We live in a disposable culture of planned obsolescence. Many buy clothes and other items of dubious quality just to keep up with the trends and without thinking about their long-term wear life. But did you know that you are actually just throwing away money when you dress to honor flash-in-the-pan fads?
In order to get more wear for your dollar you need to consider the longevity of your clothing and style choices – this means making simple switches towards classic, simple, designs over time. Here are five tips for maximizing your wardrobe to save money long-term.
Invest in Classics
You can’t go wrong in solid color shirts, shirts and pants. Invest in a few simple blazers as well to layer in the colder months. The simpler your wardrobe, and the milder the colors, the easier it will be to coordinate outfits each evening when prepping for the day ahead. Remember, you can always purchase bold and beautiful accessories to punch up the look with of an outfit without going overboard with those trendy all-over prints.
Mix and match
Make sure that when you are shopping for new pieces they fit with the colors and styles of the other separates you already have in your wardrobe. If you don’t know what you’ll wear it with then you probably shouldn’t purchase it.
As your style evolves and you become more conscious of your clothing choices, you’ll be well on your way to saving money as well. This is accomplished by only buying quality clothes that you actually need, not just strange or silly items that you only want.
Once you have the basic classic clothes in hand, then you can work with accessories that honor the fads and trends to change up the look. There is a reason that all women are advised to have a little black dress and all men should own a black suit, these pieces are timeless and can be dressed up and down in a hundred different ways.
Aim to collect a variety of inexpensive bright, bold and colorful accessories like belts, purses, bangles, scarves, and necklaces. These additions can take your basic outfits to the next level, and help you stay in vogue without going over the top. Your classic tops and bottoms will weather the tests of time, your accessories won’t. But you can easily ditch the accessories before you ever need to replace your clothes, which is a less expensive win in the long run.
When something fits well you are much more likely to wear it, this means that you get more bang for your buck over time. When shopping for new clothes, make sure that the item either fits like a dream or has the potential to be altered by a professional tailor to get the look you need for your unique shape. Not only will tailored clothes look great on, but they will give you an extra confidence boost as well.
Aim for quality, not quantity
There are always going to be clothes available that are made in dank and dreary human-rights abusing sweatshops. Their prices seem like a steal when you see them at the store. But when you purchase these low-quality items they may only last a season, or even less, before they fall apart at the seams and unravel before your eyes. Purchasing these items also supports often deplorable living and working conditions in third-world countries, and should come with an extra dose of guilt.
Instead, aim for quality, well-stitched clothes with impeccable details and high-quality fabrics. They make cost more, but you’ll sleep easier knowing that you are being the change you want to see in the world by supporting the most ethical businesses around. You’ll also save money in the long term when the clothing items are still as good as new 5, 10, or even 20 years from now.
If you don’t’ know what to look for, spend time in a upscale boutique or department store, even if you can’t afford it, to check out the design and construction of quality clothing. Examine the thread count of the fabric, the number of stitches per inch in the seams, the quality of any appliques, and even how well the buttons are sewn on. You’ll soon learn how to recognize quality construction at a glance. Armed with this new knowledge you can then keep an trained eye out for amazing deals in stores that offer more affordable choices.
Creating a wardrobe of sensible classic clothing is not as hard as you may think. It comes down to making small changes every time we shop. It involves sticking to a list of wardrobe staples that we actually need, and not a bunch of low-quality wants. With some simple substitutions that emphasize sustainability, and support ethical business practices, we’ll be boosting our wardrobes knowing that we are contributing to a thriving and beautiful planet for all.