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Clothing


  • More on how to stop buying clothes you never wear (48 comments)

    This article is by staff writer April Dykman. More than four years ago, I wrote a post for Get Rich Slowly about how to stop buying clothes you never wear. I wasn’t sure how it would go over, to be honest. We don’t discuss fashion much in our little corner of the Internet, and I also worried about being judged for my sordid, non-frugal past. But it was a problem I’d had struggled with, and it…

  • Spring-clean your closet and make money (37 comments)

    This post is from staff writer Sarah Gilbert. We have all been there: standing in front of our closet or dresser drawers, looking at the contents, and waiting for something to emerge. That surprising dress or just-so shirt. That pair of pants that fits like it was tailored. That pair of shoes that is the sort of pair of shoes people refer to when they advise their friends to judge others on their shoes. Once…

  • Professional shoe repair: Save money, time, and your feet (74 comments)

    While on my way back from getting some hot tea in the break room at work, I noticed that one of my shoes was making a strange noise. Upon getting back to my office, I saw why: the heel cap had fallen off and was lying next to my chair. Hmm, I thought. Maybe that’s why I’ve been tripping so much lately. Because I had been tripping. Enough to be embarrassed. I had jokingly chalked…

  • Ask the Readers: How do you manage your clothing expenses? (133 comments)

    It seems like the fight against Stuff is ongoing, whether it’s toys, electronics, books, CDs, tools or anything we consume. Yesterday, Holly talked about fighting the battle of the toy bulge. Recently, reader Adrian G. posed this question for the readers: How many clothes do your kids have? My 14-year-old son was out of town, so I sneaked into his room to catch him up on some laundry and weed out the too-small clothes. Even…

  • The Value of an $8 Little Black Dress (123 comments)

    This is a guest post from Lucy Lazarony, a freelance writer based in Florida. You know that wardrobe staple that every woman is supposed to have? The little black dress? Well, I’ve finally got mine! And I found mine on the sales rack at Target. The price $7.58! The regular retail price was $29. The dress from Target’s own Merona brand is washable so there is no expensive dry cleaning needed. And I live in…

  • Getting Over the Overdraft: How I Started Saving (56 comments)

    This post is by staff writer Tim Sullivan. A few years back, I got a paycheck in the mail and went to deposit it. I left the bank, dropped off a rent check, bought groceries, a sandwich across the street, gas on the way home, and a new album from iTunes to listen to while cooking. I forgot to endorse the check. Normally, this is no big deal for my bank. That day, they decided…

  • Ask the Readers: How Much Do You Spend on Clothes? (340 comments)

    The “Ask the Readers” feature is well-loved here at Get Rich Slowly, but by far the most popular question I’ve ever asked came at the end of July. “How much do you spend on food?” I wondered, and GRS readers posted 367 comments sharing their buying habits and the costs in their cities (and countries). Several readers sent me e-mail after this question asking for more. “You should do a whole series of questions like…

  • The Investment Piece: One Investment That’s No Investment At All (123 comments)

    This post is from staff writer April Dykman. It never fails. Whenever I venture into a store, especially a clothing store, I inevitably hear the phrase that makes me want to stage an impromptu personal-finance intervention: “It’s an investment piece.” As in, “This jacket is a little pricey, but it’s a classic — an investment piece.” Or, “I need to invest in a pair of versatile black dress shoes.” I hear it in stores, I…

  • Cheap Solutions: Closet Organization (57 comments)

    This post is from staff writer April Dykman. An organized closet is a practical thing to have. It saves you time in the morning, since you don’t have to dig through a sea of shoes for a sole mate. It can save you money, as well. I know I’m guilty of buying something without realizing I already owned something similar. But a major closet overhaul can be pricey. Built-ins are expensive, and closet systems like…

  • Reader Story: My Year Without Clothes Shopping (69 comments)

    This guest post from Jill Chivers is part of the “reader stories” feature at Get Rich Slowly. Some stories contain general advice; others are examples of how a GRS reader achieved financial success — or failure. These stories feature folks from all levels of financial maturity and with all sorts of incomes. Hi. My name is Jill, and I’m a recovering shopaholic. On 15 December 2009, I started a challenge to spend a year without…

  • Ask the Readers: How Do You Build a Wardrobe on a Budget? (239 comments)

    If you were building your wardrobe from scratch, how would you do it? Would you prioritize quality? Would you emphasize cost? Or is there some happy balance between the two? That’s what GRS reader author J.D. wants to know. He writes: I’m a 40-something guy who’s lost 40-something pounds over the past year. This is a good thing. But now my old clothes don’t fit. As a frugal fellow, this creates something of a dilemma….

