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Clothes are a big part of budgeting and one of the easiest area's in which to overspend, so I have come up with some ideas and solutions to make it easier to get a wardrobe of clothes that work and that cover pretty much all of life's eventualities.

First of all take it slow, before you throw anything out keep things as they are and change just one thing.

Put all the clothes hangers facing the same way.

When you RETURN any item to the closet TURN THE HANGER THE OPPOSITE WAY.

Do this for one ( or two months).

When you get to the end of the month LOOK at what clothes you wore.............these are the KEEPERS

( We wear just 20% of our clothing 80% of the time)

Look at your lifestyle:

If you had to go to a Wedding, Funeral, Christening, would you have something to wear to that occasion?

These are not everyday events and there are ways to cover most of them with the same outfit & different accessories,( with a bit of tweaking).

For example: A Navy blue skirt/pant suit ( we call them Trouser suits) with different accessories would take you to all of the above.

Navy can be successfully teamed with emerald green or baby pink for a wedding or christening and both look equally expensive when pulled together with these colours.

A Navy hat will cover all the same functions and you just need to change the hat band/ribbon to tie in with the blouse/shirt/top you wear under the jacket.

Old clip on earings can add a bit of glitz if you clip one on each of the front of your pumps (UK = Court shoes).


You might not like/favour navy blue, but you could achieve much the same multi-use outfit wearing brown and adding ( again) pink, cream, gold, rust and for a

funeral maybe black top underneath.

Match the accessories to blouse/shirt/top you wear and you will look classy.

Black is not actually a colour it is the absence of colour :)

Also black does not suit a lot of people.

Black with a splash of colour is not as rich or expensive looking as a "tone on tone" look ( ie turquoise and teal, or periwinkle and purple)

The more expensive the clothes the more the "tone on tone" idea is used *wink*


If you live in one of the warmer states, you can still use these colours but make sure that for the happier occasions you add more in the way of paler accessories and jewelry.

Colour matching ( color in US *wink*) How do you know what colour combinations look good/work together?

This is easy! I have many scarves bought from many places and in many colour ways, these are what inspires me to put colours together that I would not otherwise have thought of.

Go to a high end store and look at the way THEY display the expensive clothes, how they put the colours together.

Check out their silk scarves for colour combining ideas.

(Take a small camera and take pictures if you are brave!, if challenged tell them you are wanting to buy the item for a ( long distance) relative and that you wanted to e mail them a photo of the item before you purchased it to see if it was to their taste!)

Or ask if they have a brochure then go home and copy their colour ideas!

Then look at how you can put together your existing wardrobe in a multitude of different colourways.

It makes sense to spend the most money on the things you wear the most, for example, you shouldn't be spending $500 on a cocktail dress if you only wear it two or three times a year.

If you work in an office it pays to look the part and a good business suit can be dressed up or down to get you through a lot of different occasions.


If you have a lot of clothes you could do the 2 suitcase test:

Imagine you are going on a trip and everyone you would ever want to see you "looking your best" will be there. (Think favourite celebrities, guys who dumped you, girls at school or college whose style you admired. (You get the idea).


Now imagine that for this extended trip you only have these two large suitcases in which to fit ALL the clothes that SUIT YOU THE BEST.

WHY?

This is a way of culling the stuff that is " in good condition but not my favourite item(s)", looks "ok" but I don't feel special in it.

The net result should be a wardrobe of clothes that FIT you like a dream,& mix and match with most of the other clothes in your wardrobe.

If you have studied the new ( to you) colour combinations, you might find that you need fewer items than you thought to give you a better wardrobe.

( I have a small wish list of and keep it in my purse so that if I happen accross a good deal I know just what to get and what it will match up with).

You will need to do the above exercise with Winter/Summer wardrobes so that you end up with a fully functional year round wardrobe.

Once you have got your wardrobe sorted, make sure you look after your clothes by doing what a lot of Brits and Europeans do and CHANGE YOUR CLOTHES when you

get home.

A lot of Brits and Europeans have ratty house clothes that they put on when slobbing out on the couch or cleaning the house, I have had my share of

clothing ruined, even thought I don't wear the good stuff when cleaning.
It pays to get the best you can and look after it.

If you are lucky enough to have/get given cashmere items here is a great tip that will save you money and damage to these fragile items.
They need handwashing, yes, but it is neither practical nor is it cost effective to clean the item after only light wear of a few hours/when it is not dirty

or smelly.
But the moths that "eat" cashmere ARE attracted to sweat/perfume etc in the clothes so.................

Put the cardigan/sweater etc. in a bag ( after wearing) and PUT IT IN THE FREEZER FOR 24 HOURS!!!!!!! MY mother does this, then she airs off the cardigan and

then packs it away in an airtight zip lock bag and Bingo! no NEED to wash after every wearing, she has no problems with moths because the freezing process

kills off any potential grubs and they don't live to eat their way through your luxury knits!!
(This can be applied to any natural fabric item like silk and cotton too).

