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Our Clothing Budget
“The recommended clothing budget allotment should be 5% of your annual salary according to industry consensus.”
“Wait, which industry?”
Hahaha, my smart (ass) husband chirped right back at me while I was doing research on budgeting for clothes. As a guy, his closet is full of video game tees and $2 “dress” shirts from Goodwill. A chunk of my closet came from our local thrift store too. He doesn’t care about the way he dresses as long as it’s comfortable and I’m about the same.
We allow for $1,200 per year in all covering areas under personal care. This includes anything and everything that cleans, dresses, and grooms us under this roof (including any Airbnb expenses too). If it will be physically touching any of us then it goes under the umbrella term ‘Personal Care’ on our budget spreadsheet. This includes haircuts, clothes, shoes, scarfs, glasses, makeup, hats, socks, belts and toilet paper.
This ‘personal care’ allotment doesn’t come close to that 5% fitted for our income even though it’s a very pervasive category. I make sure to always keep it under $600 for myself. That’s what I have to work with. Mr. Hippo uses up about $150 worth of that. Airbnb guests might use up $100 of that.
I don’t know if $1,200 per year is a lot but there’s typically a $300 surplus at the end of the year if I try to be frugal so I think we’re reasonable. I can’t imagine what to do with a $1,000 clothing budget a month. Usually, we have budget leftover and that gets reinvested (which becomes heavy incentive to spend less knowing that money will grow.)
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Why It’s Low (For Us)
Because we don’t care that much. I remember caring at one point…when I became the 4th grade in America because my clothes were not “American” fashion. Then I got teased every day in middle school about my clothes and shoes to a point I just didn’t care anymore.
“Hey, talk-to-yourself-girl, where did you get those shoes? The dumpster?”
*Mutters to Self*
“At least I’m not failing all of my classes and wearing pants down to my knees.” :p
Our annual dining out budget is almost 3 times $1,200 except I don’t question if dining out is worth it to me. It’s always worth it.
I wish more YouTube vloggers were open about their annual shopping reserve. Watching those haul videos makes me feel broke and curious at the same time. There are videos like “my $750 haul + review!” and they have 3 of those clothes haul videos on top of the huge makeup hauls in the past 6 months. Those haul videos have a hundred of these lines: “this is relly cuuuuuute so I got it.”
But wait, I need more info, did it hold up after going through the wash? Is it comfortable? How come I don’t see you wearing ANY of this stuff in any of your YouTube videos since?
Our Closet Cleanse
I’ve been saying clean out for months and finally got around to it. My local thrift store sends all of their unsold extra inventory to third world countries. That explains why you see third world orphans walking around wearing American branded shirts.
I sent ThredUP 3 clean out boxes of clothes. 2 boxes were donations; 1 was so I can test their sale side. I was hedging my bets since our clothes would have a better chance of selling on the great wide web than a thrift store. Things that don’t sell will be recycled as fabric textile. I don’t think the third world has a use for our closet unless they wanted lace kimonos and 90s mom jeans so I went with fabric recycling.
Overall we cleared out $200+ worth of clothes between me and my husband. I shipped off ¾ of my closet and now I realize I have no clothes (for a girl). I overdid it because…decluttering feels so good.
My entire wardrobe now has a total of 11 tops, 3 dresses, 3 pairs of pants, 4 jackets, some pajamas, and 6 pairs of shoes. If you count the shoes I will sell or donate soon then I have 4 pairs of shoes left. That’s not a lot…for a girl. My husband has more shirts and pants than me. I can’t make it to laundry day, roughly every 2 weeks, with just 11 tops.
Need to Restock
More like reinvent. I looked up how to dress as a petite person and…I’ve been doing everything wrong. Which is why my closet has been decimated. This video helped me so much because she gave a side by side comparisons. My mind is blown, clothing IS trickery!
I told my husband how sad it was that I’m 26 and just starting to learn how to dress properly because of what happened to me in elementary school and middle school.
I happily try a clothing ban when my closet has clothes in it again. It’s 2/3s empty and that’s not including the empty racks of shelves underneath.
