Shopping bag from the Eaton's department store...
Shopping bag from the Eaton

I hate buying clothes.  I would rather buy books, hubby would rather travel.  We are the sort of people who make do until our work (nice) clothes look like WORK (grubby) clothes.  Then we go out and buy a whole new wardrobe & spend thousands of dollars.  Or a least we did pre-kiddo.  It’s harder to do that on one income but that doesn’t mean we don’t try!

I’ve finally determined that the best way to get clothes (retail) is to divide up our wardrobe up and replace a third of it each year.

My List
– 2-4 s/s polos & tee’s (my summer wardrobe)
– 1-2 each of shorts & capri’s
– one summer church outfit (dress or skirt/shirt)
– Summer shoes (the pair in worst repair whether sandals, sneakers or dress shoes)
– 1-2 pr jeans/pants
– 2-3 l/s tees
– 1 sweater
– one church outfit
– one pr shoes (winter boots, dress boots or heels)
– swimsuit (every other year)
– pj’s (one set each for spring/summer & fall/winter)
– exercise clothes (one outfit for spring/summer & fall/winter)
– hat, scarf or gloves
– coat/jacket (if necessary)

The exceptions for me are bras, underwear, and socks.  I would rather just replace one of them all at once–all the bras (twice a year), all the underwear, then new socks.

Ideally, much of this would be bought on clearance or, at the very least, on sale.  Having a guideline like this means that I have a built in stop so when I see a great clearance, I don’t buy a whole new wardrobe right then & there.

There are a few things where I am picky and refuse to wait for clearance.  One is my tees and polos.  I have determined that Lands End is my favorite brand and since I always buy “my” colors, I purchase early to get my pick.  They are always the first to sell out!  Ditto for basics like my favorite brand & style of everyday panties–never on clearance :(.

Hubby’s List

(because, let’s face it, he hasn’t bought his own clothes since prior to our marriage):

– 2 pr khakis
– 3 button down work shirts
– 2 sweaters
– 1 pr jeans
– 2 pr shorts
– 1 swimsuit
– 1-2 s/s button down shirt
– 1 pr shoes for spring/summer & fall/ winter
– 1 coat/jacket – outdoor
– 1 sport or suitcoat every other year or more depending on frequency of use (it varies from year to year)

Again, with basics (like white undershirts, socks & underwear), I like to purchase all at once and they generally need to be replaced every 18 months or so.  Things like hats, gloves, snow gear tend to be on an as needed basis.  He wears the stuff until it’s holey.

Again, this is RETAIL, preferably clearance, but retail none the less.  I know nothing about thrift shopping.  In my area, the vast majority of the population is too poor to buy anything good and my extremely predictable wardrobe (acceptable colors & styles), doesn’t usually help.  I have NEVER found anything secondhand.  I look, but don’t find.

For hubby, it’s tricky, too.  He is 6 ft & 150 lbs unless I just fed him a dozen paczki :).  Because of this, thrifting doesn’t work well for him either.  He needs slim cut pants and shirts to not swim in his clothing.  And because he is built like a model, Kenneth Cole New York looks AWESOME on him.  Even if I had the funds to pay retail, I’d have to drive 600+ miles to get it!  I frequent eBay, and the like for his clothes.

How do you make sure YOUR family isn’t dressed in rags ;)?



This post is linked to Works For Me Wednesday @ We Are THAT Family and Homemaker Challenge: Accomplished @ Homemakers Challenge.

1 Comment on How to Clothe Your Family Without Going Broke (Retail)

  1. lena
    2 May 2012 at 1:21 PM (9 years ago)

    i used to shop clearance from retail and discount stores. i would find great deals but often spend money than planned since i would get side-tracked by other clearance items. now, i’m a thrift shopper who only shops with a coupon on teacher discount days. also, i only limit my shopping excursions to 2xs/season and i always go with a list & a budget.

    i purchase only quality items that are new or like new. my family’s wardrobe is filled with quality name-brands. i recently spent $200 for the following; complete work wardrobe (12 suit pants, 4 suit jackets, 14 dress shirts….) and two new pairs of dress shoes for husband, summer items for my 4yo son, 8 spring/summer outfits (skirts and shirts) and 2 new pairs of sling backs for my 17yo daughter, 4 spring/summer outfits for myself, a large, new rubber stamp of Our Blessed Mother, and a land of nod kid’s table.

    Here are the brands that come to mind.
    Kids: children’s place, boden, gymboree, greendog, carters, OSH
    17yo Daughter & Mom: talbots, LOFT, coldwater creek, liz clairborne
    Dad: Chaps, TH, Docker, Kenneth Cole, Custom made Italian suits
    lena´s last blog post ..Love to Pray


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