This is the second in a three part series on revamping your wardrobe, frugally. You can read the first part here.
What is a frugal wardrobe? Is it many inexpensive clothes? Clothes bought from a thrift store or made yourself? Spending money on quality pieces to last a lifetime?
The answer to the question depends on you. There are those that argue in favor of buying high quality classic styles and wearing them for many years. That tends to be the case of the older generation in France. On the other hand, the argument can be made that your clothes might tend to look dated after a while, even the classic styles, even for those who are not fashionistas. Some others might feel that a frugal wardrobe is bought inexpensively, given that they are hard on their garments and need to replace them often.
Last week I talked about the different categories of clothes: from grungy to little black dress. I mentioned that I most need dressy casual clothes and nice business clothes. For me that translates into nice jeans or loose leggings paired with solid t shirts or, for nicer wear, slacks and button downs. I also want to have enough clothes to be able to get through one week without doing laundry: this means 4 pairs of nice pants, two pairs of casual pants, 6 nice tops, 6 casual tops and two skirts. I’m lucky to have all these items and more. If I take good care of my clothes, I’ll be set for a while.
Along with the classic ‘essential’ elements, I also rely heavily on some favorite accessories. The most versatile element in my closet, for example, is a scarf that my mother bought for me about fifteen years ago. It is long and skinny, woven of different colored and textured ribbons and threads. What makes it so versatile however is the combination of colors- blues, greens, browns, grays and blacks and one strand of burgundy. It goes with every item of clothing I own; I can wear it any time and any place.
Remember those questions from last week?
- Do I love this?
- Does this look good on me?
- Do I wear it?
- Is it in good condition?
- Does it fit into one of the categories of clothes I need?
They’re not only appropriate questions to ask when evaluating the current state of your closet, they’re also good to ask when thinking about which clothes to buy. My frugal wardrobe is a mix of both inexpensive and quality. But I love everything in it, especially those staples of my wardrobe that fit into the two main categories. I also no longer buy things that don’t look good on me, because I think they might fit one day, or are a really good price or are the latest fashion or maybe I’m just bored. I tend to buy classic styles, in few colors. I have some nicer items passed down from my grandmother, otherwise I shop at H+M and the thrift store. But what should you have in your frugal wardrobe?
Other bloggers answer that question:
- Breaking Even has a fabulous ten part series on the ten essentials in any woman’s wardrobe. Nicole models examples from her own classic in at least three different ways for each piece, showing its casual, business and dressy sides. While I don’t agree with all her choices (I’m not a big fan of graphic t shirts, for example) this series highlights the benefits of buying quality pieces of clothing and wearing them inventively.
- WiseBread shows how to dress for success and still spend less. This post also highlights how to wear clothing creatively in order to maximize the use of each item. My favorite tips refer to jackets: for example, wearing a button down shirt as a jacket or choosing one great jacket and then buying several bottoms to go with it, instead of looking for classic suits.
- The Art of Frugality shares her secrets to getting a killer wardrobe.
- My Daily Dollars goes shopping. I love her tip about buying new clothes together, so they’ll go together.
- Sarah at Lifestyles of the Organized talks long term clothing management.
What is a frugal wardrobe for you? What kinds of clothes do you have in your closet?
This is the second in a three part series appearing each Monday. You can read the first part here. Next Monday we will look at how to take care of your clothes, frugally. Stay tuned for the next installment, or better yet, subscribed! Edited to add: you can read part three here.