2018 Purchases Thus Far
Remember I have $600 to work with and then some wiggle room at the end of the year! (Although I rather reinvest that wiggle.)
Sister of frugal wins. OK, it doesn’t beat the Prada heels I found in the thrift store last year for $15…but how could anything beat that!
(You guys remember that? How awesome was that? GO THRIFT STORE HUNTING! You’re just leaving me with this goldmine :3)
There were 2 pairs for sale at the thrift store. One tan leather pump that I scooped up and one black leather pump I didn’t know if I needed. I hesitated, walked away, came back soon after to reconsider. But between that time when I made my mind up to get both, the black one had already been sold. I’ve been regretting it ever since!
The thrift store Prada pumps are very comfortable on me. I’ve worn them 10+ hours over Christmas and was going strong. Usually, I’m crippled after 5 hours in crap shoes.
Take it from El Cheapo and DO INVEST IN GOOD SHOES. They don’t have to be Prada or whatever but I would steer away from anything cheap-cheap.
Anyway! I purchased a pair of Prada d’Orsay pumps because my cheap 9-year-old Payless heels desperately needed to retire. They were $122 after shipping, no tax which I thought was a total win because Prada pumps normally cost $600 dollars before tax at retail.
More specifically, this pair, since it probably cost the original owner over $800+ to customize and initial at the bottom. Did you know you can order and design your own Pradas and add your initials to the bottom? It ain’t cheap though. Too rich for my blood.
But yeah, there are another woman’s initials on the bottom (laughs like crazy) and she goes by “R K” from Hollywood, CA. No problem-o, my name is Rachel Kung…Fu from now on. Just gimme the shoes!
I ended up donating those Payless heels to the thrift store bin. I doubt they’re worth even $5. About 9 years ago I paid $20 for them and reflecting back now…that was very overpriced for what I got. I was in 10th grade, it was my first pair of heels, I didn’t know what was going on.
The Payless polyester satin looks cheap, the back heel scraped and pinched, the heel taps sounded cheap (like hollow plastic hitting pavement), and the sole had no rubberized anything to keep it from slipping or fraying. I have worn them 7x times in 9 years but it looks like I’ve worn them for 30x already.
Real satin vs polyester satin. It’s like putting Angelina Jolie next to Octo-mom:
The d’Orsay doesn’t beat my other leather Prada pump in terms of price but I still think it was worth it. That or I am still suffering FOMO after I left the other black pair slip through my hands. These sat on eBay at $186 for a few days, dropped to $136, and then I decided to put in an offer that was accepted.
(P.S. I would have gotten $25 off on the top of that with a coupon, bringing it down to under $100 like I planned but I accidentally submitted the order on confusing mobile layout and couldn’t go back. I didn’t even use my Double Cash credit card! Ahh, well.)
I am still well under my clothing budget for 2018 at the time so I thought, alright, this is too good to pass up. I needed black d’Orsay pumps specifically because *I learned this the other day and it’s very true* they elongate your legs. You’re showing more skin when it’s cut at the foot arch so it tricks the eye with a longer line of view.
And by the frugal gods, I found sneakers that I was going to buy from Zappos on Amazon for less than half the price by random chance while browsing around for nail polish acetone. It retails for $95, on sale for $65 at Zappos. It was the last pair and the lowest price according to CamelCamelCamel at $30 new from Amazon. Yay! Zappos is owned by Amazon but supposedly Amazon has better prices. It definitely was in this case, less than half the price for the exact thing I would have paid $65 a day before. Wee!
Edit: Holy crap, Amazon automatically refunded me $10 because of an “item billing error” SO, like I got it over 2/3 price off for no reason. ALL HAIL AMAZON!
These are just for the boxes themselves. It’s a big time saver for me because I tend to get absorbed into thrift stores and their nit-nack section. I like the random selection of vintage stuff. The best part about these boxes is discovering brands and styles that I wouldn’t have picked up to try. A lot of the things I thought were cute looked unflattering when I tried it on and snapped a picture. Then some items of clothing that I would never have picked up looked surprisingly flattering. They’re kind of like training wheels for the inexperienced closet and $10 is a price I’m willing to pay to explore from the comforts of my home.
