Clothes You Never Wear

One of the consistent themes of the Princesses I’ve been working with is their proclivity for buying clothes they don’t wear. Some people have stuff hanging in their closets with the tags still on. Others have 37 pairs of jeans. This might save on laundry, but it does nothing for your budget!

If you have a closet full of stuff you don’t wear it may be that you’re buying too much or the wrong stuff. After all, that gorgeous dress may have made you look like a million bucks, but if you’ve only worn it twice it may not have been the best idea.

Consider using the 70/30 rule when it comes to having a wardrobe that will work: 70% of your clothes should be your main course clothing, leaving the other 30% for dessert.  Lots of people have the proportions backwards and end up always complaining, “I don’t have a thing to wear!”

Your first step will be to inventory what you have. Make four piles:

  • stuff you’re going to throw out
  • stuff in good enough shape to give away
  • stuff you love that needs to be fixed
  • stuff you’re going to keep.

Of the stuff you’re going to keep, make sure the 70/30 rule applies. If you have way more fluff than solid pieces you’ll wear regularly, you’ll have to rebalance your wardrobe. Start by writing a list of all the pieces you have that still work. On a separate page, make a list of the pieces you may need to acquire to really make your new, streamlined wardrobe sing.

Since your lifestyle dictates your clothing needs, don’t fall into the trap of buying lots of pieces that you wish you could wear. I’ve worked with more than a few people who have loads of evening attire and a handful of work clothes. As you shop ask yourself, “Would I wear this today?” and “What do I have in my closet that will work with this?”

If the outfit, shoe or accessory you’re salivating over will only work on specific occasions, reconsider. You’re way better off with pieces you can dress up or down because those pieces will get far more wear and you’ll get your money’s worth.

Stick with pieces that reflect your personal style. If you like soft and flowing fabrics and cuts, don’t get suckered into a boxy suit just because “it’s a good staple.” When I was out shopping for yoga pants (because I love how they fit and they can be worn just about anywhere), I came face to face with a lot of materials and cuts that didn’t suit my style. I’m a cotton girl, and I love a loose cut. So I kept looking until I found exactly what I wanted.

Speaking of fit and fabric, if you find you have a lot something, but wear only a few of them – so you have a dozen pairs of jeans but live you’re your favorite two pairs – take a hint. While you might have been attracted to a different cut if you ended up not wearing it because it was uncomfortable or “just not your style” learn your lesson. It’s better to have two or three pieces you can live in than dozens of things that just hang in the closet or live in the drawer.

Speaking of living in a drawer, when I find I put something on that no longer makes me feel good, I stick it in a drawer (or a pile on a shelf) and wait to see if I ever go back to it. If I don’t, then it’s gone. How long do I wait? Usually about six months to a year depending on how seasonal it is.

The perfect pants don’t have to have a designer label to be fashionable. In fact, the less money you have, the stronger your sense of style must be because you have to develop the knack of making things work together.  And for heaven’s sake, if you buy something and then decide it really isn’t you, don’t hang it in your closet; take it back right away!

You should be working to fill your closet with stuff you look and feel great in – stuff you get lots of wear from — than to own a ton of so-so clothes that you only sort of like.

So, do you have clothes you never wear? What tips do you have for streamlining your closet? What’s your favorite staple? Accessory?

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Gail Vaz-Oxlade

Gail Vaz-Oxlade wants YOU! Join MyMoneyMyChoices.com to get smarter about your money and help others get smarter about theirs. Isn’t it time we eliminated financial illiteracy? Come find me on Google+ and on Twitter.

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40 Responses to “Clothes You Never Wear”

  1. avatar Melaniesd Says:
    June 17, 2010 at 7:34 am

    I am a clothes horse, but I am practical about what I buy. If I can’t wear it to work, chances are I won’t buy it. It has to be a great fit and a great price.
    I also try to avoid trendy and stick with classic cuts/fits/styles.

