Go to your wardrobe right now and count how many clothes you have. Now try to recall when was the last time you wore each one of them. Odds are you haven’t worn at least half of them in a very long time. A study conducted in 20 countries discovered that people ignore 50 percent of their wardrobe.
However, the solution isn’t to chuck out these poor ignored clothing items. The average consumer already throws away approximately 70 pounds of clothes each year, and not all of these items were too ruined to use. Instead of putting that t-shirt you got after watching “The Book of Mormon” or the one sequined jacket you bought for an ’80s themed party, there are plenty of ways you can streamline your wardrobe while keeping it elegant and inexpensive.
Here are some tips to make your wardrobe less wasteful, more affordable and twice as stylish.
- Buy High Quality
Clothing has become more and more affordable. Just 200 years ago the cost for a single piece of high-quality clothing would have been astronomical. But the development of fast fashion companies has made clothing more affordable. While this is good in some areas, it generates a lot of waste and the clothes usually don’t last very long. Rather than buy many clothes that hardly last a year, why not buy slightly more expensive high-quality items? The items in a women’s boutique clothing store may be more expensive. But you won’t have to keep buying them, and so they cost less in the long run.;
- Go Thrifting
So much clothing is thrown away but there are also tons of dresses, shoes, pants and shirts that end up in thrift stores across the country instead. If you’re looking for good clothing that are significantly marked down but are still in great condition, thrift stores have enormous selections. Exploring them can lead to discovering impressive formal wear, crazy casual clothing and sturdy footwear, all for drastically below their market price. You should also donate an old clothing you no longer wear to thrift stores to keep them operational and avoid clogging landfills.
- Sew Your Own Clothes
This isn’t as hard as you believe it to be. There are plenty of people online who offer tutorials on how you can sew your own clothes from old dresses or even unconventional material. For example, popular YouTuber Micarah Tewers frequently creates astonishing replicas of red carpet clothing for a fraction of their costs. You can take online classes, watch tutorial videos and practice on your own to improve your sewing skills. Naturally, you will need to invest in equipment such as an electric sewing machine and fabrics, but the pay off for learning this skill can be phenomenal.
- Limit Your Spending
Accurately identifying how much money you should spend on clothing can be difficult. It depends on how much wear and tear your clothes experience, whether the state of your clothing will affect your livelihood and what your budget is. A good rule of thumb developed by a financial planner recommends that you spend only 5 percent of your monthly salary on clothes. This spending limit encourages you to think twice before splurging on unnecessary outfits and forces you to save up if you want to go on a shopping spree.
- Spruce Up Old Clothes
Old clothing can go back in style if you wait long enough. However, they may be a little worse for wear after years in storage. But that doesn’t mean you have to throw them into the garbage. Learn how to spruce up old clothes on your own, and they can enjoy a second life in your rotation. For example, you can sew on patches on old jackets or shirts, cut new clothes from large skirts or alter the hemline or collar of old tops. This means you don’t pollute the environment and you don’t have to hit the stores for something retro.
- Follow Your Own Trends
Trend chasing can be one of the most expensive factors to your wardrobe. If you chase every trend under the sun and want to emulate every glossy magazine cover you see, that’s on you. But if you want to save up a lot of money, have more closet space and waste less money, you can forget chasing trends and simply wear whatever you feel like wearing. This may seem too simplistic for advice, but once you unshackle yourself from trend chasing, you’ll see just how much money you can save.
Being fashionable doesn’t mean you have to spend so much money on your wardrobe every month. These tips will help you keep your clothing racks fresh without risking a single cent.