So as many of you know, I go on these “minimalism binges” where I get super hardcore about having/using/buying less, and then eventually it wears out and I go back to my normal whacky ways. In a way it works wonders cuz there will be periods where I save butt tons of money by not shopping for X number of days, or I de-clutter an entire room or two before going back to normal, but in others I’m learning it’s starting to actually SUCK too. Namely, with my wardrobe.
Sometime last year I decided to trash/donate 3/4th’s of my clothes during one of these large binges of mine, which was fine at first and def. needed, however I then took it a step further and got rid of 9/10 of THOSE clothes too right before our VA move. With the idea that it’s better to *only* keep my favorites so I can not only enjoy them more, but also have less stuff taking up unwanted room. For all you non math people out there, that’s a total drop of 97.5% of clothes within a year (I think I did that right?). Which means I’m currently using only 2.5% of all my clothes I normally do.
That’s A LOT less of clothing.
And now my favorite shorts (1), jeans (3), t-shirts (10) and soon to be hats (2) and sneakers (1), are starting to unravel and grow bigger and bigger holes. Which REALLY sucks because not only am I now down to my last pair of clothes, but they’re also my favorites and will soon see the likes of the trash bin too :( With the only exception of my hoodie collection. I’ve gotten rid of at least 10 of them this year, but I still – very happily – own a solid 15 others ;) And oddly enough they’re all in great shape! (Suck that, minimalism)
Now all this would be OK if I just went back out there and started shopping again to replace everything, however I’ve gotten so damn good at NOT shopping for clothes that I’ve since lost my touch! The desire to go drive to a store and sort through everything and then try them on and pray 1 out of the 10 will actually FIT (they rarely do), has slowly evaporated from my body. And probably for the better, except for this slight problem we’re having right now…
Another note I should bring up is that I’m either too stupid, or too cheap, to drop more money on better “quality” so that all my stuff doesn’t wear down so fast now that I literally wear the same pair of clothes every single week. Something I’m sure upgrading in the quality department can fix (as long as it’s quality AND something I find cool!).
I guess what I’m trying to say is that minimalism also has its down sides. And it’s a learning curve to fix those too, just as it is to get into the habit of *not* bringing home something new every other day too. Which is obviously still a factor in my life since I’m so in love with yard sales and metal detecting and collecting antiques ;) (Step by step, right?)
In any case, I now need new clothes, and since I visited ONE random fashion site last week, all the internet ads that pop up for me now has something to do with one clothing store or another. All trying to steal my attention, and consequently my wallet. (They’re getting good at this targeting thing!)
Out of all these ads, two sites have stood out the most – and for pretty much opposite reasons:
1. Trunk Club // trunkclub.com
“Hand-selected clothing for men. Premium clothes. Personal stylists. Zero membership fees.” And a premium is right! Denim prices are $170 – $250, casual shirts $100 – $200, and sweaters $100 – $300. Similar pricing to high-end retailers they say, which is probably true – I have no idea. To me Express is high-end so all of this looks like it belongs in that Royals song we just blogged about ;)
On the plus side, I’ll admit I’m digging the idea of outfits in a box and having your own personal stylist. Much like those other “in a box” sites like Quarterly and the one that started it all, Birchbox. Which the wife and I have both tried, but shortly cancelled soon after (the pricing was okay, but there’s only so much product you can take every month, not to mention going against minimalism). I don’t think I could ever be okay with Trunk Club’s pricing though, regardless of quality.
According to their rates, the lowest that box up there would cost would probably be around $400-$500 (they didn’t leave ranges for shoes, or belts, or even socks which I’m sure can cost a pretty penny), and the highest $1,000-$1,500. For one outfit. Needless to say this won’t be the answer to my wardrobe problems anytime soon…
2. $6 Dollar Shirts // 6dollarshirts.com
Now THIS one I can get down with! Haha… $6.00 only for a shirt??? Sign me up! And just look at that sexy beard and beer – they know exactly how to appeal to those non Trunk Club people ;) And after perusing the site for only a few seconds, I quickly saw that they also have a 10 for $50 deal too – making it even cheaper per shirt AND shipping I’d imagine (haven’t looked into that part, yet).
