Hey ladies! Do ever you wonder why your credit card is maxed out? Have you even considered the amount of money you spend to stay in-style and look good? While it’s impossible to provide an exact dollar amount, the average American woman spends 5% of her income on clothes. Projections for the clothing industry in 2014 exceed a staggering $621 billion in revenue. Add to that the $250 the average woman spends annually on makeup, skin and hair products, is it any wonder that so many women struggle with debt?
The fashion industry spends billions of dollars specifically targeting women. Styles and designs change regularly making it difficult to keep up on a limited budget. One solution manufacturers have developed to keep their products moving is redesigning high end apparel to be sold as cheap knock-offs. No matter what your budget, there’s something designed to fulfill all of your perceived fashion needs.
Define Your Style
Many women experiment with each new fashion trend only to be left with an uncomfortable fit or awkward feeling that results in a lot of wasted money. Before you even consider buying a new item, take into account your own comfort and style so you can avoid being compulsive and buying every cute outfit on the mannequin. Have someone help you to see what fabrics and cuts best hide your flaws and accentuate your assets. Without advanced planning, you may be tempted to buy into a fantasy rather than being realistic about your own personal style.
Are You a Shopaholic???
Perhaps you’re like a lot of women with drawers and closets full of clothes, footwear, purses, etc., that you never wear; some may even still have the price tags attached. This is a sign that you may be a shopaholic. As with any other kind of addiction, it takes up both time and money and requires perseverance to overcome.
Begin by sorting your clothes into those you actually wear, those you don’t and the ones that need to be repaired or pitched. Donate the gently used items to charity or bring them to a consignment shop and try to get some of your hard-earned money back. By clearing out the clutter, you’ll see what you actually own and make your wardrobe more functional.
Plan Your Clothes Shopping
Take stock of what’s in your closet at least once per year and think of ways to extend the life of your wardrobe. Learn to combine items for a variety of style options; buy accessories like scarves, belts and hats to expand the possibilities. Make a list of any gaps in your wardrobe to keep you on track when you’re shopping.
Clothes Buying 101:
- Price is only a number. Don’t be fooled by a high price tag. Some of the lowest quality clothes are sold in expensive boutiques that appear to be quality but are cheaply manufactured. Opt for the $40 pants that fit your body rather than the $150 pair that has a brand name label.
- You get what you pay for. On the opposite end of the spectrum, a dozen cheap sweaters are worthless, if you never wear them. Investing in one or two more expensive ones may be better because you’ll actually wear them.
- Don’t compromise on fit. Be brutal about how a piece lays. Don’t settle for gaps or pulling and never buy a size that you hope to fit into when you lose weight. You can’t predict the future and you’re likely to waste money.
- Pay extra to have your clothes altered. A sure way to insure you’ll wear an item is by making sure it fits properly. A well fitting jacket, for example, will become a favorite in your repertoire of fashion.
- Follow your instincts. If you absolutely need it, it’s within your budget and it makes you feel like a million bucks, then buy it. If it’s something that you don’t need… DON’T BUY IT!
Finally, don’t waste your money on a moment’s pleasure that won’t see the light of day. If you buy an item and decide you don’t like it once you’re home and standing in front of your own mirror, return it as soon as possible. There will always be another day to shop.