When shopping in Thrift/Charity shops,don't get a case of the "IT'LL DO's" ( it is only $1.00 or £1.00 so It will do for wearing to work etc).

Treat these shops like you would a regular store: shop with a list of items/colours needed and STICK TO IT............too many people have too many random

non matched items JUST BECAUSE THE WERE CHEAP!.

You are a precious gift to the world and you wouldn't wrap a beautiful gift in old newspaper, so be nice to yourself, organize your closet and you will feel soooooo much better!

It takes a long time to end up with a wardrobe of mis-matched clothes and just like weight loss, it isn't going to be sorted out overnight, so go slowly and get it right and you will feel like a million dollars:)

Still need help and inspiration? a book that has very good colour combination charts is "What you wear can change your life" ( by Trinny and Susannah) probably available on Amazon.
 

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I do this! I have very few leaving the house clothes and I don't want them ruined.

Englishlady quote

"Once you have got your wardrobe sorted, make sure you look after your clothes by doing what a lot of Brits and Europeans do and CHANGE YOUR CLOTHES when you

get home.

A lot of Brits and Europeans have ratty house clothes that they put on when slobbing out on the couch or cleaning the house, I have had my share of

clothing ruined, even thought I don't wear the good stuff when cleaning.
It pays to get the best you can and look after it."


Some very good advice Englishlady!
 

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Thanks for the info. I always change into my "playclothes" when I get home.
 

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I have my kids do this too (change into play clothes) as they have to wear school "uniforms". The knees to their pants get worn out fast enough without them crawling around in them at home.
 

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Thank you for the "turn the hanger trick"!! I keep trying to just stick them in the back of the closet but then they aren't in the color order I like them.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you for the "turn the hanger trick"!! I keep trying to just stick them in the back of the closet but then they aren't in the color order I like them.
You can keep your clothes in skirt/blouse order or colour order, it doesn't matter, the turning the hanger trick is just telling you WHICH clothes you didn't wear over a period of time & thus must mean you don't like them that much.


These are the ones that should go first.
 

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I rotate my clothes so I don't wear the same things to work all the time. Buying the basic color dress pants and skirts and matching them with many different types and colors of blouses and sweaters really helps on the cost of work clothes.

I keep my clothes in my closet by seasons. I live on the East Coast and we have the 4 seasons. So sweaters, long sleeve blouses and then short sleeve items. I keep my pants to winter and summer. I do the same thing with my shoes in my closet. Buy the basic colors and add accesories to it.
 

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Hmmm...I haven't worn anything in my closet on hangers in a LONG time - def more then 2 months - and not b/c I am not working. Sign I should donate them? I know some clothes I just can't bear to part with but some...truly could go.

This is a project for this week perhaps?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hmmm...I haven't worn anything in my closet on hangers in a LONG time - def more then 2 months - and not b/c I am not working. Sign I should donate them? I know some clothes I just can't bear to part with but some...truly could go.

This is a project for this week perhaps?
Would you be able to cover the Wedding/Christening/Funeral scenario's if you DID donate them? if so, then yes, I would go ahead.

If you are worried at all, box them up and put them out of sight for a few months more, then if you find you STILL have not had cause to dig them out, I would say go ahead and donate them all:)
 

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How would you handle a wardrobe issue like this:

I had a navy dress that I rarely wore -- just for the wedding/baptism/funeral routine. So, one year, I wore it to a baptism. A year later, I wore it again, to a First Communion.

A relative commented, asking, "Isn't that the same dress you wore to G=='s baptism?"

Sigh.
 

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Early Bird, Smile your best smile and say, Why yes it is, and I just love it! Thank you for noticing!

I have one really nice outfit, I wear it to church on Sundays. I've also worn it to three funerals and a wedding in the last 6 months. I sometimes switch out the shoes wearing boots, flats or sandals and occasionally switch out my jewelry. Surely someone in my circle has noticed that I only own one really nice outfit, but no one has been rude enough to ask me about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
How would you handle a wardrobe issue like this:

I had a navy dress that I rarely wore -- just for the wedding/baptism/funeral routine. So, one year, I wore it to a baptism. A year later, I wore it again, to a First Communion.

A relative commented, asking, "Isn't that the same dress you wore to G=='s baptism?"

Sigh.
Wow, that is SO rude!

However, to be practical as I have mentioned Navy goes well with lots of other colours, would you be able to make/buy a fabric corsage, & belt in say pink/white/green? ( Navy & white is a great British fashion classic:wink:)

To answer the rude persons question, I would have said :

"Indeed it is, did you know the Queen wears her favourite clothes to different official functions, she just juggles the accessories or changes the trim, so that she can enjoy wearing them more often"

......................." and if it's good enough for Royalty........!"