The downside/big question here though, is just how good these shirts are. Quality-wise, that is. Two seconds on the site I know I can find me some awesome designs (perfect for those who love jeans and hoodies!), but if they’re going to get all ratty like my current shirts, I’m not too sure if there’s a point in looking further. Any of you ever tried them out?
On the plus side, if they ARE decent quality, then I can solve at least my shirt problem within a matter of clicks ;) 10 brand new shirts without leaving my chair! Haha… It’s brilliant.
I could probably find more examples of clothes companies trying to woo me via the internet, but for now I think you get the point. Which is that I need to figure out how much “quality” I need in my future clothes, and how much “budget” should be allotted towards said items. Do I continue going cheap? Splurge a little but have them longer? A happy medium of both?
I really haven’t a clue anymore. I don’t think my current method is working, and I can no longer get away with the vagabond look anymore now that my beard’s gone ;) So if you have any advice, now’s your time to make an impression!
Where do you get all your clothes nowadays?? What websites do you use? Can I copy you?
This minimalism is kicking my ass, but I’d very much like to keep it around a while longer… I’m definitely getting better at living with a whole lot less! Quite literally AND Homonymly! ;)
PS: In case you were wondering:
– Belts (2)
– Socks (20)
– Boxers (20)
– Cowboy boots (2)
– Weird finger shoes (1)
[Photo cred: dan taylor]
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I’ve been battling this myself lately. I like to hit New York & Company (women’s clothes) clearance racks, Target and H&M. H&M and Target aren’t really high quality, but I find they are the perfect quality for me. By the time they are worn out and ready to go I’m sick of them any way. You can also hit up stores with INSANE lifetime return policies like LL Bean, REI, and EMS, but do read the fine print! REI has an awesome online outlet and it’s not just adventure gear, it’s also really nice clothes (like Prana and Patagonia) and you can do ship-to-store for free. Another method I use is the mega clearance sales after Christmas.
You know, that’s a good point about getting sick of them by the time they wear out – that’s kinda true in my case too actually :) Except for maybe jeans. Don’t ever get tired of those.
Definitely check out Ebay. I’ve scored some serious deals. Search within the category and include the term “lot” (ex. lot polo shirts). Last year I bought 12 used polo shirts for $80 (9 Ralph Lauren and 3 Lacoste). Turned around and sold the Lacoste shirts for $60….ended up with 9 really nice shirts for $20!
Damn good idea!!! And pretty funny – I would have kept the Lacostes and sold the polos, haha… I’m totally trying that though. I always forget about “lots” :)
If your favorites are wearing out, find and replace them on eBay! I’ve done this many times, and have always paid a lower price than I initially paid for the favorite clothing item or shoes. Good luck!
I have a very small wardrobe and it is starting to look worn and faded. I only have few of each item and wear them repeatedly.
I am fighting debt and only replace something when it becomes essential. Mark downs at Costco for shirts and sales at Wal-Mart for pants is all I can afford.
I do wonder if investing in expensive clothing would be a good investment? Of course you have to stay the same size to make it a long term investment…….
I’d be doing the same as you if we were in debt. Funny how you’re more open to spending more once you’re out though :)
Oh man! I have a similar problem! The worst part is that I go to yard sales and thrift stores specifically to look for clothes I can buy and re-sell at a profit! My wife complains that there’s more clothes that I have listed on eBay in my closet than my personal wardrobe…
Really though, I’d check out your local thrift stores. You can get great quality shirts for about $4 and under. Salvation army’s have specials based on days of the week or tag colors for the week. Go that day and you can get some Ralph Lauren Polo’s on the cheap!
I’ll make sure to add one of my clothes purchases as a blog post for an item I’ve flipped!
HAH! You’re a hustler at heart – I love it.
I buy certain things high quality, and certain things not so much. I have those $5 target v-necks tees in every color under the sun. And I have 3 old navy tops in multiple different colors.
