Living, Style

Shopping for Summer Wardrobe on a Budget

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Like I said, I’m losing weight, which is great. But my original plan was to not buy any new clothes until I had gotten to my goal weight as kind of motivation and money-saver. Now that I’m essentially two sizes down from what I was last summer, I’m realizing how impractical that is, so I have to buy a few key pieces to get me through. (Not to mention that all of my work pants now fall off me. As happy as I am to notice the hipbones, this is turning out to be more expensive than I expected.) The last thing I want to do in a month where I’m taking two vacations AND moving is to buy a new wardrobe as well, but I’m starting to work out a budget and figure out what basics I need to fill the gaps in the meantime.

So far, I’ve already purchased the following:

  • $18 – Free People Boy Meets Girl tank (certainly not a wardrobe need but my spirit animal from Glee wore this shirt in the season finale sooo… I bought it. sorry-slash-not-sorry)
  • $68 – Free People dip-dyed skirt (I’m struggling with this one because of the price tag, but I love it SO much. and it fits – as a former size 20 Macy’s Impulse sales associate, I literally didn’t think I’d ever be wearing Free People.)
  • $7 – J. Crew shirt (this was a total impulse buy. Didn’t need it, but it was so soft, and I guess it’s dressier than my other plain t-shirts so I could wear it for a casual Friday if we ever get them back.)
  • $35ish – a new suit for swim classes, a workout tank and a pair of shorts (my pants were falling off me in the race, I’m literally pulling them up in the finish line photo)

run1I ran the last quarter mile that way – ain’t nobody got time for that

I still need a pair of shorts (the two pair I bought from Target last summer fall off of me) and at least one more pair of work pants. Ideally I’d find the bootcut corduroys I found at Gap a few years ago but I’m sure I won’t, so I’m in the market for some khakis. But building a new wardrobe, even in the interim, is costing a lot more than I thought/hoped/expected for a few reasons.

  1. I’ve started to become really conscious of things like cost per wear, materials, and where things are manufactured. Krystal and Daisy have blogged at length about these topics, which have made me consider what I’m wearing a little bit more. With as much as I focus on what I put in my body, I should give the same consideration to what I put on it.
  2. That said, I’m buying more quality pieces that will last instead of the Target clearance so much of my wardrobe has been until this point. Maybe this isn’t the time to focus on “investment” pieces, but I know myself to get attached to clothes. It’s hard for me to get rid of even a $3 t-shirt if I don’t feel like I’ve worn it to its last leg or if it’s connected to some special memory or event. (And there are a LOT of things I’ve worn to pieces.)
  3. Clothes that are structured well tend to be pricier too, and I’m trying to focus on looking more professional. Sometimes I get to work and look at myself and just feel sloppy.
  4. Workout wear gets too big too, who knew! That stuff is not cheap either.
  5. I don’t even really have room to buy new clothes because I’m still so attached to things that just hang sadly in my closet.

I’d like to keep this to under $200, including what I’ve already gotten, which leaves me with about $70. Should be do-able ($35 each on a pair of shorts and a pair o, but there’s just so much I need to get over psychologically. Guilt of spending THAT much money on clothes, on replacing things that fit if I wear the belt I had to put an extra hole in and look kind of okay if I belt at the waist too, guilt that I’m not ready to stop losing weight so I shouldn’t be so spendy… Ugh.

Should I be shopping the clearance and bargain stores to get me through the summer or invest in some higher-end things now?