  • Giving Away, Not Selling, My Stuff (86 comments)

    This post is from GRS staff writer April Dykman. Ever since I cleaned out my closet, I’ve gotten more and more ruthless, editing more and adding less. The result of deleting items from drawers and hangers is two large brown boxes taking up floor space in the closet, overflowing with castaways. The boxes have grown into mountains, and I can’t walk to the back of my closet anymore. My intention was to sell these items,…

  • Shopping with Confidence, and the Clean Slate (69 comments)

    “Does this shirt make me look fat?” I asked Kris the other day. I was trying on clothes as I packed for our upcoming vacation in France and Italy. I want to limit myself to just four or five shirts for the trip. (Truly light packers would probably only take two shirts.) “Well,” Kris said. “It’s not that the shirt makes you look fat. It’s just way too big on you. It looks like a…

  • Dress Yourself For Free: How to Host A Clothing Swap (72 comments)

    This post is from staff writer Sierra Black. Sierra writes about frugality, sustainable living, and getting her kids to eat kale at Childwild.com. I spend almost nothing on clothes. According to Mint, I’ve spent $199.50 to clothe my family of five this year. They say the average U.S. household has spent $1258.62. That’s more than six times my spending. It’s been years since I walked into a clothing store, tried on styles I liked and…

  • The One-Year Wardrobe Project (98 comments)

    About a year ago, at the advice of GRS readers, I started an experiment. I took all of the shirts and sweaters from my clothes closet and moved them into our spare room. Whenever I needed something to wear, I checked the clothes closet first. If what I needed wasn’t there (as was often the case at first), I went to the spare room to find it. After I’d worn a shirt or sweater once,…

  • How to Save While Shopping for Children’s Clothes (35 comments)

    This is a guest post from Gina Lincicum, a long-time GRS reader who writes about frugality and family finance at MoneywiseMoms.com. Moving to the D.C. area after my twins were born, we transformed from a family of three living comfortably, to a family of five struggling to make ends meet on one income. I had to get creative with our family budget, and one of the biggest line items to tackle was clothing. Four years…

  • Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous…on Lease (184 comments)

    This post is from GRS staff writer April Dykman. Most of us, at one time or another, have seen a photo of a celebrity with an “it” bag, even if just in tabloids at the supermarket check-out. Most of the time they are over-sized totes, logo prominently displayed, on the arm of an actress or pop star. (Sometimes I wonder if the tinier celebrities could, in fact, fit inside their own handbag.) And as ridiculous…

  • How to Stop Buying Clothes You Never Wear (110 comments)

    This post is from GRS staff writer April Dykman. A couple of years ago, I had a Great Closet Clean-Out. My clothing racks and drawers were overflowing at the time, and some of it still had price tags. Hoping to accomplish that European knack for owning less and looking better, I donated, consigned, and gave away about 75 percent of my wardrobe. Today it’s 100 times more functional. These are the best tips I picked…

  • Fashion on a Budget: Organizing and Updating Your Wardrobe for Spring (62 comments)

    This is a guest post from Carrie at It’s Frugal Being Green. My own “fashion” is limited to Costco and Goodwill, so it’s difficult for me to offer advice for those who want to dress for success. Carrie has some tips for those who need to be fashionable and still save on clothes. The spring clothes-shopping season is rapidly approaching, and I’m ready. I have my calendar marked twice a year — once in early…

  • Embracing the Thrift-Store Ethic: 18 Top Tips for Buying Used Clothes (131 comments)

    If the national media is any indication, more people are embracing the notion of buying used clothing from thrift stores and consignment shops. Last week, USA Today ran a story describing how secondhand stores are reaping the benefits of recession: As Americans look for ways to cut spending, they are scooping up bargain clothes, accessories, toys and furniture once owned by someone else. “We’re sorry about the economic situation, … but it is a good…

  • Old Clothes for the New Year (41 comments)

    This is a guest post from The Frugal Duchess, Sharon Harvey Rosenberg. Rosenberg writes a column for the Miami Herald about saving money. Her new book is The Frugal Duchess: How to Live Well and Save Money.   Almost every year for Rosh Hashanah — the New Year according to the Hebrew calendar — my family buys new clothes. With a few new tags, we make symbolic and fashion statements. And the same message is…