    Could I cut back on clothing purchases? You bettcha! This might seem silly, but I think part of my desire to buy new clothes is that I can’t see what I have. My closet is wide inside, but the entry is only a regular door width, so I can’t easily access my clothes and see what I already have. My super-nice-and-handy FIL is going to make the opening bigger for me in the next few months, but I need to save some money for closet doors and supplies. I’m looking forward to being able to better organize my items.

    Recently I took advantage of a great sale at Sears on under garments. I am totally sold on the $20 underwear! That is, as long as I can get them for a lot less! What a comfort!!

  2. Tip:

    Have 1/2 a small closet to begin with! You can then only have limited clothes.

    Life:
    I wear most of my clothes consistently. I have a few favourite things that I wore a lot when I was younger, but don’t fit at the moment. If they don’t fit by next year, then I’ll give them away, but for now they stay.

    Anything that is too big is in the donate pile, anything with holes I get rid of and replace when I need to, and anything I stare at in my closet that I don’t like anymore, or don’t feel like I look good in anymore (or just plain bores me – plain blah shirts especially), I get rid of, to make room for something new. I wait until I have new work clothes to replace the existing shirts, otherwise I wouldn’t have clothes to wear to work though!

    I tend to wear a pair of work pants multiple times before washing, so I find I don’t need as many pairs of pants – I have 1 pair of jeans, a pair of capris, and a few pairs of black pants, plus multiple skirts. My work clothes are also weekend clothes. I’m not big on shopping though, because I find it mostly just frustrating trying on things to find something that fits you the way you want it to, so unless my existing closet is making me cringe everytime I open the door and think “I can’t wear these. I need something with a little more colour!” then I keep myself away from the stores.

  3. I could be a clothes horse, but I’m reasonably disciplined. Other than the goal to retire my debt (which helps me not spend too much on clothes I want, instead of need), living in this semi-detached home in Toronto means my closet is pretty modest. I simply wouldn’t have anywhere to put too much stuff!

    A lot of my purchases come from thrift or consignment stores. This way, when I tire of them, it doesn’t make me too anxious to donate them back. I also tend to do more clothes shopping when I’m in the US. They seem to have better deals, and sizes that fit better than we do here. Perhaps when I’m on vacation I have a different attitude toward spending too.

    My tips for streamlining my closet – if I haven’t worn it in a year, it goes to the thrift store or to a friend. I probably go through my closet and dresser at least twice, if not three times annually.

  4. my struggle with clothes is the weight thing – i gained about 2 dress sizes worth of weight in a short time and am now trying to lose it. however, i can now only fit into a select few ‘bigger me’ clothes, and all the other ones just lie or hang there, taunting me a bit! 🙂 So it’s so hard to resist the temptation to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe to accomodate my size now, and i have to keep reminding myself, “you’ve got enough for now, and when you’ve lost the weight you’ll have a lot more”.

    I definitely think that shopping for clothes could easily become my crutch during this rough time, because there’s that moment of feeling better about how you look, which is addictive. I also think it’s a receipe for makeup and shoe shopping disaster, because my size isn’t going to change THERE, so my hand just wants to drift to my wallet!

    A purge is definitely needed though, so i’ll take your advice about the piles and sorting it out, Gail. I know my b/f will be thankful too… he says my clothes are taking over the bedroom! 🙂

  5. avatar Michelle Says:
    June 17, 2010 at 8:02 am

    I feel like Mother Hubbard right now, because I cleaned out my closet last Spring/Summer in the expectation that I was going to purchase a new piece of clothing each month. With kids and their constant growth spurts, my closet hasn’t been added to since then except for 1 t-shirt and a pair of jeans.

    I think I’m off to a consignment store today, because I’m starting a new job and can’t go looking like a bag-lady. Thanks for the reminder MiddleClassMom!

