Sep 142009
 

Going back to this previous post, in which I dealt with a dangling question regarding semi-annual shopping & budgeting, the further question of how to “wrap your spending plan around all the items you need” remains unanswered.

Some thoughts:

If you are going to have to have a new winter coat this year, I would definitely take that money and set it aside. The best sales and selection are available in October.

One final thought: you could just budget the same amount for each piece. That would work for me, since I buy most of my stuff thrift. But realistically, if you are shopping in a real store, with real money, that method won’t work too well.

Consider that jackets are often double the cost of pants or skirts, and basic tops can be very inexpensive. If you split the money evenly between those three categories, you could potentially buy one jacket, a pant and a skirt, and maybe 5 tops.

Yes, I think I like it.

  8 Responses to “Fall Wardrobe Planning Begins With a Budget”

  1. The best thing about this post – great advice aside – is that it links to many of your previous posts. I just turned one of my friends on to your blog and now she won’t have to go searching through the archives to find some of your gems!

    xoxo

  2. A budget? ACH! I know I can alway trust you to bring me back to reality when it comes to shopping. Thanks Rebecca!

    Julie

  3. Thank you both for your nice comments.

    Today I started up a little “basics” section in my sidebar, the idea being when I really explain what I consider to be one of the basic concepts well that it will be right there.

    Nominations?

  4. Wow, I love this. And I thought I was anal about shopping habits. (Anyone need petite clothing measurements?) While I don’t think the detail you get down to with your cost per wear calculation is actually necessary, it’d definitely helpful to bring it up in your mind when you’re considering an impulse buy. Usually, you wind up not buying because you realize you don’t really need it, or that you’ll wear it like, 3 times in your life.

    A lot of the cost of my clothes are due to alterations, since I’m so small. And I sometimes wonder if they’re worth the cost and hassle. There’s no easy way to determine how much of a psychological difference wearing a slightly baggier vs. a well fitting pair of pants makes on other people or yourself.

  5. Amy, I’ve been wondering lately if I should be a little less tight-fisted when it comes to the thought of alterations. I can do what I do primarily because I have a 31″ inseam, etc.

    But I do understand some of what it is to need a special size because of shopping for my husband who’s 6’3″.

    This shirt I have listed on eBay ends today and has no bids. It is REALLY nice, I just tried it on but it really is too small.

    (You can teach me about measurements) shoulder seam to shoulder seam: 13 3/4″.

  6. I categorize my purchases into
    1. staple, must replace; this is 80% of my wardrobe and budget. (“Replace” does not mean with an identical item.) (If pants are perfect I always buy 2 pairs at once.)
    2. over the moon in love with it- 20%: the accessories including shoes that I don’t exactly need but make the 80% in category #1 sing.

    “Does not exist in my wardrobe” is a nonexistent category- LOL

    Then I stop by my fave consignment store to see if she’s got anything. Then I scout boutiques and note when their sales happen. So I can end up spending more on a sweater than a coat.
    It’s part logic, part iintuition, and part luck.

  7. We’re moving in two weeks, and packing has been a great opportunity to take note of what needs replacing. I thought it’d be a great time to set up my budget. But I’m totally stumped outside of the basics

    I don’t think it’s about not wanting to spend money – which would be understandable since we’re about to shell out loads of cash with the new house. I think I’m having a bit of an identity crisis. Didn’t crop up over the summer, when everything I wore was about being comfortable in action in heat & humidity. Now I’m just not sure.

    Do I just replace the couple of tops and pair of slacks on the needs list, and shelve planning the updates for a bit? And how long should “a bit” be, before becoming “stuck in a rut”?

  8. Duchesse – I like your 80/20 plan! I need to come up with a plan to keep things more interesting. It might help Joy too.

    Joy – Congratulations on the new house! I think I can kinda relate to what you’re talking about: everything’s going along fine and then the change of seasons brings a great big mental blank, or some such thing. Anyway, I’ve been thinking about your questions and had a few thoughts. It’s a good time to keep your wardrobe small. That way, when it suddenly becomes obvious what you want to do with it, you can feel comfortable going out and getting what you need. So replace your needs.

    Opinions probably vary over how long you can shelve updates before you become stuck in a rut. I suspect you won’t ever get to that point, you’ll find something fun that inspires you and off you’ll go. Moving is a great excuse to put that off a little. Perhaps you can put it off until the next big clearance season, although there’s always the chance you won’t find what you need on clearance. But when that happens, you know you can get by a little bit longer and then shop at the beginning of the next season. Because I keep a small wardrobe and like to update it alot, I wouldn’t sit out more than a single season, but I think 5 years or so is probably the true definition of “stuck in a rut”.

    Hope that helps!

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