I had ordered a few tank tops from Old Navy, because I’ve been donating the ratty-looking tops for the past summers until I’m down to almost nothing left. Most summers, I find that buying 4 or 5 tank-tops is kind of necessary to my travel wardrobe. But when these arrived in the mail, the sizing was all wrong, so I took them back to the store.
After returning them, I walked around for a few minutes. I picked up a better-looking tanktop in white and one in black, reasoning that they were affordable ($7/each), would go with everything, and would therefore be a cheap way to expand my wardrobe. And I was right, they would have been. But then I just put them down on the counter and walked out.
Why? Because my wardrobe doesn’t need extending. I have enough clothes. I’m very good at buying clothes that are a good bang for their buck – they go with a lot of things I already own, are currently on sale or clearance, and suit my lifestyle to the point that I can wear them at least once a month. But efficient purchases are only efficient if you need to make a purchase at all.
The fact of the matter is, I have plenty of clothes. Am I a little bored of some of them? Yes. But ultimately, that shouldn’t be my focus right now. I have probably 20 unique outfits for work, which means I have way more than that if I’m willing to create different combinations of the same pieces. Isn’t that enough? Yes, it is.
So I’m putting a freeze on clothing shopping until July, with two exceptions: I need a pair of shoes for a wedding I will be in in two weeks, and I allow myself to buy a new pair of Lululemon yoga pants on my birthday. (Yes, they are $100 for a pair of yoga pants. And I don’t care.)
I want some new summer dresses, and some new flats, and a new bathing suit, and all kinds of other things. But do I want them as much as I want my loans paid off? No. And are they really going to improve my quality of life? Probably not. In fact, definitely not.
I know that $14 on two tops wouldn’t make or break me, but that isn’t the point. That $14 is not going to improve my life in any way, except for that one second where I’m purchasing them. And $14/second is a pretty high price tag on happiness, so I’m going to pass. It’s those $14 and $30 purchases that make for a $200 “surprise” on the credit card bill, and I can do without that.
This month, I am going to commit to mending some of my spring and summer clothes that need a fix – a new button, a fixed zipper, a shortened hem, and the like. With an hour of work, I may have 5 or 6 things that can re-enter the rotation, and that’s a pretty good return on investment.
Are you doing spring clothing shopping? Or have you decided that you can do without an update this season?
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