  6. avatar Michelle Says:
    June 17, 2010 at 8:10 am

    I have too many clothes and of varying sizes. I have slowly been paring down one garbage bag at a time. I put the clothes in the garbage bag and over the course of a couple months if I go back and dig it out it gets another chance. Sometimes I give it away right away so that nothing makes its way back into the closet.

    There is a website that I like to read and there was a great article about the basics.

    http://www.everydayglamour.wordpress.com

    In the search box put ‘Building Your basics’

    It really helps when you make a plan for your wardrobe and that site can help give you the tools.

    Michelle

  7. I think women in general enjoy clothes shopping, I know I do although if I go shopping too often I become an impulsive buyer. I like the idea of going thru my closet and sorting thru what I have. Thanks for the tip Gail.

  8. avatar Caroline Says:
    June 17, 2010 at 8:28 am

    A few years ago, we had our closets fitted with closet organizers and one good rule we have for both my husband and I is if a new item comes in, one must go out. We only have a defined number of hangers in each closet and if they are full, then something must be donated before you can purchase a new item.

    As well, if I am not sure about a piece of clothes on a hanger, I turn the hanger the other way and if I notice I have not turned it back in 6 months, I let the item go to charity since clearly I will not wear it again.

  9. The best wardrobe book ever: “Color Me Beautiful” by Carole Jackson — when you find your very best colours, everything you buy goes together and you need fewer pieces. Her book also covers styles — are you a “natural” type or a “sophisticated” type etc.

  10. I am definitely not a big clothes shopper. My closets are very small (both combined don’t equal one regular sized one!) and I absolutely hate shopping for clothes. However, I am planning a vacation this summer that requires moisture-wicking clothing and they’re expensive!!! (for me). I’m still trying to wrap my head around paying $30-50 for a shirt and $50-$60 for a pair of pants! However, I found one shirt on sale for $20 and wore it hiking, and can’t believe how well it works! I will only need a few shirts and maybe 2 pairs of pants and have another 6 weeks to find it (it’s all budgeted for too).

  11. Lots of women use shopping as recreation. The best way to prevent becoming an impulse shopper is to leave your envelope money at home! If you have just enough for coffee at the end of the day, you can save loads by knowing you can only browse.

  12. avatar Melaniesd Says:
    June 17, 2010 at 9:02 am

    I like your hanger tip Caroline! Thanks for sharing.

    NB – Winners & Costco are great places to be able to buy workout clothes with moisture-wicking at reasonable prices. While they are expensive, if you care for them properly, they will last you a long time.

    Jess, I can relate to the ‘weighting’ issue with clothes. I have a few items that I have slightly ‘outgrown’ and with a little work I can wear again. I can’t justify getting rid of them and giving up on myself. We can do it!!

  13. I do NOT enjoy clothes shopping. 60 minutes into any clothes shopping trip I’m fed up and ready to go home. But I still have many wardrobe items that I don’t wear! Some items are “I wish I had somewhere to wear this” and others are just where I thought “oh, that’ll do” only to get it home and not really like it enough to wear it again. I probably only wear about 20% of my quite small wardrobe – no wonder I don’t like shopping – so many wasted hours!

  14. I’ve heard of a great way of figuring out what clothes you actually wear. When you do laundry put all new clothes at the front of your closet. As you continue to do this, go to the back of the closet and anything you haven’t worn in a year get rid of.

  15. True that! I have multiple sizes in my dressers and closet (yes I said dresser(s))! My bf has lived on 1.5 drawers and a 2.5 foot area in the closet for 6 years. While the bedroom became an overflow area of close even with two dressers, and majority of closet.

    I got happy, got organized, got rid of the overflow and gave him an extra drawer. Baby steps!

    I still have stuff in the closet that has tags on it though…. what do I do with a Jones New York light green leather seude jacket purchased for $150 that I could almost fit into 3 years ago (it fit but didn’t button up)? I say it’s inspiration. But it’s in a closet and I never see it.

    Maybe I’ll make myself try to put it on each week.