Then I buy LOFT and J.Crew cardigans, work pants from LOFT, and Jeans from Levi’s.
Then I wear Tieks flats almost religiously, which are $165 a pair, minimum. Hand sewn italian leather, yes please. I also buy high-quality bags.
Minimalism isn’t about having the bare bones, it’s about having the right amount for you. I have a minimalist wardrobe in that everything goes with everything else, so I almost always match, even when I get dressed in the dark. But I also have 15 of the same t shirt in different colors, and 5 pairs of the same jeans, in different washes. It’s not about the extreme, it’s about the balance. And once you find the right item that fits well, you can just order it online because you don’t have to worry about it fitting.
You’ve figured it out pretty well – I’m jealous :) Love what you said though – “Minimalism isn’t about having the bare bones, it’s about having the right amount for you.” Now to just figuring that out!
I usually ht the outlet stores after the Holidays when all the crazy sales are running and a pocket full of gift cards. I try and keep the closet light, I need to dress business causal for work so need 6-8 dress shirts and 2-3 dress pants in rotation.
I usually buy my clothes at garage sales and consignment shops. However, I’ll shop at a regular store every once in a while. My problem is that all of my favorite pieces are literally falling apart. I have too many shirts with holes in them. Greg thinks it’s embarrassing!
haha! I sew up holes all the time. I always get a little hole in my shirts right at the belly button. Must be from the button on my pants. My boyfriend has me sew up his holes too so he can’t be embarrassed of me.
CAN YOU COME SEW MY STUFF UP TOO???? No belly button areas though, hahah… that’s cute :)
It’s tough when you downsize your wardrobe too much. You’re exactly right, when things wear out you have to immediately go out to purchase a replacement. It doesn’t allow you the time to shop a sale for the clothes. I’m having to replace worn out stuff right now :(
Last year when I visited NYC just before Christmas the sales on clothes were unbelievable! Macy’s was amazing and had sales upon sales the weekend prior to Christmas. It’s always easier for men to shop than women, outfits are simpler and cheaper to put together.
I usually shop online now and use a rebate site like Ebates to get extra back on my purchases.
Good luck shopping!
It’s true – it is easier for us to shop but we also don’t have as *many* options either :( like no dresses, skirts, whatever else you fine ladies wear ;) it’s either shorts or pants, haha…
Perfect timing… Two years ago I tried to get the family to embrace a 100-item lifestyle. 100 each. Now we’re moving. And we’re packing. If only we had less than 400 items to pack…
At this point I’m just hoping we have less than 400 BOXES!
Hopefully others have good suggestions for you to copy so I can copy them from you.
Moving’s pretty exciting though :) You’ll def. get rid of a lot!
Check out Costco, they often have name brands for a fraction of the price you’d pay elsewhere. Never heard of 6 dollar shirts but after a quick look I saw a few shirts I liked. I’d question the quality too though. Usually when I pay rock-bottom prices for a shirt it doesn’t last very long. A few more expensive shirts I’ve gotten over the years have survived the test of time. You get what you pay for.
Would the Costco membership be worth it just for clothes though? I’ve never actually gotten one – or been IN one in like 5 years – but I’d go check it out if in the long run it was good… I have a feeling they don’t carry my style of clothes though.
I saw a similar thing for chicks where you pick out a bunch of things that match your style and they send you outfits, but the shirts were like $40-$50 a piece and I’m too cheap to even try it!!
Last year I took the plunge and bought my first pair of lulu lemon pants for a whopping $89. I had bought cheap yoga pants at Express for years that always wound up with holes and rips in the seams. I used to scoff at the ridiculous prices of lulu, but a year later, I am singing a different tune. I have worn my lulu pants at least two to three times a week since I purchased them. I wear them to relax, to work out, to go out- everything. They still look and feel fantastic and they’re in great condition. I have since purchased two bras, two shirts, and a jacket from there. It’s not cheap but the quality definitely pays off. No more buying cheap replacement shirts and sweats every 6 months. Note: I also work in theatre, so lulu allows me to maintain a clean and professional appearance even when I’m in rehearsals.
