This article was originally published July 23, 2015.
There was a time when men’s grooming and fashion were as complicated as women’s. But that time is long gone.
In fact, the average American spends $161 per month on clothes, with women spending 76% more than men annually, according to CreditDonkey. And a recent study by OnePoll for Groupon found that women spend an additional $313 each month on the rest of their appearance, on average. This amount of spending can do serious damage to your budget and keep you from meeting your financial goals.
Fortunately, it’s possible to start spending more prudently. First, review your spending habits and determine how much of your disposable income you can truly afford to spend on your appearance each month. Awareness is the first step towards developing better habits. Finding your style can also help.
Why You Have a Closet Full of Clothes but Nothing to Wear
Many women buy clothing that they seldom wear. It’s usually because the article of clothing did not suit them or fit their style. Maybe a well-meaning friend or salesperson insisted, “it looks fabulous on you!” Then you realize later it most decidedly does not.
It’s easy for a wardrobe to mushroom with such ill-advised purchases but still feel like you have nothing to wear. Finding your style can help you spend less, save more, and curate a wardrobe that feels more like you.
4 Tips for Finding Your Style
Style Tip #1: Identify the Pieces You Wear Most Often
Go through your closet and pull out the pieces that you wear over and over again. These will offer strong clues about how you like to look. As you’re pulling out the items you love, set aside anything you haven’t worn in a year.
Style Tip #2: Look for Inspiration
Browse magazines and tear out pictures of outfits that appeal to you. Alternatively, you can pin photos on a Pinterest Board.
Style Tip #3: Revisit Your Routine
Your routine activities can provide clues about what to stop buying. For example, if you’re not going to many cocktail parties, you probably don’t need to own ten cocktail dresses! In other words, make sure your wardrobe fits your current lifestyle.
Style Tip #4: Hire a Professional Stylist
If you find it impossible to audit your closet yourself, hire an expert to help you. An experienced stylist or organizer can help take the emotion out of the equation and squelch your attempts to hold onto clothing that doesn’t work for you or your lifestyle.
You can also employ a stylist to help you shop. A good stylist will help you fine-tune your personal style, go shopping with you seasonally, and even find great items on sale for you.
Even though hiring help will cost you money, it will be well worth it in the end when you have a new, well-edited wardrobe. And once you have a better handle on your personal style, you’re likely to save time, energy, and money in the future.
Finding Your Style Has Multiple Benefits
Besides the cost savings, finding your personal style can have psychological and emotional benefits. When your appearance accurately reflects who you are inside, you may find you feel more confident and in control of your life.
If you’re looking for more tips on how to curb your shopping habit, check out: 25 Tips to Get Your Clothes Shopping Habit Under Control.
And for a fresh, inspiring approach to budgeting, download The Happiness Spreadsheet to create a spending plan that’s aligned with your values.
Finally, if Curtis Financial Planning can help you take control of your finances and secure your future, please schedule a call.