  16. My suggestion (someday I will take my own advice) is to only buy something if you already have shoes to match. If you have no shoes to go with the dress/shorts/pants then don’t buy them! I have a dress in an unusual colour of fuschia, tags still on, waiting for matching (or at least not-totally-clashing) shoes.

  17. A few years ago I lost about 20 lbs. I now only have clothes that fit. None are too big and none are too small. My rule of thumb for editing the closet is that for example, summer is coming, if I didn’t wear the item last summer, it’s a good bet I won’t wear it this summer so off to the St. Vincent de Paul it goes. If it does not fit right now, out it goes. When you wear clothes that fit you well, no matter what size you are, you will look your best. Don’t depress yourself about hoping you’ll fit into those “skinny” jeans once again. Too much pressure. To keep me motivated though, I don’t have any clothes I can fall back on that are too big so that helps keep me in check. When I’m shopping for either a top or bottom, a good rule is that it must go with at least three things in my closet. So if its a blouse, it should go with at least two pants and one skirt. If it’s a bottom, it should go with at three tops. If your budget is very very tight, stick to a main neutral colour scheme that is best for you. Mine is navy. Black is too harsh for me.

  18. I love the tip Andrea! I never had an issue with too many clothes as I worked in a job where uniform was required so I only had to find non work clothes for the weekend and that was it. Now I work in an office setting and no more uniforms.

    I also lost a fair bit of weight so I had to redo my closet as I out shrank my clothes!!

    A few of my friends and I have had clothing parties where we all bring a box or gargbage bag of clothes we no longer want or need and we go throught them and swap pieces. What ever is left over at the end goes to the good will store in town,.

    When I started my office job it was a huge help in building the basics for casual business wear as I had nothing!

  19. I have a tub of pants that I bought one size smaller thinking that it would fit after my new obessison with the gym, and apparently that obsession has faded and the pants dont fit. I got a really good deal on them though $1 for a designer pair of pants at a garage sale with the tags on!!?!! how someone can buy a pair of pants for $80 and then practally give it away Im glad it wasnt me!! but I was the sucker to buy 15 pairs of pants hoping I would fit into them 🙁

  20. NB – good luck with your trip! Sweat wicking underwear from MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op) is fabulous. Sometimes you can also get clothes on clearance from there. I was going to suggest Winners but someone beat me to it!

  21. I have a little rule that I don’t buy clothes in Canada so I only have one big shopping trip once every couple of years when we go down to the States. It also keeps me out of the malls.

    On my last trip, I picked up $500 worth of clothes for me and the kids for $80 at Macy’s – even signed up for the credit card and paid it off at the store for an extra 15% off.

    By far my biggest shopping binge was at Lord and Taylor’s going out of business sale in Orlando about 3 years ago. I picked up $5,000 worth of designer clothes for $800. I had to buy an extra (monstrous) suitcase and pay $30 in overcharges to bring that haul home.

    My biggest issue with clothes though is holding onto the things that are too small. I fluctuate from a size 4-10 and it drives me nuts that I have all of these clothes I can no longer wear. Apparently not nuts enough that I’m actually losing the weight though.

  22. avatar baby steps Says:
    June 17, 2010 at 10:41 am

    2 years ago I lost (and have maintained) a significant weight loss (80 lbs). My finances couldn’t really afford a new wardrobe so for a while I looked ‘lost’ in my clothes,. I had a double closet for the current season wardrobe, and a full cedar chest for the ‘off season’…that’s a lot of clothes-all of them for work! (My casual wear could easily fit into 3 dresser drawes – 2 pairs of sweats, and T’s don’t take too much room!) Gradually I began a purge: if the item was not worth paying to have tailored, then I threw it out. If it could be tailored and was worth it (suits), I would have it remodelled, but worked with the tailor to arrange a deal as I was going to be continually losing weight, but didn’t want/couldn’t afford to remodel every suit every month. Then, for each and every new purchase, I had to throw out 2 of something similar. So 1 pair of new shoes meant I had to throw out 2 pairs. It made me think, really think, if the purchase was necessary to rebuild my wardrobe. Two years later, I have 10 perfectly tailored beautiful neutral suits (some of them 3 piece jacket, skirt and pants), with perhaps 20 blouses. As almost everything is a neutral, it matches, and the morning dilemas are significantly reduced. Do I get bored with the choices? Sometimes. If it becomes too much, I allow myslef one new article…but then 2 other things HAVE to go!

