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How Simplifying Your Wardrobe Can Help You Save Money


I first read Elaine St. James' Simplify Your Life back in the 1990's and the one piece of advice that made clothes shopping easier for me was to choose a simple, classic style that looked good and stick with it forever. For some that idea may sound rigid and stifling. Why stick with one style when there are so many colors, patterns, shapes and cuts to choose from?

1. Cost Per Wear
Number one, fashion trends change all the time. If you're in the habit of always trying to acquire the latest styles, you will simply need to spend more money. Even if those pieces were on sale, the cost per wear would be actually higher, because the quality probably won't be that great. Being seasonal you may only wear a garment once or twice. Whereas, if you invested in pieces that were timeless, quality, fit your body type, go with your lifestyle and if lucky at a discount, your cost per wear actually goes down. You will wear what you love, what fits you well and will be more likely to take better care of investment pieces over trendier fashions.

2. Time
Second, by sticking with classic styles, you're actually liberated from wasting time trying to figure out what to wear. And time is money. You have a body type that is uniquely you so it's best to build classics around what fits and not waste money on unflattering, one-hit wonders. Remember too, you can define what a "classic" is for you. It doesn't have to be boring. Dressing should still be a reflection of your personality. The key is to go for classic styles as your foundation pieces and accessorize as needed. By sticking with sure things that fits your body type and that you love, you'll always feel confident no matter what and will never have to go searching for something to wear on any given day.

3. Clothes You Love
When you wear favorite outfits that you absolutely love, fit your body and suit your current lifestyle, then you won't feel the need to spend more money on what you don't need. You won't succumb to the call of siren sale signs beckoning you to "Buy one, get one free!" or "Save 75% off your next purchase" when you open up your shopping emails or walk into a department store. You can let go of what's unnecessary.

4. The Pareto Principle
The 80/20 rule is also known as the Pareto Principle where 80% outcome is caused by 20% effort. So in wardrobe terms we typically only use 20% of our wardrobe 80% of the time. Don't believe me? After you do laundry next time, put your clothes on hangers in the opposite direction of how your clothes normally hang. At the end of the month, see how many clothes are still facing the opposite direction. This gives you insight on how many clothing garments you actually use in any given month. You may consider donating some of those unused clothes to charity.

5. Tax Write-Offs
Good people generally like to help other people out. Particularly those who are in need. When you let go of clothes you no longer use, you give others the opportunity to give them a second life and benefit from your used clothing. Plus if you request a receipt from the charity shop like the Goodwill or Salvation Army, you could write off the donation and obtain tax credit for the year.

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