A common trend I see among people in the personal finance blogosphere is a total ban on clothes shopping for a set amount of time. The truly hardcore do a full year, but lengths range from one month to a few months. It’s a flexible goal- some people allow themselves to buy the basics (underwear and socks) and ban everything else.
I am jumping on the bandwagon! 2015 is my year of no clothing purchases. I believe I have everything in my closet that I already need. I just stocked up on undies at Christmas, I work from home the majority of the time, I have three catering outfits and I have boots, flats and sneakers. Barring some sort of crisis I think I am set According to Mint, last year I spent $275 on clothing. By no means a huge number, but definitely something I would rather put towards my debt this year. I’ve never been huge into shopping and while I consider myself stylish, no one would mistake me for having a deep passion for fashion.
(Ladies love pink, amirite?)
So what are my rules with this thing? A total ban on any purchase of clothes. Gifts from family or clothes gotten at clothing swaps are allowed. Yesterday I went down to Buffalo Exchange and sold a few dresses. I was asked if I’d like $6.90 in cash or $11.50 in store credit. Taking the store credit would have been breaking my new rule. It would literally have taken cash out of my own pocket! I took the cash and am using it when I go to a show tonight with the boyfriend. I’m not foreseeing this as a big sacrifice, because I don’t enjoy shopping that much. Besides, I can do anything for one year. Right?
Kara Perez is the original founder of From Frugal To Free. She is a money expert, speaker and founder of Bravely Go, a feminist financial education company. Her work has been featured on NPR, Business Insider, Forbes, and Elite Daily.
9 Replies to “A Year of No Clothes”
A clothing ban would be a hard goal–but you can do it! I try and limit myself to only going clothes shopping 3-4 times a year when I need basics, something gets ruined or its a new season.
Keep your fingers crossed for me! I think only going 3-4 times a year is totally reasonable. It’s when you use shopping as entertainment that you get into trouble!
I pretty much live off of the shirts and ties that I get as gifts for Christmas and my birthday. I think I spend less that $200 every year on new clothes. There are of course those basics that wear out and occasional a new dress shirt for work or a replacement pair of shoes. this year, I will need to replace my ten year old pair of hiking boots. I’ll miss those boots, they’ve taken me to a lot of places and memories.
On the other hand, my wife sees end of season clearance sales as a kind of spiritual destination. She manages to stick to her budget (much bigger than my clothes budget), so I don’t want to know anything further. I’ve always seen clothing, make up, etc. as a necessary for her career and never argue about it.
Kara, good luck on this goal.
I’m very lucky that I don’t have to put on an office outfit every day. Women are judged much harder on their appearance in the work place and that unofficially-official dress code provided by society adds up quickly! I’m writing this from home in sweats and a pony tail. Not exactly professional, but not something that cost me money either!
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I hate shopping even though I do love clothes because it’s such a frustrating process for me in terms of finding something I like. It either doesn’t fit me well or it cost a lot so I rarely shop. I do like getting clothes as present though so those are the go-to gifts my friends and family get for me.
I think you can do a year. best of luck!
I hate trying on clothes. It’s so frustrating when you get a whole armful of things and nothing fits or looks good and you have to start all over again! I went a solid 8 months without buying anything but had to break my ban recently because I need to look more professional for meetings. Still, two shirts does not a splurge make, so I feel fine about it.