    It works for me, saves closet space, saves money, saves morning dress headaches, and has eliminated DH’s comments on my overflowing closet.

  23. I generally only buy and wear smart-looking tops that can be dressed up for work (with dress pants or skirt), or dressed down for weekends (with jeans or shorts). Button-down shirts, sweaters and sweater vests, and other nice tops all work surprisingly well here. I only own a handful of casual-only clothes and those are mostly for more active days (like weekends sports or picnics).

    I like to buy a couple of pieces with lots of colours in them, and then several other solid pieces in the same colours. That way you can’t go wrong mixing and matching.

    I’m comfortable having about 1.5-2 weeks worth of outfits per season. That turns out to be a very manageable number of pieces, but if they mix and match well, you’ve still got plenty of variety so that you won’t get bored.

  24. I used to be a clothes – but mostly – shoe horse when I worked for Eaton’s. It was that darned employee discount that got me every time. How can you pass by a 50% off sale when you know you are going to get an extra 15% off as well. I have actually bought items that I paid less than wholesale price. I was very disciplined in what I bought but the point is that I shouldn’t have been buying no matter how good the deal because I always bought on credit using my Eaton’s card which charged 24% interest and never paid of the card. Dah. My sister is a shop-a-holic and during their last move and clean out she was absolutely shocked to find that over a third of the clothes she had were either duplicates of things she already had or still had the price tags on them. She was able to take a lot of these items back to the stores but all she got were credit notes which means she just gets to buy more clothes.

    Now-a-days I only shop when I have the cash in hand and I make a wardrobe list – just like my grocery list – so that I know what I need and want. We also shop at the local thrift store and have found some wonderful bargains – lots of items still with the tags on. And at least once a month they have a brown bag day. You pay $10 and what ever you can fit into a brown paper grocery bag is yours. Fantastic for children’s clothes.

  25. What a great topic today! I worked in the fashion industry for a long time so this is a topic close to my heart. After years of refining my system these are my best tips:

    I splurge on my “Staples” because you can have them forever. My best splurge was my grey Armani cashmere sweater about 7 years ago. It looks great still and its my fallback sweater every winter. Next best purchase were my wool reverse pleat skirts from Club Monaco, one in black, and one in caramel. I wear them year round because they are the perfect weight of wool and a good combination of trendy and classic.

    I’ve learned to avoid certain stores, especially in the mall, where clothes look trendy but aren’t well made. I refuse to waste money on cheap clothes that fall apart after a season.

    If I’m unsure about an item I don’t purchase it. If I am still thinking about it the next day/week then I go back and pick it up. I avoid impulse purchases this way and never have things with tags still hanging in my closet.

    If it doesn’t fit NOW, I do not purchase it.

    I spend the most on the things I use the most or wear the hardest. For example, I always buy one great leather handbag every year because my bags go through a lot of wear and tear with my lifestyle. I always buy really good cardigans because I use them year round and I hate how cheap ones fade/shrink after a couple of wears. On the other hand I’m not a jewelry person so I barely, if ever purchase any costume jewelry.

  26. avatar Veronica Says:
    June 17, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    Gail, I love how you say that it doesnt make sense to get a boxy suit just because it’s a “good staple”. I totally agree! I’m personnaly into nice pencil skirts and feminine blouses!! It’s like the “little black dress” they every single woman should own. Says who?!

