When I reflect back on my style journey over the years, setting a clothing budget was a huge turning point for me. Prior to setting aside monthly funds for clothing, I felt guilty about spending even a single dollar on clothes, which often lead to aimless and sporadic spending. Setting a budget at first sounded like a total bore, but it's actually where I found freedom and started to discover style as an art - something far deeper than just items we wear on our bodies. My first clothing budget dates back to 2007, and while the dollar amount hasn't changed, other aspects have. My career* and the climate I live in are different. And while practicality is always important, I also aim to have FUN with my clothing budget! (This is my "fun money" as much as it is my traditional clothing budget - a necessity and a line item any financial planner would recommend. See "How to Set a Clothing Budget" for more details.)
Today's post contains everything I purchased with my clothing budget since my last update on March 13th. Budget recaps and methodical reflection on what I've purchased are essential parts of the process - it's a way to evaluate what I I bought and improve future purchases. With my budget, I aim to make thoughtful and responsible purchases that I will want to wear for many years to come, and to passionately pursue creative expression through fashion, which can sometimes be a tricky balance. There's always plenty of room for improvement.
A quick glance at today's round up shows that these are some of my favorite things I've ever purchased. A studded leather jacket, a beautiful embroidered skirt, the prettiest chandelier earrings, a versatile maxi, and the list goes on. My strategy is very much to invest in "sizzle" pieces, and I happily repeat them often, even if they are more recognizable. I love color, detail, pattern, structure.
In 5 months I averaged 8.2 items and $295 per month, which is slightly over my $250 monthly clothing budget, but I had 4 months of budget saved up and still have a positive balance of $811. (I treat my budget like an allowance and at the start of each month I deposit $250 into an "account" and then spend as I go, see chart below.)
*Please note: my current budget only includes things that I purchased myself, that fall into the "clothing" category of my budget, and do not include Stella & Dot items (I'm a 1099 employee and earn products and discounts), items that were returned, and any free items I get from working in the fashion industry (I return items from sponsored posts whenever possible - see Disclosure for more info. However, I sometimes wind up keeping an item for future use in blog posts).
What has your relationship with clothes been like over the years? Have you ever considered having a clothing budget?