on having. It was
larger than most rooms.
That closet was later shown with all her
clothes in it. As I looked at the racks of suits and blouses, I certainly didn't
feel any kind of envy. Who has time to wear all those clothes? I doubt
most of them were classic pieces of clothing that were even going to last more
than a few years before going out of style..
Most of them are going to end up in Goodwill in a few years. What a waste of
People with lots of clothing have to get
frustrated because they don't have time to wear all of them. Some may
resort to changing her clothes several times a day, so as to be seen in all
their different outfits.I once knew a lady who did that. How
superficial is that? By this time I'm sure she doesn't enjoy looking in the
mirror, no matter what she is wearing. The purpose of our short existence
on this earth is not to develop vanity. What a waste of time, especially as it
makes us neglect the important things.
More clothes mean more laundry, more
maintenance, more accessories, more decisions, and more items that you decide
you don't want to wear. When you have that many clothes, you will not wear them
all. Why should you? You are not going to like them all equally. You will still
reach for your favorite outfits most of the time, and the others will stay on
their hangers until you get rid of them.
Most people wear 20% of their clothing 80% of
the time. Much more enviable is the person who is able to wear 100% of their
clothing 100% of the time. There are no orphan pieces. Everything is used, worn
out, and then discarded.
So how do we achieve this goal? It is not
hard. I have talked before about the black skirt I have in my closet. I've lost
track of how many years I've had it.
It has a classic pleated front, and elastic
in the back. It has gone through many weight fluctuations. It is made from a
year round fabric, and is worn in every season. That black skirt has been paired with
everything from pink sweaters to beige blazers. It has sat on organ benches as I
played at funerals. It's been to weddings. It's even been on vacation. If skirts
This is an illustration of one of the most
important rules for buying clothing- VERSATILITY. The more versatile the
piece, the more you will wear it. Versatility comes from color, style, and
Keep your clothes in classic lines and
neutral colors on the bottom half of your body. Buy those basic black, gray,
brown, or navy pants and skirts that you can wear with so many things. Put the
color on the top half of your body to flatter your face. Blouses and sweaters
wear out quicker, and you can afford to be a little more trendy.
I find this to be true with casual clothes
also. Buy your relaxed knit pants in blacks, grays and browns. You can pair them
with many colors of t-shirts and knit tops. This is one reason jeans are so popular. You
can wear them with everything.
If you have an orphan piece in your closet,
buy something to wear with it that will go with everything else in your closet
when that orphan piece leaves your wardrobe.
Another equally important rule is your
Do not fill your closet up with clothes you only wear occasionally. Let the
balance of your wardrobe be the clothes you wear every day.
This was one of the biggest obstacles I
personally faced with my wardrobe. I am a lot more attracted to beautiful
blouses than flannel shirts. However, I only wear blouses once a week. For the
rest of the week you will find me in comfortable clothing, such as jeans, t-shirts
and fleece tops. When you purchase more of the
clothing you wear during the week, you have feel like your wardrobe is a lot
bigger. Don't waste closet space on items that you do not wear as much.
That brings us to COLOR. Color can be tricky.
Some colors are fairly universal. Most women look good in aqua and pink. Some of
the muted autumn colors are hard to wear; yet when they are fashionable you may
want to buy them. If they don't look good on you, you won't wear them. If you
really want to buy something, even if you are unsure of the color, just remember
to buy it as a separate for the top half of your body. Keep the size tags
on your clothing until you are sure you like it. If, after you remove the
tags you find you just are not wearing your clothing, sell it on ebay while it
is still "like new."
Figure out the colors that look good on you and you feel comfortable wearing,
and stick to them as much as possible. Be careful about going out on a
limb with your clothing color.
Finally, there is the COMFORT factor. Don't buy your clothes because of the
size on the tag. Measurements are not uniform among clothing designers.
Buy clothing that fits on you, and that is comfortable. Wool can be scratchy, turtlenecks can choke you, and buttons that come
undone are an embarrassing nuisance.
Everyone wants to at feel comfortable in his
or her own skin. It's hard to do that if you are self-conscious. Use your
clothing budget wisely. Find your style, know your colors, know what you need,
and remember the versatility of mix-and-match clothing.