Actually IT IS TRUE!
On a slow news day the papers will print pictures of the Queen wearing the same outfit for different functions with maybe the shoes bag & hat different or maybe the hemline has been altered.(Sometimes from 5 or 10 years or more!)
The Queen is well known for being "thrifty" and there was a great hoo ha in the news some years ago, when it was discovered she has her morning cereal out of a TUPPERWEAR BOX!!!!!!!

So all of you who meet up with rude people you can answer any question regarding your outfit with an enigmatic smile and a "............oh this, yes, well I work with Royal Protocols so.........(& smile) & walk away :toothy: :toothy: it will drive 'em crazy trying to work out what you mean!
 

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How would you handle a wardrobe issue like this:

I had a navy dress that I rarely wore -- just for the wedding/baptism/funeral routine. So, one year, I wore it to a baptism. A year later, I wore it again, to a First Communion.

A relative commented, asking, "Isn't that the same dress you wore to G=='s baptism?"

Sigh.
I love the advice you've gotten. I'm afraid I would have probably wanted to be rude back. After lots of trial and error I have a bit of a uniform.

~one nice suit for special occasions
~shopping and meetings, etc rate khaki pants or skirt and sweater or polo shirt (skirts work for church too)
~home/daily life get old jeans and tshirts or sweater
~I own 1 pair sneakers, 1 pair flats, 1 pair pumps, 1 pair sandals
I don't have many clothes but they are clean, tidy and reasonably good quality. Not having to think too hard about what I'm going to wear( and not having many choices :) ) makes things easier and quicker.
 

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How would you handle a wardrobe issue like this:

I had a navy dress that I rarely wore -- just for the wedding/baptism/funeral routine. So, one year, I wore it to a baptism. A year later, I wore it again, to a First Communion.

A relative commented, asking, "Isn't that the same dress you wore to G=='s baptism?"

Sigh.
I have had this happen and I exclaimed, "IT IS! I just love it! I can dress it up or dress it down, its been so versatile." They shut up. Basically I pretended like I was flattered they noticed. *grin*
 

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I used to get a lot of secondhand clothing from my SIL and while growing up, but then I discovered a lot of those clothes were either really outdated or were too big for me.

I started buying newer clothes that fit my lifestyle more and found that it helps when I get clothes at Christmas. Big sales = filling out my closet. I stay at home a lot, so it's not like I do any major outings or need things like suits and dresses. When there is a big holiday or a gathering, I wear black dress pants and (depending on the weather) a pair of shoes that's appropriate for what I'm doing. As far as tops go, I kept around at least 5 shirts that I'd wear with those slacks and the rest of my shirts are for wearing around the house.

Every season when I put clothes away for the next year, I look at what I wore and what I can toss. When I do laundry and hang the clothes back up, I usually shove what I didn't wear into the back. Then when I go to pack up the clothes for the next year (because I have a lot of clothes and only 1/3 of the master bedroom closet), I'll toss what I didn't really care for and what doesn't fit.

I own two skirts and one black dress. If there's a funeral, I'm set. If there's a wedding, I'm set. I find that my "little black dress" is all-purpose. :D
 

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How would you handle a wardrobe issue like this:

I had a navy dress that I rarely wore -- just for the wedding/baptism/funeral routine. So, one year, I wore it to a baptism. A year later, I wore it again, to a First Communion.

A relative commented, asking, "Isn't that the same dress you wore to G=='s baptism?"

Sigh.
You could also point out that you are able to wear the same lovely dress because you watch your weight & are not forced to buy a new outfit everytime you are invited out.
 

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That was awesome Englishlady! Thanks for sharing!

I have a long Easter weekend and I believe I will look into your ideas a little closer!

Thank you!
 
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I take ALL my clothes out of my halfcupboard once every 2 years and try them on. I will put on a pair of trousers and then all the tops one by one. Then I will put on a top and all my trousers/skirts one by one. Etc until I've tried all possible combinations. It really helps me to know what items match, what items have nothing to match them with, what items to donate/throw away.
 
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Easy way to clean out your clothes

My husband found a tip through stumble upon on lifehacker the other day and I've been thinking about it everyday. The tip said an easy way to sort your clothes for keeping or donation is to hang all of your clothes by turning the hangers backwards. As you wear your clothes, but them back in the normal way. At the end of a year, the clothes you haven't worn will still be backwards. Those are the clothes that aren't being worn and can be donated. I'll be turning the hangers around today! This makes so much sense and seems so easy. I hope this is useful for someone else!

Christy
 

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I am forever receiving calls from charities asking for clothing donations, but never could put a bag together. I am never in the mood to go through my closet. So this is what I do:

I put a bag in the bottom of my closet and when the mood strikes me or I see something I know I won't were any more, I just pull it off the hang, fold it, and drop it in the bag. Whoever calls first, gets the bag. I have made a major dent in my closet!
 
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