When it comes to overspending on clothes, we are all guilty of doing this from time to time. But what if we could all take some actionable steps to avoid doing this altogether.
There are SO many stores and online shopping sites that we are constantly bombarded with every single day, and we are always being sold to without even knowing it.
This can often lead us to overwhelm and being subjected to their marketing scheme to lure us in and purchase items we don’t necessary need. (Have you ever read the book “Confessions of a Shopaholic”? Well, if you haven’t and you’re an avid shopper, be sure to pick this one up for your next “silly” read. It’s actually quite entertaining. ;) )
So in order to save us some money and time, we’ve put together our top five steps you can take BEFORE you go shopping. Hopefully, this will help you to become a little smarter, and more mindful of your shopping habits.
Consider them the five golden rules before pulling out your wallet if you will.
Read on, and take notes because these are gonna be helpful (we promise).
STEP #1 DECIDE ON WHAT TO BUY BEFORE GOING TO THE STORE
This first rule is key to make sure you’re not overspending. What you should be doing on a regular basis is keeping track of what you actually need to buy in your iPhone. Whether you use the Notes App or Evernote, just make sure to take some notes when you happen to find yourself feeling antsy to shop.
For example, say it happens to be one of those days where the weather is completely all over the place. You realize then and there that you really could use an extra layer of clothing so that you would be more prepared for the day weather wise. Maybe it’s a light cashmere sweater or even a simple cotton hoodie for a more casual look. Whatever that particular article of clothing is, just make a note in your phone! That way you will always have this information handy when you’re in the mood to shop.
The primary goal here is to start getting yourself into training yourself to buy only things that you need not want.
Which leads us to…
STEP #2: ALWAYS BUY WHAT YOU NEED, NOT WHAT YOU WANT
Chances are if you’re constantly buying things that you want, and don’t actually need, you’re probably not going to get as much wear out of the garment as you want.
This is because often times when we purchase things that we WANT and don’t NEED, they are usually trendier items that you just HAVE TO HAVE in the moment.
So the next time you have that burning desire to purchase something that you’re just DYING to have...think twice about the garment. Do you actually NEED this?
STEP #3: CONSIDER THE COST-PER-WEAR
Now, we don’t want to get all mathematical when it comes to shopping, but if you start applying this principle to your shopping you’ll definitely cut your spending expenses in half.
The way the idea works is that when you’re purchasing an item think about how many times you’re actually going to wear the article of clothing.
Let’s say for example that you want to buy a leather jacket that costs $800. You believe that the leather jacket trend is here to stay for at least the next couple of years, and you know that you’ll get a ton of use out of it.
So if you think that you’ll wear the jacket at least 4 out of the 7 days there are in a week for say the fall season, that’s 4 x 13 weeks (approximate weeks in the fall season) = 52 times. And if you times that by 2 you get 52 x 2 = 104.
You then take the cost of the jacket $800/104 times you’ll wear it which equals = $7.69 for the cost per wear.
COST PER WEAR FORMULA:
COST OF GARMENT ➗ HOW MANY TIMES YOU PLAN TO WEAR
Therefore… if you don’t think that it’s acceptable for you to pay $7.69 for every time you wear that jacket for the next two years then you probably shouldn’t buy! OR you should re-adjust your budget or your leather jacket. ;)
STEP #4: DEVELOP YOUR PERSONAL STYLE
By truly understanding what looks best on you and figuring out your own personal style, you can easily begin to eliminate the majority of clothing choices out there.
The best way to hone in on what you’re attracted to and what styles look best on your body type is to start looking for brands whose cut or design works well with your body type.
For example, if you’re a petite person, there are definitely brands that are made for smaller women, as opposed to someone who is much taller.
What really works well is to create Pinterest boards with different style images and then figure out what those brands are. Once you determine which styles and brands you really like it makes it much easier to narrow down your shopping destinations.
This in turn, will help you to avoid overspending, when you don’t have a clear-cut view on what your personal style is.
STEP #5: SHOP SMARTER
As a blog that highlights trends from around the world, we really try to emphasize that the world is connected in style. If you may have noticed, we try to focus more on what’s trending around the world, and as a whole. We also try to focus on sustainable fashion and shopping smarter.
To promote fast fashion is something that we cannot personally take it upon ourselves to do. As much as we know how much you enjoy the adrenaline rush of finding the best/cheap deals at Forever 21 or H&M, we don’t necessarily condone them.
When it comes to fast fashion, try to think of it as fast food. You know you’re gonna eat it from time to time, but you should try to avoid as much as possible. Just as fast food isn’t good for your health, fast-fashion isn’t good for the world’s health.
If you’re not quite sure what we mean, here’s an excellent article we wrote for our friends at Runway Passport a while back.
So you might be thinking, well if I can’t shop at fast-fashion stores, where can I shop that’s actually cheap? The thing you need to remember that if the garment is cheap, it’s most likely made cheaply, in a factory with bad conditions, and is probably made out of materials that are hurting the planet.
Our advice would be to research brands that are sustainable and affordable. You can read more about how to do this here.
You can also shop second hand. Second hand is not what it used to do be. With great sites/apps like Poshmark, you can easily shop second hand rather than going to your local thrift store.
When you start applying some of these principles and rules into your shopping, you’re guaranteed not to overspend on your clothing.
Stay tuned next week when we discuss becoming a minimalist!