We all want to have a wonderful wardrobe of clothing, however shopping can be a costly experience indeed! The key is to plan, plan, plan. To get a real idea of your individual style set aside a few hours to search through magazines. Try cutting out images of your favourite looks and compiling a mood board for yourself. This is what I do with clients. It’s a great reference to help you visualize a dominant look that you’re attracted to.
Now, budgeting is a deal-breaker. This is the part where you throw yourself on the floor wailing, “Life is so unfair” and, “Daddy, I want a Pony!” I’m not going to wrap you up in cotton wool. It’s time to face your spending habits lovelies. Prepare yourself, this can get ugly…
Your annual clothing investment should range anywhere between 3% to 10% of your annual income. If your lifestyle is more formal, aim for 10%. If it’s more casual, then it can be less. Remember, this range includes all clothing, shoes, accessories and outwear, and should be split between cool weather and warm weather. Also, remember that with the cooler weather clothing is usually pricier.
Here’s an example breakdown:
Annual Salary: $70,000
Budget is 5% of salary
$70,000 x 5% = $3,500
$2,000 to the cooler months
$1500 to the warmer months
I know, right… you can spend your total summer budget on just one designer handbag! As you can see, you really do have to get serious about how much of your income you’re willing to spend. If you’re happy to shop now and cry later – then go for it. But for those of you who are looking to dress stylishly on a budget, then this will really help you achieve your fashion and financial goals!
CREATE YOUR BUDGET
Now that you know your total investment, divide the cost up among all the items you need.
Here’s an example list:
2 x Blazers $600
2 x Bottoms $400
2 x Tops $200
2 x Pairs of shoes $300
Shoulder bag $250
Under garments $100
2 x Dresses $300
Total Cost $3500
Remember that what seems a cheap buy at the time is money wasted if it falls apart after a few weeks of wearing… and you have to go out and buy the item again!
For example, it’s better to buy a blazer for $300 that you can wear 200 times as opposed to buying a blazer at $150 that you can only wear 50 times.
Higher quality blazer: $300/200 = cost $1.50 per wear
Lower quality blazer: $150/50 = cost $3.00 per wear
It really pays (pun intended) to spend some time looking at various designers online. Look for silhouettes that suit your body shape. Scroll down to look at the product description; is the piece made of fabrics that are best quality? Also, be sure to look at the size guide to see if the clothing is a ‘true fit’ or if it’s a smaller or larger make. Always have your measurements at the ready.
Much of the time we dislike shopping for clothing because we don’t plan in advance. Doing some preparation beforehand is going to save you shopping time. If you see something you really love, contact the store directly, and ask them to put your size and style on hold.
I strongly advise looking out for local designer pop-up sales. Sydney’s Paddington & Surry Hills often have end of year sales and sample sales aplenty. If you find a designer piece that is one size too big, don’t fret! You can have clothing tailored to fit you. It’s often difficult to find the perfect fit in clothing. If in doubt, always go up a size, especially if it only just fits.
Example from designer sale: Silk trouser and shirt combo $600 (waist needs taking in & pants need taking up).
At 60% off you’re saving = $360
New price = $240
Cost of alterations = $140
Total cost for designer pant & shirt after reduced sale and alterations = $380.
That’s $220 dollars left in your pocket, and you’ve 2 tailored pieces!
Truly you really don’t need loads of clothing in your wardrobe. By planning in advance you save yourself oodles of time, and definitely a few extra dollars! Happy shopping lovelies.
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