How do I spend less money on clothes?

Traditionally, the first of my New Year’s resolutions tend to be ‘how do I spend less on clothes’?

January tends to be a ‘sort things out’ kind of month for me. The first thing I tend to find myself pouring over is my wardrobe.

I find myself trying to organise, sort, get rid of things I don’t wear and generally try to fall in love with my clothes again!

Traditionally the January sales have been a favourite hunting ground for me, buying more clothes to replace those I had fallen out of love with.  This year I am more aware of not buying unnecessary clothes (especially seeing as it has been nine months since I physically set foot in the office) and making do with what I have.

Over the years I have tried many tips and techniques to try and spend less on clothes. These are some which have worked for me.

1. The capsule wardrobe

No this isn’t something on the International Space Station! A capsule wardrobe is where you have a limited number of clothes, shoes and accessories which all go together perfectly.  By mixing and matching all the items you should have endless possibilities to get you through the month without wearing the same outfit twice.

You are probably asking what the connection is with capsule wardrobes and money saving?  Its more preventing you from spending money as you love the clothes you have!

By organising and curating your wardrobe into something you absolutely love, you are more likely to spend less.

A set of neutral basic items underpins a great capsule wardrobe. Following the neutral colour, two accent colours are added. The collection is finished by adding shoes and accessories.  If you do this you end up with a wardrobe which you love which should stop you from buying more. The end goal should be 24-30 pieces that go together effortlessly.

Hardcore capsule ward robers will survive on these key pieces with small seasonal updates.  I couldn’t go from hundreds of items to only a few overnight. Start to slowly reduce what you have and curate it so that everything complements.

Mark Zuckerberg famously uses this sort of method to reduce his decision making time. He knows that everything in his wardrobe is either grey, black or jeans. This reduced choice takes an additional decision out of his day so he can focus on important things. As a busy Mum, I absolutely get this logic!

A good capsule wardrobe will save you time, money and make you feel amazing.

2. Focusing on quality and sustainability

Do you know the old saying quality over quantity? This is more important than ever as we see a shift away from fast, disposable fashion to something more sustainable. This is key to helping us spend less on clothes.

If you invest in a good quality core wardrobe of basics, you will get more wear from these clothes, therefore costing you less over time.

A few key pieces which are a perfect fit and make you feel amazing will far outlast poorly fitting items.

A style counselling session is a great way to figure out a look which will see you through for years.  In the pre-covid days, I was lucky enough to attend one in person.  I spent a fortune but I love those clothes so much, I have hardly bought anything since.

And the good thing about buying quality items, they are much easier to sell later (should you have a growth spurt).

3. Online outlet shopping

I love a good outlet shopping centre.  In fact I rarely go to a physical store unless it is an outlet.  Pre Covid days, if a retailer had an outlet the stock was rarely available online.  Now most big name retailers have a decent online outlet (often separate from the main site so not always obvious that they are available).

With this in mind, you know that there is still a way to spend less on clothes in outlet stores, you just need to know where to look.

How to spend less on clothes

4. Buying secondhand

I’m sure I am not the only person who sells their unloved clothing second hand.  If you have had a ‘bad’ experience with eBay sellers you might have shied away from second hand shopping.

If you are a lover of a particular brand, there are a plethora of brand-specific second hand selling groups on Facebook.  Whatever your niche brand you can guarantee there is a group.

You can get the full low down on buying and selling secondhand here.

The benefit of these groups is they are moderated by dedicated admins who have a real passion for what they do.  Any trouble with buyers and sellers is normally dealt with by the admins and you can have a safer second hand shopping experience.

5. Buying better quality

If you buy better quality items you are more likely to be able to sell them on once you are done with them in the second hand selling groups.