Luckily for me, that’s never been much of a problem. I actually dislike clothes shopping. In 2000, when I started working in an office setting for the first time in seven years, of course I had nothing appropriate to wear. I went through a program sponsored by the state which helped me buy a new wardrobe. I was given a choice to go to Kmart or Ross Dress for Less. I’d had experience with Kmart clothing falling apart within months, so I chose Ross and they gave me a voucher for $200.
I had to buy all $200 worth in one day. I took a friend with me and I started picking out dresses that I thought were pretty. I made sure they were not dry clean only, as I didn’t want that expense right off the bat. I tried on clothes for hours. It was easy to weed out some of the outfits as they looked terrible on me. Finally I ended up with several suits, some dresses, three brassieres, panty hose and shoes.
Those outfits lasted me for six years. Even though they were machine washable, I hand washed them and drip-dried them over my bathtub. I didn’t want them to fade hanging in the sun. I gained some weight and my outfits became more snug than I’m comfortable wearing and in addition some of the dresses were beginning to look worn. I had to take another shopping trip to Ross. I did that a few months ago and bought a couple of suits, two tops, a pair of pants, one pair of shoes and panty hose. Those three bras I bought – they are still in great condition, they too are snug, so I had to upgrade on those as well. I spent $100 of my birthday money from May, 2007.
I’ve also been shopping at Savers when I get a chance, (which is not very often) looking through the blouses to find ones that I like since I have a black skirt and black pants, I can interchange and make new outfits. Recently I found four tops which all cost $3 each.
I own one pair of black jeans, one pair of tennis shoes. I find that tennis shoes don’t last as long as they used to – my feet ache when my shoes are no longer supportive, so I have to buy a new pair. I usually shop at Big 5 Sporting Goods as they have last year’s model at greatly reduced prices. I would NEVER buy shoes at Walmart. They are cheap and hurt my feet!
I try to keep my clothing for work and home separate. I come home from work and change right away. But sometimes I forget and eat dinner in one of my work t-shirts, or I might dribble on my front eating lunch at work. I don’t know why it took me so long, but I finally discovered this neat little product: Spray and Wash Stick. Even if I miss a spot and wash and dry the shirt, I can still rub with the Spray and Wash Stick and throw it in the washer and it comes out without stains! I’m trying to form a new habit of examining my shirts as I take them off, and rubbing stain remover on them right then, so I don’t have to do them all on the weekends when I do my laundry.
That’s why I don’t keep a monthly amount available for clothing. It would probably be a good idea to put aside $20 each month in anticipation of buying shoes, jeans or a new outfit now and then.
What does your clothing budget look like?