How to Stop Wasting Money on Clothes

5 ways to stop wasting money on clothes

We all want to save money, right? Well, most of us do. And if we’re being honest, we probably waste most of our money on clothes. We all have our vices, but I’m willing to bet if you cut back on how much money you spent on clothes, you’d be saving quite a bit of cash. Of course, we could all be shopping at discount stores, but that’s not really a solution. First, we’d likely be supporting unethical labor practices through those purchases. Plus, when things are “cheap” we tend to buy more of them, filling our closets and spending just as much as if we’d bought one or two nice items.

After my 2016 epiphany, I started analyzing the biggest culprits in my wardrobe over-spending. Thinking about how and why I was spending so much on my closet, with little satisfaction to show for it, led me to revisiting and coming up with new ways to stop wasting money on clothes. There’s so many traps out there that we style-lovers fall into when it comes to clothes. This list is by no means exhaustive, but hopefully you find something here that helps you stop wasting money on clothes.

buy secondhand

This is the most obvious tip ever, but try purchasing your clothes secondhand, if you’re not already. The biggest upside is getting clothes from brands you love at a fraction of the price. So, if you’re on the lookout for a nice chambray shirt, check out the consignment shops, where you might find that Madewell shirt that drapes just right – but is only $15. My biggest tip when it comes to purchasing items secondhand: go into the shop with a list. It’s so easy to go a little wild in a consignment or thrift store, so be sure to have a short list of items you’re looking for, and don’t get distracted by all the other pieces.

take care of your clothes / stop wasting money on clothesOne of the main reasons I spend money on clothes is because something ripped, shrunk or snagged. Of course, accidents happen, and I’m the first one to get grease stains on a silk skirt, but taking care of your clothes helps them last longer. The longer your clothes last, the less clothing you need to buy (duh.) This is more of a long term approach, but it’s a good one. By paying attention to labels, storing  your clothes properly, and maintaining them (repairing them when needed, washing them correctly) your clothes can last much longer, saving you money in the long run. (Full disclosure: I’m terrible at taking care of my clothes. It’s something I’m working on, but I’ve always been so lazy with my clothing.)

take care of your clothes / stop wasting money on clothes

stop wasting money on clothes / stick to a color schemeI don’t think our closets need to be totally matchy-matchy, but it has its merits. It may seem that having a general cohesive color scheme in  your closet just helps with getting dressed in the morning (everything matches!) While that’s certainly true, I also think it can help you stop buying clothes you don’t need. It’s so easy to get sucked in by a pretty pattern or a unique color when clothes shopping, then bring it home to find you have little to wear it with.

While I think this is okay for a few items in your closet, generally, you’ll get more use out of something that coordinates with most of your closet. I have so many pieces I rarely wear, because they just don’t fit in, and to me, that’s wasted money. Those are usually the first items to end up in a donation bag.stick to a color scheme / chambray, stripes & grey

stop wasting money on clothes / invest in shoesYes, I’m telling you to spend more money. To save money. Stick with me here. Shoes are spendy, and for good reason; good shoes are built to stand the weight of your body, stomping across concrete, for thousands, if not millions, of steps throughout their lifetime. Buying good shoes, that will last a long time, matters. But you already knew that. Beyond that, I think investing in versatile shoes is important. Purchasing shoes you’ll only wear once a year, or just once in a lifetime, is a waste of money. You don’t need to buy boring shoes, but be sure each pair has a purpose, and that you don’t already have a pair serving that purpose. Shoes are an easy way to waste money, so it’s wise to really consider each footwear purchase.

shoes, nike sneakers, sam edelman petty boots, aldo booties

stop wasting money on clothes / do your researchImpulse purchases rarely work out. Especially when it comes to items that cost more money (shoes, jackets, jeans) doing your research, and taking your time, is crucial. Last year, most of the purchases I regretted were ones that I made in a rush, on a whim. Take the time to try on multiple sizes, research materials, determine which shop has your favorite style. I think that by really considering each purchase, or at least knowing everything you can about what you’re buying, can help to curb buyer’s remorse and stop wasting money on clothes.

do your research when you're shopping

So, what do you think? Are you trying to stop wasting money on clothes, too? Do any of these tips resonate with you, or do you have other suggestions? I know there’s so many ways to approach this subject, and it’s one that I’m really considering right now, so I’d love to hear your thoughts.

  • chiara

    Love these tips. Unfortunately there are no good second hand shops around here…
    I would add only one thing: buy good shoes, yes, but also take good care of them. Make Friends with your cobbler!