We've had a lot of articles about buying clothes for children,
but nothing lately about adult fashion. There are several articles on the
website, but as with life, nothing stays the same. There are always new things
to be learned, new tips, and new strategies.
When it comes to fashion, this is especially true. The fashion
world changes styles and colors each year, hoping that you
will buy the latest trends and part with more of your money.
As a general rule, I don't follow fashion. I just like to make
it look like I do. I don't want to look like a Goodwill mannequin.
Most people with limited budgets do not spend lots of money on clothing.
There are just too many ways to dress inexpensively. Garage sales, rummage
sales, hand-me-downs, and thrift stores have been around for years. Now we have
eBay, where you can pick up large lots of clothing for very little money.
We also have a new strategy for our wardrobes. Less is better! I
was watching the Home and Garden channel the other day. I believe it was the
show "Dream Builders". You would not believe the size of the closet the wife of
the couple building the house insisted on having. It was larger than most rooms.
That closet was later shown with all her clothes in it. As I
looked at the racks of suits and blouses, I certainly didn't feel any kind of
envy. Who has time to wear all those clothes? Not even in a lifetime, assuming
they stayed in fashion, which I'm sure was important to her. Most of them are
going to end up in Goodwill in a few years. What a waste of money.
People with lots of clothing have to get frustrated because they
don't have time to wear all of them. Some may resort to changing her clothes
several times a day, so as to be seen in all their different outfits.
I once knew a lady who did that. How superficial is that? By
this time I'm sure she doesn't enjoy looking in the mirror, no matter what she
is wearing. The purpose of our short existence on this earth is not to develop
vanity. What a waste of time, especially as it makes us neglect the important
More clothes mean more laundry, more maintenance, more
accessories, more decisions, and more items that you decide you don't want to
wear. When you have that many clothes, you will not wear them all. Why should
you? You are not going to like them all equally. You will still reach for your
favorite outfits most of the time, and the others will stay on their hangers
until you get rid of them.
Most people wear 20% of their clothing 80% of the time. Much
more enviable is the person who is able to wear 100% of their clothing 100% of
the time. There are no orphan pieces. Everything is used, worn out, and then
So how do we achieve this goal? It is not hard. I have talked
before about the black skirt I have in my closet. I've lost track of how many
years I've had it.
It has a classic pleated front, and elastic in the back. It has
gone through many weight fluctuations. It is made from a year round fabric, and
is worn in every season.
That black skirt has been paired with everything from pink
sweaters to beige blazers. It has sat on organ benches as I played at funerals.
It's been to weddings. It's even been on vacation. If skirts could talk...
This is an illustration of one of the most important rules for
buying clothing- VERSATILITY. The more versatile the piece, the more you will
wear it. Versatility comes from color, style, and fabric.
Keep your clothes in classic lines and neutral colors on the
bottom half of your body. Buy those basic black, gray, brown, or navy pants and
skirts that you can wear with so many things. Put the color on the top half of
your body to flatter your face. Blouses and sweaters wear out quicker, and you
can afford to be a little more trendy.
I find this to be true with casual clothes also. Buy your
relaxed knit pants in blacks, grays and browns. You can pair them with many
colors of t-shirts and knit tops.
This is one reason jeans are so popular. You can wear them with
If you have an orphan piece in your closet, buy something to
wear with it that will go with everything else in your closet when that orphan
piece leaves your wardrobe.
Another equally important rule is LIFESTYLE. Do not fill your
closet up with clothes you only wear occasionally. Let the balance of your
wardrobe be the clothes you wear every day.
This was one of the biggest obstacles I personally faced with my
wardrobe. I am a lot more attracted to beautiful blouses than flannel shirts.
However, I only wear blouses once a week. For 10 months out of the year, you
will find me in jeans, t-shirts and a hoodie.
Once I started re-directing my clothing budget to the clothes I
wear every day, I felt like I had a lot more clothes. I could barely remember
what I wore to church a week ago, so the smaller selection of nicer clothing
seemed very adequate.
That brings us to COLOR. Color can be tricky. Some colors are
fairly universal. Most women look good in aqua and pink. Some of the muted
autumn colors are hard to wear; yet when they are fashionable you may want to
buy them. If they don't look good on you, you won't wear them. If you really
want to buy something, even if you are unsure of the color, just remember to buy
it as a separate for the top half of your body. Keep the size tags on the
piece, you if you decide you don't like it, you can sell it on ebay.
You have to do your homework on this one. Figure out the colors
that look good on you and you feel comfortable wearing, and stick to them as
much as possible.
Finally, there is the COMFORT factor. The older I get, the more
comfort I desire. Don't buy your clothes because of the size on the tag. No one
knows what it says but you. If you are vain, get over it. Wool can be scratchy,
turtlenecks can choke you, and buttons that come undone are an embarrassing
Everyone wants to at feel comfortable in his or her own skin.
It's hard to do that if you are self-conscious. Use your clothing budget wisely.
Just as you should eat for nutrition, dress for practicality.