I have to say that one of the things I like most about living without a job is that I don’t have to go out and buy expensive office clothes anymore. Even when I did work in an office, I couldn’t really afford expensive clothes because there were so many other expenses that came along with that. I cut corners a lot. Giant Tiger was my best friend for short term clothes (clothes that didn’t last long).
Now though, I really can wear whatever I want. I can practically live in my pyjamas because I live in a small town and no one blinks an eye if you are out doing your shopping in clothes that have cows imprinted all over them and are fuzzy. Really. But that is no excuse.
Just because you don’t have a job doesn’t mean you have to look like a slob. (I just love the way that sounds.)
So, how do you manage to keep a decent wardrobe without paying a fortune?
There are two ways you can go about it: buy cheap and more often or buy less often and pay more.
Brand New, Cheap Clothes
The advantages to buying cheap are that you can have new clothes more often. That is good for the person who actually does like to shop. Keep your eyes open for the sales, look through the bargain racks, and don’t be afraid of discount stores. Remember that people only know you buy your clothes at discount stores if you tell them. So don’t tell them if it bothers you. There are some disadvantages though. Generally, clothes that cost a lot less don’t have the same quality as more expensive clothes. Not only will they not last as long but they might not fit the way they are supposed to. Have you ever gotten something home and realized that the collar is longer on one side than the other? That is cheap clothes for you.
Brand New, Expensive Clothes
The other option is to buy more expensive clothes but take care of them and make them last for many years. The key to this is choosing styles that will not be out of style next year. Look for classic pieces like boot cut jeans that stay in style forever. When you buy something, make sure you love it. Don’t buy clothes unless you are 100% sure that when you get it home you are still going to like it. And buy in similar color themes. Make sure that everything goes together. Save color for accent pieces like scarves and jewelry.
Of course, you could go an even more drastic route and buy only second hand clothes. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that and I have bought and worn second hand clothes for most of my life. When you buy second hand clothes though you need to be very careful about what you buy. Definitely try it on before you buy it – make sure it fits right. Look at the seams everywhere and make sure that they are not loose or stretched. Check the buttons and zippers carefully to be sure they are not falling off or broken. Check the fabric for stains. You should take it under a light because some stains are not obvious if the room is dimly lit (as secondhand shops often are). Think about what it is going to match with in your already existing wardrobe. There is no point in buying something if it doesn’t go with anything you own and you have to buy something else to go with it!
One more thing you should be aware of if you plan on buying all of your clothes used. It takes time! You can’t just walk into a secondhand store and find what you want. You are likely going to have to browse through racks and racks of clothes before you find something decent. And unless your really, really love this type of thing (I don’t) you might want to consider whether the money you save is worth the time you need to spend to find the good stuff.