I believe that we’re going to see a marked uptick in clothing costs in the next couple of years – so how do you keep your budget from exploding?
Make a plan.
Spend money intelligently.
Spend time intelligently.
Expand your hunt.
Make a Plan: This is where your wardrobe plan comes in. Best done after a good session of introspection and personal analysis and a closet cleanse, you sit down with pencil and paper and figure out what you need to buy. We’ve covered this recently (Link Link Link)… if you’d like professional assistance, give me a buzz.
Spend Money Intelligently: Priority spends should be your basics and signature pieces. The rest of your clothing should fit properly, be made of decent fabric that drapes well, and not scream “cheap”. Mixing high and low priced garments is all the rage, and has been since Sharon Stone wore Gap to the Oscars. The key to this technique is that you should not be able to *tell* that the lower-priced item is inexpensive. Blog coming soon on this issue…
Spend Time Intelligently: Spend your time searching out your signature pieces. These are the items that shout to the world who you are. This can be an impeccably tailored blazer, a suede vest, a piece of statement jewelry… what matters is that it’s visible to the casual glance and that it suits you to a T. You could learn to sew – not a speedy skill to acquire, but once you have knowledge, no one can take it from you. Sewing increases your number of options.
Expand Your Hunt: The mall is not the only place to find clothing. You can shop online, which includes Etsy and numerous specialty shops. You can shop in consignment stores (always go to the most expensive neighborhood in your area). You can shop the off-season at places like Nordstrom Rack and Saks Off Fifth (these also have an online presence). You can shop at various fairs – gem fairs, the county fair, street fairs, etc.
I know I’m trying to get you to do two things at once – first, get your thinking back in the box of “make a plan, budget, keep your goals in mind” and simultaneously “shop out of the box”. That’s okay. With everything else in life, the effort you put in will be reflected in the quality of the product you reap.