An unfortunate impression that comes with running a blog is that the author has endless amounts of money to spend on clothes (or whatever he or she talks about on their blog). It can end up discouraging readers or harming them if they try to blindly keep up--as if that is the solution to their frustrations with clothes or any other topic.
I want to encourage smart wardrobe renovations, not mindless clothes purchases. I do believe moms can enjoy a versatile, functional wardrobe on reasonable budgets and I plan to abide by that expectation personally! As I'm trying to establish in the Elastic Wardrobe series: you don't need A LOT of clothes, you just need the RIGHT clothes.
To that end, I will be posting a monthly report of my budget and what I purchased (if anything) that month. Besides dispensing with the impression of having endless amounts of money to spend on clothes, I hope this serves as an example of how I'm trying to put the Elastic Wardrobe Rules to practice (see below).
This is the first month that I'm following these rules for my own closet so I'm excited to see how my wardrobe takes shape over the coming months! I'm excited to share the journey with you.
What about after I've found everything on my list? Do I ever need to shop for clothes again?
If you love shopping, any additions to your wardrobe will be for added versatility and variety--but just as before, they should always check off on these four points:
- Falls within your color palette
- Fits you correctly
- Can combine with at least 4 or 5 other items in your wardrobe (the more the better!)
- You love it (you don't just think it's kinda cute)
If you hate shopping, then take a break and enjoy the beautiful and versatile wardrobe you've created. As new seasons hit, you may discover new holes in your closet. Add those to your list and shop as you are able. After a year or so, it will be a good idea to reassess all the items in your closet and donate/consign any that you haven't ended up wearing (these should be very few to none if your followed the four rules above when they were purchased!). Are there any new holes in your closet? Add them to your list.
Regardless of whether you love or hate shopping, refreshing your closet with a couple of new items every year keeps your wardrobe interesting and fun.
What should my budget be?
I'm going to be writing a full post on this soon. I'll link back when I do. In short, budgets will vary widely from woman to woman, family to family. I recommend coming up with one that you feel comfortable actually spending each month. You can make that your personal budget or one that includes all your family's needs.
What's your budget and attitude toward shopping?
Our family budget is $40/month (that's for myself, my hubby, and our toddler). That has served us well. Some months we go over, other months we have extra to carry over to the next month. This month $16 were spent for hubby so I had $24 left to spend. I ended up going over my budget because, shame on me, I had completely forgotten about the $16 we'd spent earlier and was playing off the $40 budget. Boo!
I personally love shopping. Besides blogging, it is probably my #1 hobby. (Can you guess why I started this blog?) I also tend to get bored of clothes perhaps more easily than the average mom, so re-consigning and adding new items is a common practice each quarter. Basically, you can expect me to almost always have some new purchases to share on my month "This Momma's Clothes Budget and Finds."
This month, I planned an entire shopping afternoon with my sisters to celebrate my graduation from university. After all, shopping IS my favorite activity in the world so it only seemed like the appropriate way to celebrate a big achievement. We started with coffee before hitting our favorite consignment store in town (Labels) and then Forever 21 in the mall. It was a fabulous afternoon and I found several items from my list!
As I mentioned above, this is my first month shaping my own elastic wardrobe, so in preparation for the shopping day I pulled around 15 items from my closet to re-consign/donate. Yeah, major purging was going on.
I also moved a few clothes that I loved but don't fit my color palette into "temporary hold." I plan to reassess these pieces later but wasn't ready to get rid of them.
My Budget this Month: $24
What I Spent: $38.70
ITEMS FROM MY LIST:
Go here to view my list and why I have one.
1. Plaid button-up (red, flannel, “classic” pattern, fitted)
- Found: Navy/red plaid, Forever 21 @ Forever 21 (Exact) -- $19.90 + tax
2. Long-sleeve t-shirt (navy, taupe, gray)
- Found: Navy, J. Crew @ Consignment Store (Similar) -- $5.99 (Used gift card - $0)
3. Skinny jeans (dark-wash, mid-rise)
- Found: Dark-wash skinny jeans, mid-rise, Forever 21 @ Forever 21 (Exact) -- $7.90 + tax
4. Light gray skinny pants
- Found: Dark gray skinny pants, Royalty by YMI @ Consignment Store (Similar) -- $3.99 (Used gift card - $0)
5. Cute “errand” sneakers or slip-ons (navy, dark gray)
- Found: Red Toms-style slip-ons, Banana Bay @ Consignment Store (Similar) -- $5.99 (Used gift card - $0)
Additional Items (not on my list):
6. 3/4 sleeve polka dot cowel neck top, Old Navy @ Consignment Store (Similar) -- $3.99 (Used gift card - $0)
7. Cap sleeve polka dot chiffon blouse, Maurices @ Consignment Store (Similar) -- $4.99 (Used gift card - $0)
8. White cami, Forever 21 @ Forever 21 (Exact) -- $1.90 + tax (yes, you read that right!)
9. Gray short sleeve t-shirt, Forever 21 @ Forever 21 (Exact) -- $5.90 + tax
Over all I'm pretty happy with my finds--especially since I found five items from my list. Although, I was a little concerned when I realized how much navy blue I had purchased. Mental note for next month: No more navy blue! I need to continue working on finding pieces in the rest of my color palette: taupe, turquoise, mustard, red, and coral.
But I was so pleased to see the huge amount of outfit variety these pieces added. Because they are within my color palette, they go with so much that is already in my closet!
Note about the Forever 21 skinny jeans: they were a bargain price and fit me perfect, but I'm wondering how they'll hold up. For $7.90 they might stretch out right away or fade with a few washes (although I avoid washing my pants very often). Bottom line: it was within my budget and I really needed a pair. So I felt okay trying them out. Even if they do wear out in a year, hey, they were probably worth the price.
I look forward to sharing my budget/finds again at the end of February!
See any items here that you're looking for? What's on your list for this month?
Make sure to fill in the anonymous budget survey on the sidebar. I plan to keep it up until I gather 100 or so responses and then share the results!