    I sure use to shop a lot, I own way too many different pairs of jeans! So now, I only go shopping with my sister because she is and has always been very reasonable and practical when it comes to buying stuff. When I shop with her and I see something “I really need”, she’s like “you have something almost identical and when are you going to wear that anyway?!” My advice: do not shop alone! It can be dangerous for some of us!!

  27. avatar Mean Wife Says:
    June 17, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    I have been buying more accessories- ears, necklaces etc to dress up my staples in my closet.. SO much cheaper than buying new clothes but makes me feel like it’s a different outfit!!

  28. I also have several different collections of clothes – the ones that fit, the ones that are too small, and some that are too big. This way I can rotate what I wear depending on my size.
    Although I don’t shop a lot I do buy good quality. I agree with the idea of one in and one out and regularly take a box of items to Goodwill or Variety Village.

  29. My question when pondering a purchase is “Where are you going in that?” This has helped me stop buying pieces that are for a future/fantasy me who lives a different lifestyle than I actually live. 🙂

    I am feeling like I have too many clothes, so I am going to do a big weed-out this fall and send a big box of stuff off to my growing nieces so they can enjoy some new stuff. I have mostly stopped shopping but stuff keeps filtering in somehow!

  30. Gail,

    The perfect accompaniment to this post would be a few resources on what would be the foundation of a good wardrobe. I find that the times my wardrobe start getting out of hand are the times when I lose sight of the basics. What good is a wardrobe full of interesting pieces if there is nothing to pull them together, or if those pieces can only coordinate with one thing?

    I would love to know which resources you like for guidance on how to build a wardrobe that really works with the 70/30 rule. I know that this can easily change dependent on your lifestyle, but you need to start somewhere.

  31. […] Clothes you never wear: self explanatory! […]

  32. when i moved from one city to another 5 years ago, i had over 100 pair of shoes. fine, beautiful, for the most part designer shoes. i am now the proud owner of 40 pair. still fine, beautiful & designer. i was able to give away most of the others, and the ones i’ve kept have been re-heeled, re-soled, re-everything’d; i buy quality shoes so they last forever & look good just as long. much less expensive, i have learned, to have a great cobbler than purchase cheap shoes!
    as far as clothing, well, unfortunately, i was in the same boat as my shoes. i have now learned that black skirts & white cotton shirts are my staples. i love them & with a splash of color (jewelry, a scarf, colored tights) i am never bored. i do wear colors & have multiple solid & patterned blouses & sweaters for my skirts. while black & white are my go-to-wardrobe for work, i include gray & red, as they all combine well. it took me quite a while to figure it out but after giving away & donating bags & bags of clothing when i moved, i finally got it! i shop mainly at the thrift store now and rarely add anything new since i treat my clothing as my shoes, quite well. i am proud of myself because there was a time when i’d spend $1500 without blinking in an afternoon’s shopping spree. so in that respect i’m doing so much better!
    i still go through my closet twice a year & use the same system as most of you; if i haven’t worn it this season or last, out it goes. donate, give to a friend, or toss if unwearable. and to update my tights & stockings i hit walmart, target, etc…always on the lookout for off-season bargains. plaid tights with the right skirt & blouse combination is fun, funky, & new. the people in my office say i have the most awesome clothing; if they only knew how everything in my closet is mix and match & that they’ve seen that skirt or that previously x-number of times! it’s still fun to be THE fashionable girlie in the office.
    i’d say, at least in this respect, i’m nearly right on with gail’s 70/30. so, if i’ve learned that lesson, i can stick with the jars & pay off my debts, right gail? thanks for yet another timely & valuable message.

  33. I tend to buy “shinies” that will make me feel overdressed at the opera, and those accumulate — as they are hardly ever worn, they never get old. My lastest two shinies came for free, though, when I helped a friend clear her wardrobe. My tip on what to do with the special occasion wear: Create a casual style that allows you to wear it. My tight silk sequined top is great with cargo pants, and that long black dress was made to wear it with my old leather jacket, sneakers, and an ethnic bag from a yard sale.

