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It’s been a long 18 months. In that time, our lifestyles have changed, our habits have changed, our needs have changed, our bodies have changed and our budgets have changed.

Thankfully, my shopaholic days are behind me, but I do still enjoy playing around with my personal style and putting together outfits that make me feel like my best self. It’s a form of expression I value, so I budget for it. I’m still working remotely, so I don’t yet need to revamp my work wardrobe, but I am tired of wearing sweatpants and pajamas day in and day out. But, as I’ve begun putting on “real” clothes each day, I’ve started feeling like my closet is a bit outdated — and some pieces are just plain ill fitting now.

So, I’ve been doing some online shopping here and there — but I’m officially stumped. It seems like my go-to stores aren’t quite cutting it anymore, and things that were “in” a year and a half ago are long gone. I do like to mix it up with some older pieces (I love thrifting!) and I’ve recently found a few new sustainable brands I love. But overall, I’m having a hard time zeroing in on which wardrobe staples will give me the most bang for my buck, where to find updated versions of those things, and how to save as much money as possible while still giving myself a little freedom to feel good in my clothes again.

Anyone else at the same weird crossroads with clothing and all the factors (cost, ethics, need vs. want, body fluctuations, changing lifestyles, etc.) that go into rebuilding a wardrobe? And how do you save money when it comes to clothes? Clothing swaps? Thrifting? Shopping the sales? One of those clothing rental services?

Grace Schweizer is the social media manager for The Penny Hoarder.

Last edited by Grace Schweizer
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Surprisingly you can find good quality clothes at the thrift stores.  Especially the family owned ones.  I have found brand names and one time an Angora sweater never worn.  It takes a lot more time to sort thru and match colors, but for me it is a lot of fun.  I usually plan a day of it and just go around to the best stores I have found near me and go for it.  Sandee

Thankfully, I'm not much of a fashion person. I stopped buying clothes about 4 years ago and very little of what I have from then has worn out. I'm planning retirement. All to say, I had/have way too many clothes and I just can't justify spending money on more. I guess if I had consigned my clothes when they still were sellable (did you know clothes have a "sell by date"?, I wouldn't feel bad about buying new or thrifting. I didn't do that so here we are. I'm testing myself to see how long I can go without buying new - even just new to me.

I went from a size 8 to a 22 in under a year due to thyroid problems, then back problems due to too much weight. I have a walk-in closet FILLED with my way to small clothes with no room to hang up the few clothes that fit me now. I love the idea of thrift stores, but I can't stand up long enough to find what I need. I found a rather pricey thrift store online called “Thred Up”, and they give you measurements of each piece, which is very helpful. They also rate the condition each piece is in. It's worth it to me!  And it does save money, just not as much as the brick-and-mortar thrift stores.

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