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Are you spending too much on your wardrobe?

How to know if you are spending more than necessary on your clothes?

‘A closet full of clothes and nothing to wear’. That sums up the angst of many of the millennial. Some shop till they drop, while others merrily hit the ‘buy’ button on intimation of a sale. 

How to know if they are spending more than necessary on their clothes? 

Budget

It all comes back to the basics of budgeting. Financial experts suggest a separate thumb rule of spending not more than five percent of your take-home salary on clothing. 

So, for instance, if you are having a take-home salary of Rs 10 lakh every year, you can annually spend up to Rs 50,000 for your family on clothes. For a family of three, it works out to Rs 17,000 per person. 

Check if you are spending more than the prescribed limit. 

Investing in quality

Does a low budget mean that you need to buy clothes in the low-price range? Not necessarily. Rather look at cost per usage. A shirt with a price tag of Rs 2,000 shirt that lasts for 40 wears (or Rs 50 per use) is more economical than a Rs 1,200 shirt that last for 20 wears (or Rs 60 per use).

Therefore, look for good quality clothes that last longer. It is not only economical but also saves you from the hassles of shopping frequently. 

Start taking inventory of what’s in your wardrobe. Some might need to be discarded, while others worn with little mends. In the process, you might perhaps discover some hidden gems. 

Have a running list

Start taking inventory of what’s in your wardrobe. Some might need to be discarded, while others worn with little mends. In the process, you might perhaps discover some hidden gems. 

This exercise will help come up with a running list of clothes that you can wear. 

How many clothes to have in the wardrobe? 

It’s largely a function of the laundry cycle, how often you wear a dress (before a wash) and the available space. If you are doing laundry once a week, you need to have at least seven pairs a season. However, it will be lesser if you wear it more than once.

Also remember, your wardrobe might require a shuffle every season; after all your summer clothing is bound to be different from those for winters. Add to that your night wears and you have a rough idea of the bare minimum count. 

Don’t purchase new clothes till the existing ones run through its life. Follow the thumb rule of ‘buying one after throwing another’. 

Maximise your wardrobe

You can save a bit by maximising your wardrobe. 

Invest in wardrobe basics – white shirt, black blazer, black pants, dark blue denim and plain cotton T-shirts – that will form the backbone. It will allow you to be versatile by allowing mixing and matching and accessorising in many ways. 

Some people wear 20 percent of the wardrobe, 80 percent of the times. By following the “first-in-last-out” wardrobe strategy, you will stop repeating clothes too often. 

Maintenance

Go through labels and washing instructions of your clothes. While washing the clothes, what works for cotton and wool, may not be suitable for synthetic fabrics like polyester. Also, natural fabrics tend to shrink in hot temperatures. 

Hunt for bargains

Instead of falling for trendy clothes, buy clothes that fit your personality. It is best to stock-up your clothes for the year whenever there is a sale. 

Shop with a list

Impulse buying often results in lot of wastage. So, shop with a list. Moreover, give yourself a cooling period of 24 hours before buying expensive clothes. 

Rent or Borrow

You need not always buy your clothes and can even rent it for some special occasions. Many portals offer wedding and designer clothes on affordable rent. Alternatively you can even borrow it from friends of your size and return the favour whenever they need it. 

Takeaway

Don’t spend more than five percent of your take-home salary on clothes. By investing in quality stuff and by maximizing your wardrobe, you can keep your wardrobe spends within limits.


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