    My favorite accessories are colourful scarves. They are useful (my place of work is drafty, and I easily get colds) and they make my staple “dark pants, light coloured shirt, grey blazer” outifts less boring and more complete.

  34. Don’ forget about consignment stores. I made $500 one summer just from selling gently used clothes I didn’t want anymore. And they’re a great place to find higher-end pieces at a lower-end price.

  35. I hate clothes shopping but am in a line of work where I am required to look put-together and make public appearances. Here’s my tips (gathered over years of having to look good while preserving my sanity):
    – women need to stop using shopping as some sort of therapy — if you are shopping as an outlet you need to think about what it is therapy for and address that issue
    – women need to stop using shopping and clothes storage as some sort of torture — if you are buying or keeping clothes that you don’t fit into now, end the self-hatred and move on
    – only have in-season clothes available in your closet
    – when you change your seasonal offerings in the fall and in the spring, zealously get rid of anything that you didn’t wear that season and mend anything that needs it; then in six months when you switch over again you’ll feel like you are getting a new wardrobe — things you may have forgotten about but that all feel great on
    – colour-coordinate and size-coordinate your clothes — i.e. only have stuff that you feel really fabulous in, in your closet — don’t torture yourself by looking at stuff that makes you feel bad — if it’s an unflattering colour, cut, or size, give it to charity for someone with a different body type who will look the opposite in it and silently thank you for helping them get that first job!
    – if all of your clothes are a flattering colour, cut and size, you will miraculously own surprisingly few clothes (men who’ve seen the size of my closet are in awe) but have way more outfits — you will have all the shoes, jewelry, and other accessories to look fab without having broken your piggy bank — essentially your cost per wear will go way down
    – try dressing for work in a colour for each week — men do this all the time so they don’t have to think in the morning — for instance make one week your black suit week, another your blue suit week and just change each day up by changing which piece(s) of the suit you wear and which accessories. French women are famous for investing in one good suit in a great cut and then only ever spending money again on accessories.

  36. I am a DEFINITE clotheshorse. A HUGE fan of shopping, clothing, accessories, purses and shoes. But I am also a practical person at heart

    I don’t buy 3″ heels when I can only wear 2″ as a maximum. I don’t buy or wear super tight, shiny clothing because I KNOW I will never want to put it on.. and I don’t buy colours I don’t wear either.

    My top 5 tips.

    1. Think about your lifestyle. If you don’t wear a suit to work, don’t buy one. Or more than one. That’s just wasting money if you don’t wear them.

    2. Be practical. A pair of sequined ballet flats are cute, but dark brown leather ones are probably more practical if you can only wear one pair.

    3. Don’t give up your sense of fun. Wearing all black is easy, but it makes you bored of your clothes pretty easily.

    4. Focus on accessories — they’re cheaper, especially necklaces, to change up your look.

    5. I also don’t like buying a lot of duplicates. 5 tops in black? Forget it.

    My favourite staple for work is a pair of trouser jeans (business casual), and for play, just simple dresses.

    Accessory hands down are necklaces. Easy to carry, store, can be fairly cheap, really changes an outfit for me, and won’t take up a ton of space.

  37. Basic clothing wardrobe list:

    http://www.4fashionadvice.com/wardrobe/article/womens-clothing-basics/

    –with some photos

  38. Unfortunately, I’ve build up a store card debt through buying clothes – not designer clothes – just mid- to higher price high street store clothes. I do wear everything I buy and I do enjoy shopping, but I’m determined to clear this debt. Inspiring post.

  39. […] Clothes You Never Wear ~ @ Gail Vaz-Oxlade […]

  40. There’s a book known as “Avoid Retirement And Remain Alive”. The idea may be the simple fact that retirement has no location in contemporary society. If you are able to make work enjoyable by balancing it against the other points you’d like to try and do, then you definitely are able to live like you’ve got every one of the time inside the globe.

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