Monday, June 1, 2009

The Fighting Foreclosure Closet

I've got a number of posts brewing about my monthly goals and budgets, both of which have been a touch tough lately, but I thought I would start out the week with something positive. I wrote about a month ago about trying to find a frugal way to increase my wardrobe for spring. I wanted to write that my efforts have been successful!

As I mentioned in the other post, there wasn't a lot of extra money in the Fighting Foreclosure budget for clothing for spring and summer, but I was having a hard time figuring out what to wear. One of the ways I have fought this problem in the past is by totally cleaning out my closet and then hanging clothing together in outfits. Well, I haven't had time in the last month to do that much work on my closet, but I did find a way to make things work...

The first thing I did was move all the warm sweaters up to the high shelves and get out some of spring and summer clothing I had packed away last fall. Then using a combination of those and other all-season items, I put together 4 work outfits that were all appropriate for spring. Four outfits equals one work week for me, since Fridays are a casual jean day. From then on, my plan was simple - each night when I was getting ready for bed I would put together another outfit or two and add them to the end of the closet rod. I did the same thing when I was putting laundry away - I would hang some items in their regular places, but take others and create outfits and add them to the line up. Within short order I had over 16 outfits (which is one month of clothing) lined up and ready to go. By continuing to do this each evening, I always know I have plenty of clothing for work. Here are the advantages I have found in pre-planning my outfits:

1. I don't have any urge to shop. When spring first hit in early May I so sick of what was in my closet I was ready to go on a shopping frenzy. Instead, by having several weeks worth of clothing at the ready I don't feel the need to shop.

2. I come up with new outfits. When I am tired in the morning, I have a tendency to just grab whatever is comfy, clean and relatively wrinkle free. It tends to be the same old standbys, in the same old combinations, over and over and over. This way I am wearing different things and trying a favorite pair of slacks with a blouse I don't usually wear, for example, and coming up with some great "new looks" with clothing I already own.

3. More time in the morning. I can pretty much "grab and go" in the morning without having to think about what to wear. All I have to chose is shoes and jewelry.

4. Less wear on my clothes. With my old habit of wearing the same things over and over, I'm putting all the wear on a few items while others sit, practically unworn. Now instead of wearing a favorite skirt once a week, I might be wearing it once every 3 weeks - and other lesser worn items are getting used.

5. I like the way I look. Even the old standards get boring and dull after awhile. New clothes - even if it is just rearranging things I already have, makes me feel good about how I look.

6. It soothes several little stresses. Not having money to buy clothing is stressful. Wanting to look professional, but not feeling good about your appearance is stressful. Not having enough time in the morning is stressful. Okay, none of these are big worries, but I am solving them in an easy way and making my life just a little bit less hectic - and besides, it is fun! I love fashion - when I have time for it. I am in a much better frame of mind for being creative in the evening before going to bed than I am in the morning.

I am glad I was able to come up with a solution, because getting nine hundred next month is going to be hard work!

Photo by: ooh_food


Frugalchick said...

I'm glad you found a creative solution that is working for you. Though I have plenty of winter clothes (sweater dresses, cardigans etc), a lot of my summer clothes no longer fit. Rather than going on that shopping frenzy you mentioned, I really need to focus on thrifting some mix-and-match separates and being more creative with what I do have.

RML said...

Your wardrobe makeover was very inspiring! Thanks for sharing the details of how you did it.

Dawn said...

Frugalchick - not all of mine are fitting either, which is a bit sad. Still, I think I will be able to make it through the summer. I love my separates - that is a key point to making this all work!

RML - Glad I could help! Thank you for the kind words!

Simplelivin' said...

Thanks for sharing! It does seem so much easier just to go out and buy something new, but you had some really good suggestion on getting out of the wardrobe slump :-) Thanks!

P.S. Is that pic from Real Simple? I think I just saw it the other day!

Dawn said...

Simpleliving - I'm happy to say it really has been working for me. Also, because I set things out so far in advance, when I pull out an outfit it is kind of a surprise. Like today, I grabbed what I had lined up and thought, "Wow, I don't remember putting this together... it looks sharp." Much better option on my budget than buying all new duds.

The photo came from flicker, but they had gotten it from a magazine I think. You might have just seen it!

Kristy @ Master Your Card said...

I think I may be the only person on the planet that has one wardrobe! LOL. I don't differentiate my clothes by season as I wear the same things all year round. Of course, the weather in Texas makes that a little more possible then in some other states. At worst, I wear a jacket. I think I own maybe two or three long-sleeved outfits. But, I do mix and match and try to find different ways to wear the same things. Accessories are a big help in that area.

But, I'm really glad you found an option that works for you! I know it's tough when you feel like you need new clothes. The psychological aspect has a pretty strong sway with us ladies...we just feel better about ourselves in a good outfit.

I also like that you prepare your outfits. I don't have enough pants to do that with (I don't wear skirts), or I might consider it. But, I'm also apt to change my mind in the morning anyway, so I don't bother.

Nice job for you, though!