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Wardrobe Update on a Budget

Since restocking my closet in one big spending fiesta is not on the agenda, I needed a plan. Here’s how I am tackling my wardrobe update on a budget...
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Remember when I cleaned out my closet? Since then, I’ve lost another 10 pounds and the clothes that were “comfortably roomy” had become “loose to the point of extreme frustration”.

It was time to kick the latest batch of “back up” jeans to the curb and reassess some of my clothing choices.

I’ve been working from home for over six years and when I left my daily commute behind, I was happy to throw myself into a uniform that relied pretty heavily on track pants and sweatshirts. Toss in two pregnancies and the propensity for clothing to be regularly covered in stuff and you have a closet that neither dazzles nor flatters.

After I cleaned out my closet (the first time) I realized that I was going to need to update my wardrobe quite a bit.

Lucky for me I’m swimming in money.

Wait. No I’m not.

Since restocking my closet in one big spending fiesta is not on the agenda, I needed a plan. Here’s how I am tackling my wardrobe update on a budget...

Determine what activities/events I need to dress for.

I work from home, small people wipe their noses on me, and rarely have a chance to hit the town. I would like to look nice on the occasional date-night, dinner with the girls, or business meeting though. That translates to the following list:

  • Daily @Home/Errands/Play
  • Workout/Gym
  • Date Night/Girl’s Night
  • Business/Conference

Determine what attire is needed for my activities.

For my daily wardrobe, I fully embrace the idea of a uniform. I’m a jeans and t-shirt girl (shorts and tanks in the summer) and while I want to be more fashionable, I can’t justify spending too much on a shirt that will inevitably double as a napkin. But I can do a lot to improve my jeans/shorts/t-shirt selection.

As I considered what I would wear for date night or a business meeting, I realized that if I paid attention, there could be some overlap. Most of my business meetings are pretty casual and pieces like blazers, tunic/dresses, and skirts can be dressed up or down.

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Start a Pinterest style board, or review your existing one. 

My Pinterest style board will never be considered cutting edge fashion, but I’ve found it very handy to pin items I like and then revisit the board to help jog my memory when I’m about to throw on the same black tee and jeans for the 80th time (the difference is that now, I wear a scarf!) or while shopping.

Pinterest Style Board

When I walk into a big department store, my mind goes blank. Suddenly I can’t think of what I need, what I want, or what I already have. A quick consult with the Pinterest app and I’m reminded that I’m crazy for stripes, or one chunky necklace and bottle of nail polish away from the perfect pulled together look.

Make your master shopping list. Keep it handy.

After listing my activities, considering my missing attire, and getting a little Pinterest inspiration, I made a master shopping list. I keep it in a little notebook that stays in my purse.

It’s a long list and yes, a notebook is a little low-tech, but it’s already full of scribbled notes and updates to The List.

This system has kept me within budget and focused on what I really need. Sure, every woman needs a little black dress, but right now I have one pair of jeans that fit.

Priorities, yo.

What's your wardrobe situation? Do you shop regularly and keep up on the latest styles? Are you stumbling along in the wilderness like me?

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