Disclaimer: Saving money on clothes might cost you more money at the beginning.
Disclaimer #2: I am not very good at saving money, so you might want to disregard this advice entirely.
Hi friends, here are my suggestions on which articles of clothing/accessories are worth spending a l’il extra on and which are not. I’ve been cleaning out my closet recently, and some rather unfortunate events have been taking place: some of my favorite clothes and accessories are not looking so hot because I bought them too cheaply. Or, items that aren’t my style anymore but would still be trendy enough to be sold at Buffalo Exchange have wears, tears, or holes- thus rendering them unsellable (they are too picky at Buffalo). While I might have been happy at the time of purchase spending little money, in the long run it was a poor choice. So, without further ado, here is my advice for when to spend and when to buy cheaply:
1. Spend More Money on Souvenirs
My favorite types of souvenirs to buy whilst traveling are clothes and jewelry. Instead of buying random trinkets that will only end up collecting dust in your house, why not have items that you actually can put on your body regularly to remind you of your trip? It will also help to lend you that “global bohemian” look if that’s what you’re into. However, don’t do what I have done too many times and buy super cheap clothes abroad. I just had to get rid of a pair of red and gold studded flat sandals from India that were extremely uncomfortable and had a bunch of missing studs, and a huge pair of earrings that has black thread woven through them from Spain are unraveling. I didn’t spend much money on either of those items. On the contrary, a scarf from India that I spent about $20 on (expensive compared to the $4 scarves in all the street markets) is gorgeous, cozy, and has taken me through every single day of fall and winter for the past few years. Additionally, my favorite pair of earrings are from a Navajo market in Arizona. I was nervous to drop $20 on them (being used to less than $10 earrings at Forever 21), but they’re still beautiful and survived being on my garage floor for a couple of days.
Having to get rid of clothes that you like sucks. Having to get rid of clothes from a foreign country that are irreplaceable sucks… a lot.
2. Don’t Spend Money on Super Trendy Items
I once spent $70 on a pair of green, silky, flowy pants from Anthropologie. My girl friends loved them, my guy friends hated them, and I wanted nothing to do with them 6 months later.
3. Splurge on Something You’ll Wear All the Time
Jeans, coats, leather jackets, or basically any item that goes with everything and is a staple in your closet is worth dropping dollars on. Or, try to find the nice brands at secondhand stores ;).
4. Splurge on Shoes
Nothing is worse than uncomfortable shoes, or actually finding a comfortable pair of cheap shoes but then the paint/color/whatever chips off a few months after you buy them… I even think that really trendy heels that you don’t wear often are worth spending more money on; even in the more rare occasion that you find yourself wearing the fun/non-neutral shoe, you’ll be glad that they’re comfortable and not chipping. If you can’t walk in your own shoes, it is noticeable- and you will look less confident.
5. Save on Purses
Okay, this is probably just me, but I have one tan purse that I’ve been using every single day for the past two years. It costed only $40, and it took me through all of Europe. Okay, maybe the long strap broke and some of the stitching is unraveling… but I’m not much of a purse person, and it has multiple pockets, goes with everything (both casual and dressy), and holds all my shit.
Other useful tips:
Wash Your Clothes Properly.
I used to be one of those lazy girls who would just throw all of her laundry together into the same washer and dryer. Yep, I’d wash colors with whites, bras with coats, and towels with dry-clean only dresses. I have now since permanently stained some of my lighter-colored clothes with darker dies, and a lot of my clothes have shrunk. I also stretched out some bras. Nuh-uh, I do not do this anymore. It is a waste of money to buy clothes that you love and then ruin them by not washing and drying them properly.
Buy Clothes That Fit You.
This seems like a no-brainer, but there have been numerous times where I bought clothes that were not my size because I thought that they were cute anyway- and I figured that I would just make it work somehow. It doesn’t work. I just got rid of a really cute top that was too small, because at the time of purchase, I didn’t think that long sleeves that were an inch too short would bother me. They did.
Don’t Feel Like You Need a Ton of Clothes.
It’s better to have fewer items that you love and will last longer than a ton of cheap clothes. No one really cares if you wear the same clothes all the time. (Not to mention the fact that you should be dressing for yourself and not other people- that is, wearing what you like and what makes you comfortable and not using your clothing to impress other people).