Clothes are integral part of our budgets and if not checked properly can be a financial drain. For the frugal minded, find below 16 massive tips I culled from one of favourite blogs, Wisebread, that can help you spend less on wardrobe budget.
1. Know Thyself
The first step in maintaining a wardrobe is to be aware of your cleaning limits and your clothing habits.
If you can’t afford to dry clean clothing, don’t buy dry-clean-only clothes. If you despise ironing and avoid it with all your might, don’t build your wardrobe around French cuff shirts or blouses that need starching. You’ll only regret it later when you can’t be bothered with the cost or hassle of upkeep, and you’ll either have to get rid of the clothes, or wear them wrinkled.
2. Color Wisely
If you have a habit of spilling coffee down your front, there’s no shame in wearing lots of chocolate brown, charcoal gray, and navy blue. Dark colors hide a multitude of clumsy moments.
3. Folding vs. Hanging
Make sure that you don’t fold clothes that need to be hung and don’t hang clothes that need to be folded. Sweater stretch on the hanger and dress shirts don’t do well folded, unless you are an expertly masterful folder of some kind.
4. Dress for The Task at Hand
It can be tempting to simply get messy chores done while wearing whatever it is we wore at work, but that’s a fast way to ruin work clothes. There’s a reason why moms frequently make a distinction between their kids’ “play clothes” and “school clothes.” If tackling a potentially dirty project, don’t do it in a dress shirt and slacks. Change into your grubbies before you get muddy. Also, wear an apron while cooking. I’ve ruined many a lovely dress over a pot of simmering bolognese.
5. Stop Laundering So Often
It’s really easy to want to wash an item of clothing after having worn it just once. But washing is the fastest way to help the fibers break down. The fewer times you have to wash, the longer it will last.
If you are too lazy to rehang worn (but clean) clothing, it’s OK to drape it over surfaces like your dresser or a chair, just as long as you don’t drop it on the floor. Once clothes are on the floor, they will HAVE to be washed before being worn again, but a draped shirt will live to see another day of wear.
The following items can also help you wear a shirt or a pair of pants more than once before washing:
- Tide To Go Pen: These little pens cost less than $5, last for a long time, and will save your blouse when you manage to drop a dollop of marinara down the front. Coworkers and friends are always wowed by how quickly this trick works to remove stains from fabric. I use a Shout stick stain remover as well, on large stains, but the Tide pen allows you to use the stain treatment without having to wash the clothing item immediately thereafter.
- Lint Roller: Sometimes a pair of black slacks doesn’t really need to be washed — it just needs the cat hair removed from around the cuffs. My white dog really loves to jump on my lap whenever I’m wearing dark colors (it’s like he knows), and it’s not that he’s dirty — he just sheds like it’s going out of style. I have lint rollers in every room of my house, and they keep my slacks looking professional. I also keep one at the office to pick up stray hair and fluff that inevitable lands on my back and shoulders during long days spent scratching my head.
- Deodorant: Your shirts will smell better and stand up to multiple wearings if you yourself don’t stink.
6. Keep All Those Buttons
Every time you buy a new clothing item that comes with spare buttons, immediately put the buttons in a jar or box reserved entirely for buttons and spare thread. It’s easy to lose track of these important surplus buttons, and it’s one of the fastest ways for a cardigan to become useless.
7. Wash in Cold Water
People who wash their clothing in cold water will notice a drop in their energy bills very quickly. In addition, many fabrics (especially nylon and elastics) hold up better when subjected to less heat. Cold water detergents are designed to remove dirt even without the help of hot water, but even normal detergent will work well. Also, even though I try my hardest to be a stickler for the environment, a good capful of bleach will do amazing things for your whites — it’s almost like having new clothing.
[Some parents might note that it is very difficult to remove grass stains from a kid’s pants using cold water washes. To this I respond: this is why children should be dressed from head to toe in black. Not only can you imagine that they are little ninjas (or French poets, if they are pouting), but it’ll save you the pain of trying to remove all kinds of goobery stains from their clothing. Those of you who would like to note that I am not, in fact, a parent, and don’t know what I am talking about, I would just like to say this: you are right. I’m still planning on having black-clad children of my own, no matter what you say about how adorable they look in t-shirts with froggies on them.]
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