New Clothes…

After 3 years, 2 children and one weird virus I need new clothes.  Since we started our 100/100 challenge clothes have been very, very far down on the list.

In our budget we have “spend” money every week.  This money is for things we need that week that are not a budget line item.  The total spend amount is between $15-$20 a week.  This has to include any food we eat out, any event we attend and anything we need.

This week my husband mentioned he needed new razors and I mentioned I need a few new clothes.

Now, before I get too far into the clothes discussion you may ask why don’t we have  a budget line item for clothes. Well, we would like to, someday.  Right now we have enough clothes for all the members of our family to be clothed so, for us, this means it is not a necessary line item in our budget.  If the essentials of living are food, shelter and clothing we consider ourselves blessed and are covered.

We very rarely need to purchase clothes for our children.  We have two children (Age 3 and Age 1) who are amazingly provided for by family through gifts of clothes and through friends via hand me downs.  I have not purchased something for either of them in months.  Also we consign our kids clothes at a local neighborhood store .  So, when I have money that I have earned there I can pick up items that my children may be lacking at no cost to me.  Procuring clothes for young children is quite easy and inexpensive if you are willing to ask and work at it.

If you don’t have a local consignment store consider inviting over moms with kids of all ages and all sizes for a clothing swap!  Also, don’t forget to donate any left over items to your local crisis pregnancy center or family shelter.

But what about the adults, my husband and I.  Well, my husband is also pretty inexpensive to buy for.  He wears a chef uniform to work that is provided by his company.  The most we have to purchase for work are new socks as he stands on his feet all day.  So, that leaves clothes for nice occasions and for being day to day wear.  Since he works approximately 6 days a week he only has one full day where he needs clothes.  He has 3 pairs of dress pants in various colors, 5 dress shirts both short and long sleeved, 4 pairs of shorts various colors and about 15 t-shirts mostly from bands or sports teams.  This is more than enough clothes for him.  And when he does need an occassional replacement thrift stores have some of the most under shopped mens departments.  Last time he went on a “spree” with some birthday money he spent $18 and ended up with a brand new Chaps shirt, a pair of Docker pants, a pair of Docker shorts, a pair of work out shorts and a brand new coat from Abercrombie.  Score!

Ladies, you know that you love clothes, shoes and options in both.  I will confess I am a little bit of an anomaly in this area because for me, clothes and shoes are just there to be worn and as long as they are wearable and comfortable I am in good shape.  However, the dawn of motherhood has made me want to dress nicer (to remind myself I can wear unstained cute clothes!) and I have experienced some significant weight gain and loss so I don’t have much of a choice!

Currently I have 1 pair of shorts, 2 skirts, 2 sundresses and about 7 shirts that fit.  It is a little hard to mix and match with that few clothes.  Three things have happened in the past year to warrant this: dropping baby weight, losing my job and losing more than baby weight.  There was a time when there were a lot more clothes but now I don’t need a work wardrobe (which was HUGE) and nothing fits!

Here I will stop to mention that my husband and I decluttered our clothes this past winter.  We went through everything we owned and sold, donated or tossed anything we didn’t like,  didn’t wear, was in bad shape or was not needed for some reason.  We sold about $200 on ebay, donated about 3 trash bags full of clothes and tossed a small grocery bag of things.  This was a great tool to see how much we owned, how much we didn’t wear and make a few extra dollars!

So, now what?  I could probably use another pair of shorts and a few nice but not crazy nice (remember I have kids!) shirts to mix and match.  So, I have 3 places to look with probably about $15 to spend.  The local thrift store this is a good option based on price.  However, it is not a good option based on style (items tend to be outdated) and availability(very well shopped – very few nice things left).  I will start here and spend about 30 minutes just to see if there is anything.  I know exactly what I am looking for so if they have it I will be able to spot it right away.

Then there is a consignment store in my area. I have been there and she has very nice things.  I can probably find a shirt or two there.  I also came across a few additional pieces of work wardrobe recently and she would be the person to take them off my hands so maybe we can make a trade.

Lastly there is a new consignment type store in our area.  They have both new and used items.  I have not been there so I am unsure of what the prices or merchandise is like.   I will stop here first just to take a peek.  I know my other options so it will be easy to compare what is available and how it is priced.

Wish me luck!  I don’t need much but I’m not much of a shopper either.  I will report back what my $15 afforded me!

Any other handy shopping tips?

I do find that in the city I avoid major retailers, even with sales, because I can find it cheaper elsewhere.  I also like the ability to try clothes on to see if they fit – if you buy items on sale or resale there is generally a no exchange or return policy!

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~ by Rachael Judd on July 7, 2010.

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