How to spend less on fashion without feeling like you are depriving yourself – not just about sales

How to spend less on fashion without feeling like you are depriving yourself – not just about sales

Let’s start with a few principles that I had to embrace in order to get to the point where I could decrease my spending on fashion and style.

Less is Indeed more.

Even with my wardrobe at its largest, at any one time I always gravitated to a core of no more than 12 outfits per occasion.

I kid you not that for work I rotate about 8 out fits for my workplace. Now, as far as I’m concerned each of these outfits is the bomb, but it’s still only 8 outfits!  This also happens for casual events, formal events, etc.

So no matter how much clothing I had, I was never inspired to wear all of it routinely. I just stuck to my favourites.

Realising that less is more – taught me about my personal style and what not to buy

For work, my personal style has evolved into a love for work dresses with small details that stand out.  For example, a structured black dress with an exposed zip in the back, a high waist turquoise dress with a satin covered waist line, and so on and so forth.

Because I could definitively see what I liked, I stopped buying too much of other types of clothing that I would never wear, like pants.  I can probably count the number of times I’ve worn pants to work on one hand. In general, I keep a very limited amount of separates like skirts and shirts, that have to be absolutely stand out for me to purchase them.

The Trash one Replace one rule

I try not to buy any new clothing until I have trashed the same amount of clothing.  It keeps my clothing collection in check, and within a manageable number.

It also helps remind me that I have more than enough, so there is no need to spend on clothing that I might never wear!

I make a wish list.

I’m a chronic list maker. Keeping lists of my fashion wants keeps me from succumbing to impulse shopping by keeping me focused.

It also gives me time to think about whether I really need new clothing. More often than not the answer is no and I get to keep my money in my pocket.

I shop used and I swap

I know wearing used clothing isn’t high on the list of things to do for everyone. However I’ve gotten to try new styles of clothing that I might have otherwise never spent money or would have wasted too much money on through swapping with similarly sized friends.

At some point or the other most of us are ready to give our wardrobe a purge. Why not link up with friends, and trade clothing. Just like shopping, each swap won’t be successful, but unlike shopping, swapping is free!

I do it a little less often these days because I’m trying to downsize at the moment, but swaps are definitely at the top of my list of things to do when looking for clothing and keeping my money in my pocket.

Cost per wear

There is one area in which I’m not likely to go the cheaper route when it comes to cost of clothing. If the item is going to be one where I can calculate the cost per wear as less than one dollar, I will prepare myself to spend a little more.

A good example is my work clothing and shoes. I own work shoes on the higher priced side of what I would consider spending on any piece of clothing and this is because I need them to be comfortable, and to last a significant amount of time.  So because I wear these shoes approximately 47 weeks in the year 5 days a week, I definitely am willing to spend a little more on them. The upside to this is that when I calculate how much they ‘owe’ me over the 2-3 year span that they last, it generally works out to cents.  In comparison cheaper priced, more poorly made shoes would need to be replaced much sooner and equate to a much higher spend.

In general I’m trying to move toward towards a more minimalist life in every aspect and luckily that fits in to more conservative money management practices.  I know this seems as if it would be counter intuitive for a fashion and beauty blogger, but believe me, it has served me well in recent times.Kim Roberts

What are your tips on how to keep your fashion spend in check?

Kim Roberts is an accounting professional, currently in the field of international development finance. She is a
makeup lover, ACCA qualified and committed to all things Caribbean especially Soca music. You can find out more about her love of makeup at where combines her love of makeup with a need to write opinion based pieces.

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