(I went to a new thrift store today and that one had the dressing room right next to the cash register where everybody is bored waiting in line and staring. And you close it with a curtain that was too short so it left space on both ends. All in all, a thrift store grandma probably saw me naked. -_-)
This thingy I kept from one of my ThredUP boxes. It’s a fair price. After tax, it rolled out to be $20.82 total.
Vision insurance reimbursed me and my total out of my pocket was $29. I am allowed 2 pairs of glasses a year so I think the second part of the year I might get another one. My Bonlook glasses last 1 year without much maintenance but after that first year, you have to start taking care of it. I find the hinge and screws gets loose after a while and need a quick twist to tighten.
Pearl spin pins 🙂 Half of my order came with visible glue so I requested the seller to give me a partial refund. I ordered these pearl pins in the past for cheaper over on Aliexpress and I never had glue showing.
So I’m allergic to most lip balms with the exception of EOS. But my lips are 100% OK with lipsticks and lipglosses. There’s something inside chapstick that doesn’t agree with me. It is genetic, I got it from my mom who has the same allergic reaction as I do to lip balms. These I haven’t tried yet but they should work. Tinted lip balms never caused problems with me unless they’re expired.
I decided to give up on American pants because they’re all too long for your short Lily. All of my ThredUP pants were either too big or much too long. Although you can get them hemmed for cheap, that’s still an added cost and I already found pants I’ve ordered before and love.
I bought like…5 of these in 3 different colors because I love them. In 2016, I purchased $100 worth of pants (just pants) directly from China and I tested a bunch of styles and materials. My rough summary would be to stay away from anything denim. Even if it is denim (which often it’s not), it’s bad quality denim with shoddy defects. Out of my order of 10 pairs of pants, I hated 5 and tossed it, 2 of them were OK, and 3 of them I fell completely in love with and you’re looking at the 3. They fit my body well and they’re so comfortable. I’ve machine washed them loads of times and they’re holding up, unlike most Aliexpress clothes. For the friendly price tag, I recommend it for petite girls out there, even if it takes 4 weeks to arrive.
6 Month Total = $297.36
I’ve made one or two returns so far this year. The UGG boots I ordered when I was bed-ridden made me look super stubby, which makes sense because of my stature. They just ended up exacerbating my lack of height for the price I paid to look stubby. I decided to make a return, that will be the last pair of ugg boots for me.
Things I Still Need…
Sorted in orders of importance.
*Nude heels (under 3.5 inches) – if anyone has recommendations or designers they like, I’m open.
*Nude sneakers/kitten flats (under 2 inches).
*2 long necklaces – It’s supposed to make create the illusion of height and I want to draw attention away from my bottom half.
*Black, V-neck, sleeveless peplum top – I tried on one and it’s like I grew 2 inches instantly! Too bad the J. Crew one I tried on at my thrift store was of terrible make and quality.
*Blush pink 3/4 sleeve top – I have one from Gap that was a hand-me-down from one of my mom’s friends and I’ve worn it for…7+ years now and it’s time to retire it because as much as I love it, it’s starting to show wear and tears.
*Black thigh high boots – This one might break the budget so I’m holding out until next year. I’ve been wanting thigh highs since I was in college.
*Short sleeve crop top – I’m short.
*Empire waist dresses – BECAUSE I’M SHORT OK!!
Ooh, I’m midway through the year and I’m midway through the budget. This might get harder now so I should probably head back to my local thrift store instead of depending on ThredUP for clothes and accessories alone.
Budget Remaining = $302.64
The new thrift store I went to (the one with the peeping grandma LOL) had a terrible selection. It was all ran by volunteers, which is great, but the volunteers do not care and have no interest in managing the store. You would be off having employers. In a store that’s less than 1,000 square feet and no proper changing rooms, I still managed to dig up this baby! Hanger with hooks? What’s the official name? Hahaha. But I really needed this and for 50 cents!
Today, I’m dragging my husband to our local tried and true thrift store to try our luck as a treat, then a nice lunch.
Have a wonderful Saturday! 🙂 Don’t buy anything I wouldn’t buy!