  • Frugality in Practice: Air-Dry Your Clothes (Even Indoors!) (110 comments)

    Tiffany wrote with a quick energy-saving tip: I hang up my wet clothes inside during the day to let them dry. When I get home from work, I put them in the dryer for about five minutes to get rid of the wrinkles.  I don’t have a clothesline, but this works just as well. I’m not familiar with hanging clothes to dry indoors, but I like the idea. Kris and I have actually begun experimenting…

  • “Golden Boy is Slowly Dying” (79 comments)

    In yesterday’s discussion about how to live frugally without looking like a loser, a few people chided me for wearing frayed clothing. MissPinkKate wrote, “Wearing a frayed sweatshirt isn’t a sign you’re frugal — it’s a sign you’re too lazy to buy cheap clothes that look nice, which can be done.” And Shirley said: J.D., I promise I am not picking on you, really, but I laughed out loud when I read your comment that…

  • Get More Bang for Your Buck by Using Coupons and Sales Wisely (17 comments)

    This is a guest post from Amanda, a Colorado tech writer and an activist for children with congenital heart disease. My conversion to frugality began about a year ago, but it’s only been recently that I’ve become good at it. We’ve been saving money by being aggressive with a cash-only purchase plan. If we can’t afford it, we don’t buy it. This only works if you know ahead of time what you need and how…

  • Crossing the Line from Frugal to Cheap (51 comments)

    Sometimes it’s hard to tell when I’m being frugal and when I’m just being cheap. One side effect of losing weight — a positive one, mind you — is that I don’t fit into some of my favorite clothes anymore. Like most people, I have certain garments that I love more than others. For example, my favorite pair of pants are these lightweight dark-green things with a zillion pockets that I purchased for $6 at…

  • Save Money on Laundry Day (19 comments)

    At Curbly, the DIY Maven has posted advice on how to save money on laundry day. When the Spray ‘n’ Wash runs out, make your own. If you use dryer sheets, only use half at a time. If you’re shopping, consider a front-loading washer. Pick up a pair of dryer balls. (I’d never even heard of these before reading this.) I confess to having no idea how much it costs to do laundry. My wife…

  • Frugality in Practice: Fashion on a Budget (37 comments)

    When I was in high school, I was enthralled by the world of fashion. This was the era of Miami Vice, of Tubbs and Crockett and their pastel suits. Of Footloose-inspired skinny ties (and knit ties, too). Of Alex P. Keaton. For several years during the mid-eighties I diverted a portion of my precious comic book money to purchase GQ every month. I was trying to absorb the Cool by osmosis. The trouble was I…

  • Frugality in Practice: Bundle Up to Stay Warm (43 comments)

    A few years ago we bought a century-old house. It’s poorly insulated. There are many windows. There are cracks under the doors. As you might expect, it’s cold. To conserve energy, we use a programmable thermostat to keep the temperature at 54 when we’re not around, and at 64 when we are. Still, that’s chilly. We’ve gradually been making things snugger but it takes time and money. Meanwhile, we’ve developed a couple of coping mechanisms….

  • Cheap Clothing Jackpot (9 comments)

    Last month I wrote about saving money by shopping for second-hand clothes. Today, in a nearby business park, our neighborhood used-clothing shop had a warehouse sale. Everything was a buck (except coats, which were two bucks). Better yet, there was an all-you-can-stuff bin — for $2, you could fill a garbage bag with all sorts of less-than-desirable clothes. I bought a nice shirt and a nice pair of slacks for $1 a piece. I also…

  • Frugality in Practice: Shopping for Second-Hand Clothes (24 comments)

    On a street corner near our house is a store called The Dig, which advertises “most clothes $3 – $4 – $5″. Many of these are items of the latest fashions, which have been rejected for whatever reason. Clean and organized, the store also has dressing rooms, something many thrift stores lack. I used to mock Kris for going to The Dig. It looked like a dive. Then I joined her for a trip a…

  • Great Clothing Reference Books (0 comment)

    On my path toward frugality and simplicty, on my quest toward wealth, I’m often forced to choose between price and quality. (The middle path — a moderate amount of money for moderate quality — never appeals to me.) Sometimes I choose to spend a lot of money in order to obtain the best quality, reasoning that, for example, the best-made messenger bag will last a lifetime, whereas I’d be replacing that cheap five-dollar bag in…