OK, so it’s October and you’re wondering where on Earth the time has gone. Despite September treating us to a few nice weekends, summer is now 100% over no matter how much you try and trick yourself.
Autumn means a few things. Rain and grey skies is likely to be one. Some nice leafy scenery is another. Most importantly, though, is a wardrobe overhaul for the next few months. Time to trade in the sandals for ankle boots, the denim jacket for the winter coat and the bikini for a seriously cosy robe.
Of course, unless you’re well stocked from last year or foresaw this year’s A/W trends, making the transition costs money, and an awful lot if you’re not careful. For those of us on a budget (which is more or less everyone), what can you be doing to keep your wardrobe spending under control?
Make a budget and actually stick to it
In tough economic times, general budgeting is something we all should be doing to stay financially sane. If you can’t be bothered to get the full life budget going, it’s worth making a point of making a special one for a potentially big spend like a new wardrobe.
Do the basics – figure out your income versus outgoings over the next few months and see how much you’ve got going spare to apportion to new clothes. If you haven’t got much to spend, see if you can tweak your outgoings to create additional funds.
Whatever number you come up with it as your budget, stick to it — this will keep you disciplined and focused when it comes to what you buy. If you’re short on capital, you might have to think about recycling last year’s gear or think of other ways to bolster your finances.
Make a list and actually stick to it
Knowing what money you have to spend, especially if it’s only a small amount, will really help you home in on what pieces of clothing you actually need. What will help even more is making a list of said items to augment your budget planning.
You know your style, so build a list of essentials, wants and maybes based on your needs and, again, stick to it. That’ll mean no silly spending on the day — unless something really catches your eye of course.
Charity shops are cool again
Sustainability is a massive part of fashion these days, and even at the very top of the industry you’ll find an increased emphasis on recycling clothing. The good news, especially for the girls, is charity shops are littered with hidden gems that can really make your A/W wardrobe pop for a pittance.
Make your local charity shops your first port of call and see if you can build some of your collection from there. You might find yourself saving massively on a big-ticket item like a winter coat, all while doing your bit for sustainable fashion and the charity whose shop you’re visiting.
Have a word with yourself
We all know how tempting life gets when you’re in the middle of the shop floor. Pieces looking good on mannequins, super deals on items you don’t really need but could maybe wear — you know the drill. Even with your budget and list, you might find yourself tempted to splurge outside of those boundaries.
Try and take a step back before making any purchases that aren’t essentials. Ask yourself why you’re buying the item and what you need it for. Are you just buying it because it’s cheap? Will you honestly get value from it? A little extra thought could just save you when it counts.
There’s no doubting a new wardrobe is going to cost you a decent wedge of cash, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep things within reason. With a little planning, critical thinking and a pinch of self-control, your autumn and winter wardrobe needn’t break the bank.