Thursday, November 4, 2010

Clothes only for Holidays

Growing up, there were 3 times in my life when I got new clothes: 1) My Birthday, 2) Christmas, 3) My sister's birthday. The first two probably make sense, third is purely because my birthday is in October and so my mom needed an excuse to give me summer clothes. So growing up I only thought that you can get clothes on those 3 occasions. If clothes were bought for me from June-October, it was saved for my birthday, after my birthday-December it was saved for Christmas. This was so far ingrained in me that when I went college and my roommates wore clothes the day after they bought them, I thought they were doing something wrong and should save them for the next holiday.

So now that this last birthday was the big 3-0! I'm feeling kind of old. And being a mom, I'm feeling kinda... well... frumpy. So my kind husband gave me an "allowance" of sorts for my birthday this year.

So I sent out on my shopping spree. First stop was the mall. I had received an adorable sweater from my mother-in-law but it was too small (and a gorgeous scarf that I LOVE), so I went to check out what else they had. And it just kills me. The average mall price is $20+ for a shirt and $30-50+ for pants. So we are talking $70 for 1 outfit.

Naturally this had drawn me to the 2nd hand stores like TJ Maxx and ROSS (Dress for Less), which is wonderful and I do love them. But we're still talking $7-15+ for a shirt and $15-25+ for pants. So we're looking at ~ $30 for 1 outfit. Which is half the price, but still... $30 for 1 outfit.

Now I don't know about you, but when I go shopping, I'd like to get 2 or 3 outfits or mixtures of some kind. So now I'm talking $100 a shopping trip. Which frankly, if each person in my house were to go shopping that'd be $300 a pop.

So let's do the math. If I am trying to stay trendy and keep clothes that fit (ha! Like that happens in your baby making years), then how often do you go shopping? Just those 3 times a year? Yeah, I'd be 2 different sizes in between each "clothing holiday." So I'd like to go shopping more. But let's say I go every other month. We're still talking $100 x 6 months = $600/year... and that's just for ME. No one else in the house. Since I live with boys, let's say they only need $400/year. Now we are talking $1000/year JUST FOR CLOTHES! Seriously?

So my question is how do you shop? How do you manage a budget for clothes? Do you plan on getting gift money for clothes? Or do you have a monthly budget? What's a reasonable amount? Are there coupons for clothes? Do you know about some discount that I do not? How do you stay trendy without breaking the bank? Please give me your tricks.. I need them!