As a fashion and personal style blogger, it may seem like I have a constant supply of new items in my wardrobe, but on the contrary, I actually don’t buy into every new trend or own a lot luxury items. Sure, I definitely am aware of the current trends and even make some fast-fashion or statement piece purchases every once in a while, but I try my best to curate a wardrobe that I truly love and will be able to use to style a variety of different outfits without constantly adding to it.
If you’re also interested in building a more sustainable and practical wardrobe that’s still stylish, read on to see the five ways I curate a selection of items that I really love without breaking the bank!
1. Set a Realistic Budget
First and foremost, setting a realistic budget of how much you want to spend per month on clothing is very important! While we all wish we had an endless supply of money, most of us do have a limited income, and much of our earnings are used to pay for everyday necessities and living expenses.
Being realistic about how much you’re making per month, how much you need to save, and how much you need to set aside for the absolute necessities helps you understand just how much you can really spend.
Though I’m not an expert on financial planning (actually, the thought of numbers puts me to sleep), but I can confidently say that it doesn’t take an Excel spreadsheet or an MBA to determine how much you should actually be spending on clothes and other “fun” things in your life (because, let’s be real, spending anything more than 10% of your earnings per month on your wardrobe is a bit ridiculous and impractical).
2. Implement “Cost per Wear”
A useful way to really control your spending when buying clothes is to think about the “cost per wear” for each item.
“Cost per wear” is a method I came up with – take the price of an item and divide it by how many times you expect to wear it, and that’s the actual “cost” of each wear. And believe it or not, this method always works!
If you know me, then you know your girl is a huge fan of dreamy dresses, especially pretty, lacy, bohemian dresses from For Love and Lemons or Kimchi Blue, but I always stop myself from buying a $100+ dress that I’d only realistically wear once or twice for photos.
Anytime you feel the urge to buy an item, think for a moment before taking the plunge and really evaluate just how many times you’re going to wear or use it. With this “cost per wear” in mind, it’ll really help you get an understanding of how much you’re spending for each item, and if it’s really worth it.
3. Invest in Classics and Basics
After we have our budget and spending habits down, we can finally move on to the actually “shopping” part, and though this is my absolute favorite, I always make sure to go into it with the right mindset, and that’s the mindset to my wardrobe is an “investment.”
While I’m definitely eyeing all of the super sophisticated belt bags and flashy neon bikinis that are gracing the racks of so many retailers, I do also know that these trends won’t last. How many times have we seen neon come and go throughout the last five years in fashion? And despite how cute the belt bags look, other than the fashion conscious, how long do you think this “trend” will last before it becomes a fad that we all look back with a little cringe?
My point is that when you think of your wardrobe, you should be thinking this – if I look back at a photo of myself in this outfit ten years from now, will I shudder at what I’m wearing? More often than not, you’re probably nodding yes.
This is why I like to spend more of money investing in quality classics and timeless basics. Some of my favorite items to spend money on are timeless blouses and button-downs, fitted jeans, statement coats, quality leather handbags, and of course, chic shoes.
When you think of your wardrobe, you can implement a construction analogy. Think of your wardrobe as a house, and in order to decorate it with the furniture and art that you want, you need to build a first foundation first. Without this solid base, there isn’t really anything that you can decorate, right? Think of wardrobe like this – if you can’t even get the basics and classics down in order to look chic and sophisticated everyday, how can you expect to elevate your current ensembles with some of the hottest trend pieces?
4. Evaluate What You Currently Own and Don’t Want Anymore
I’m totally guilty of holding on to items that I think I “might wear one day,” but let’s be real, what really happens is we push these pieces to the back of our closets only to find them at the end of the season again when we’re getting ready to store things away.
This year, as we change seasons and I clean out my wardrobe, I’m definitely going to be taking a look at what items I’ve consistently ignored for the last year or so, in order to evaluate what I still like and will wear, and of course, what I no longer want and need to get rid of.
This also helps you get a better understanding of what kinds of styles are no longer serving you and your wardrobe. For instance, if you catch yourself throwing out a lot of “trend” pieces, while still keeping your basics, this is a clear indicator that your spending and shopping habits need to change for the better.
5. Donate or Sell Older Pieces
And of course, after the closet “purge,” it’s best to practice a sense of sustainability; rather than just throwing things away, think about donating some of your items that are in good condition to those that are in need. And if you have any items that are almost like new, don’t hesitate to sell them on platforms like Poshmark.
Abercrombie & Fitch Lace Trimmed Satin Camisole in Blush
Shein Pleated Full-Length Skirt in Pink
Anya Hindmarch Smiley Face Crossbody
It’s definitely been a while since I’ve written one of these kinds of articles, since I’ve been mainly focused on styling different trends in my recent outfit posts, but this was definitely so fun to write!
If you all liked this kind of personal stying / lifestyle post, let me know so I can write more articles like this for you in the future! Would you also be interested if I wrote about my favorite timeless classics to invest in? If so, drop me a like and comment, and I’ll be sure to come back with a post on that topic in the coming weeks!