I often have friends, even colleagues, watching my pockets with comments such as “You must spend a fortune on clothes”, or my personal favorite, “Seriously though, how much do you spend on clothes? I never see you wearing the same thing twice”!
I used to have a lot of clothes, not because of senseless spending, but as a result of careful planning and execution. In this blog post I am going to share my guiding principles:
Set Aside A Seasonal Wardrobe Budget:
Hard to believe, I know, but I am not made of money nor do I have a million dollar budget. I have a realistic amount that I set aside for me to spend each month, really breaking it down to make sure that every cent is accounted for. The truth is, sometimes I forgo an expensive outing for that special dress. Compromise, compromise, compromise!
Focus On Your Work Wardrobe:
Let me tell you this – I did not obtain a university degree and postgraduate studies just for the fun of it! I am serious about my career, so my clothes need to reflect that. Remember – your clothes speak before you do. For this reason, the clothes I purchase or invest in have to be an 85% fit for my professional life and stunt double in my social life.
Invest In Key Pieces:
When I first started earning my own cash, I used to just buy on-trend items, you know, disposable fashion. These days, I make a conscious decision to invest in key pieces. Think quality, not quantity. I have been building a collection of key pieces which include leather jackets, suits, designer bags, belts and shoes – you know, the main attractions! They may cost a little more now, but they will have longevity in my wardrobe. Family heirlooms.
Avoid Paying Full Price
I rarely buy things at full price – my African heritage will not allow me to. I tend to stalk items obsessively, waiting for the price to be just right. Say it with me – SALE PRICE! If you get impatient and the sale is nowhere in sight, nothing stops you from asking for a discount at the counter. No shame in my shopping game. From my own personal experience, nine times out of ten they will offer a small percentage discount. You just have to speak up. Besides, what is the worst that could happen? They just stay no and you move on.
Style, Style and Restyle:
This the fun and challenging part of having style. Your style is not what you wear, it is how you wear it. So look for different ways to wear the same thing. You don’t always have to buy something new, you can accept the creative challenge and create something new with what you already have in your wardrobe. I guarantee you will surprise yourself.