The Psychology of Clothes Buying

Remember how I set a goal to only spend $500 on clothes this year?

I know that actually probably seems like a lot to some people. It both does and doesn’t to me: My family was not the richest. My parents could not be convinced to buy me as many clothes as I would have liked. My father especially. Although I’ve always been a bit of a clothes horse, that made it hard. I bought a lot of my clothes myself. And I would estimate that until I went to college, I spent less than $200 on clothes each year.

But it drastically changed for me when I moved to Los Angeles five years ago. Suddenly, I could buy as many clothes as my heart desired and still have plenty of money to clear my old debts, add money to my savings account, save and then buy a house. I’ve never been as financially stable EVER.

And that’s why I’ve been thinking more about minimalism and spending less. Maybe there comes a point when a woman’s got really all the clothing she needs.

This goal started as a way to encourage me to sew more. I like the idea of sewing clothing a lot. Clothes that are perfectly sized for me? Mhmm. But what’s happened is that it’s also caused me to think A LOT (too much?) about every clothing purchase I’ve made this year and ask myself repeatedly, “Do I really need that?”

For instance, a week or so ago I got an email from J.Crew telling me that I can take an extra 30% off final sale items with a code. I scoped out a couple styles of cords, and then told Tasha (she likes cords, too). She asked me what colors I was getting, and a little back and forth later, I wrote: “I’ve spent a lot of money on clothes this month.”

I’m not lying. My total for the year at the end of March was $70.63. I’m currently at $198.38. Where did that money go? Well, I went to a sample sale with some friends Easter Weekend. That was $98, but I got a bunch of clothes. I could have probably gotten fewer pieces, though. I still haven’t worn some. I also bought a white tuxedo blazer from Daily Look. It’s not the quality I expected (or at least hoped for), so I’ll probably return it.

All that led to me thinking: How many days a week do I wear pants? Two. Otherwise, it’s skirts and dresses. Do I have enough pants for those days? Yes. Should I buy new pants that fit or work harder to drop weight? Work harder.

Verdict: no pants.

Also: I need to make all the dresses.

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