Recently J. Money at Budgets Are Sexy asked, "How Much Have You Spent on Clothing This Year?" When I saw his post, I popped over to Mint to try and figure it out - the answer was $191.39. Some of that came from thrift store shopping, some came from daily lingerie. (All the gals out there can probably attest to how ridiculously expensive women's undergarments are.) The only new piece of clothing I bought, other than the undergarments, was a sweatshirt I bought for $29.00. It was a custom design that was put together for the big non-profit project I worked on back in March.
Last week, I splurged and bought three new shirts. Each was $14.00. They were exactly the kind of thing I love for fall - roomy enough so I could wear a turtleneck underneath but dressy enough I can wear them to work. They also don't require ironing, which is a definite plus. I bought the same style in pumpkin, dark chocolate and a mossy green. I hadn't been planning on buying any new clothes, but I have a Misc. Fund designed for this kind of purchase, so I had the money set aside.
When the clothes come home though, I have rules about how to handle them...
Back when I shopped a lot I instituted a "one in, one out" rule. Even though I am now doing most of my shopping at the thrifts, I still find that is a good system. It works with gift clothing I receive as well. My system goes like this - one large item for one large item. In other words, I can get a pair of pants and give up a shirt or a skirt - it doesn't have to be like item to like item, but on the other hand I can't get a pair of pants and get rid of a necklace. Pretty much if it is something that has to go on a hanger, I get rid of something on a hanger.
I carry that through to other things too - shoes can be swapped for boots, necklaces for earrings. As long as the items are about the same size in the closet or jewelry box, it is fair trade. Everything gets either donated or placed in the garage sale box for next year's sale. The system has worked pretty well for me for a number of years.
How about you? Do you have any rules for clothing shopping? How much do you think you've spent this year? Do you have a clothing budget?
Photo by: wiccked