Spending time to save money (on clothes)

I recently took the bin of summer clothes I have stored at the top of my closet and did the ol’ mid-year seasonal switcheroo. The winter stuff goes into the bin and the summer stuff comes out. For whatever reason, I have a few more warm weather clothes than winter. Maybe it’s the years we spent living in Las Vegas or that I tend to go shopping more before summer vacations and weddings. It’s a nice surprise to see some of those old clothes again after they’ve been tucked away for so long.

All the summer catalogs have started to pour in and I have been sending them straight from the mailbox to the recycling bin because I know if I crack open the latest J.Crew, every page will be dog-eared and I’ll be obsessing over outfits I don’t need and don’t have a budget for. I have to stop myself. I can no longer afford to shop like I used to – which is a good thing. I am more mindful now. I used to spend money to save time. Now I spend time to save money.

Here are a few practical things I’ve started doing whenever I feel the urge to check out of my online cart after digital window shopping, in trying to discover, acknowledge and use the clothes I already have.

  1. Just do the laundry. Whenever I feel like I have nothing to wear, I realize it’s because everything I like to wear the most is likely in the dirty laundry hamper.
  2. It’s the worst, but take time to iron. I loathe my ironing board – most especially that screeching sound it makes as it’s unfolding. You know the one. (I’ve been wanting to invest in a good steamer but haven’t yet.) Somehow, ironing that shirt gives it a bit of new life.
  3. Surprise! Check the dry cleaning bin. There are times when I feel like a trip to the dry cleaner is just as expensive as going shopping for something new. That said, I often forget about a dress or a skirt that I tossed in the dry cleaning bin and sometimes, I can cheat a trip to the dry cleaner and take extra time to hand wash it.
  4. Crisis not required, but create some order in the closet. Creating order out of chaos is how I deal with pretty much everything. If I’m in crisis mode, you can usually find me on my closet floor having a good cry, then organizing something in there.
  5. Hang things up to see everything. I recently started hanging up my shorts and it seemed silly at first but it feels a bit fancy when I go to choose a pair. Like I am making a conscious choice, instead of just throwing something on that was at the top of a pile. In my head, I feel more put together.

I’ve always been a fan of the concept of a capsule wardrobe. I also like the idea of investing in a few things you love that you will have for several years. I don’t do well with making decisions quickly and limiting my options helps. Of course, until it comes time to do the laundry, which comes a lot quicker when your inventory is condensed.


Recovering Corporate closet 2

How about you? Do you find yourself frequently editing your wardrobe? Are you a master at shopping your closet? I have a friend who uses Pinterest regularly to recreate outfits with clothes she already has. I love that. Where do you draw your inspiration from?

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