We need a LuLu for men!!! I heard its like crack to women ;) And apparently rightfully so!
I hate HATE HATE shopping. My company gives me $250 clothing allowance twice a year. That usually covers me. I do most of my shopping at Target but only because I know my size there and I don’t have to try it on. I have multiple of the same shirts/dresses/sweaters/pants/jeans, just in different colors. For weekends, I usually try and find cool vintage t-shirts at Goodwill. My new favorite is a 1985 Peachtree Road Race T-shirt. It’s a huge event here in Atlanta and I always get compliments on the shirt. It’s a perfect fit and I paid $1.00 for it.
OH MAN! You should re-sell that on eBay!! A new one sold for $42 and a used one went for $30!
That’s a good ~$20 profit after fees/shipping!
Holy crap!! Now you’ve left me in a pickle! I love love love that shirt but…….
HAH! You need to go and get ANOTHER ONE and then flip it ;) I agree vintage is the way to go too. And the quality is def. there if it’s lasted all those years!!! Haha…
Decided to keep my favorite shirt. However, my 14 year old stepdaughter bought a Reba McIntyre (sp?) shirt on our last Goodwill shopping trip. I googled it for fun. She bought it for $2 and it’s selling for $25! I told her we should start flipping Goodwill shirts and start a blog. We could call it Goodwill Hunting. (Ba dum dum!) she hasn’t responded to my Facebook message. I’m guessing that’s soooo not cool to her. Haha
PS: For the record, she doesn’t really like Reba. She was being ironic. ;)
Oh man! That’s classic. Typical mom. Nothing less cool than parents’ puns or pointing out that their irony really isn’t that cool.
On a side note, concert t-shirts are generally a good buy! There were only so many and when you get a hole in your favorite one, you want a replacement!
The old rock band ones go for CRAZY amounts. This Iron Maiden one from 1984 has a hole and a stain and it still went for $700 bucks! http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-IRON-MAIDEN-Concert-T-Shirt-Tour-Shirt-1984-Md-Camo-Tan-Aces-High-Metal-/380397925894?pt=Vintage_Unisex_T_Shirts&hash=item58917bb606
Always keep an eye out and you could easily flip it quickly! I generally look through the black t-shirts on the rack since it seems like most concert t-shirts are black.
Hahhaha… that is HILARIOUS! I’d totally read a blog about Goodwill Hunting :) If only she was 10 years older…
One of my New Year resolutions this year was – no new clothing. All my favorite stuff are threadbare now. My favorite shorts are super faded and even the belt is unraveling. I really need to pick up some new cloth soon.
Only two and half more months to go! YOU CAN DO IT!!!!
It seems that you have two challenges. First is that you really don’t know what you want and how to find it. The second is that you don’t want to spend much money. I think that you need to work on a solution to the first problem, and then the second will work itself out.
You said that it’s very hard to find clothes that fit. So where did you buy the items that you kept and love? You need to figure out which brands fit you. This will take a little time in stores trying things on. But once you figure out what your go-to brands are, then you can spend time finding them on sale, for re-sale or otherwise at the lowest possible cost. Personally, I’m very tall and had to find the stores that sell stuff that will be long enough. Then I had to accept that half of that will have to be altered after I get it. But it’s far less costly than buying things that don’t fit and never wearing them because they just don’t look that good on me.
That’s a good point. I used to shop pretty much anywhere that offered clearances with no attention to brand or store/etc, but now that I don’t shop anymore I couldn’t tell you what I like the most. Other than Armani Exchange – the makers of my all-time favorite jeans of which I had three and have been long gone for years :( I paid $20 each instead of $100 and haven’t been able to come close on the deal again…
I think I need to just suck it up and spend more than I’m used to so they can last longer. And also go on eBay it seems?
I haven’t bought myself anything new for a while now but wheni do I shop at Ross, Marshalls or Burlington coat factory. They always have affordable clothes.Every once in a while I splurge at Macy’s.
Me too! Although, I did stumble on a great late-season clearance at Macy’s last year and got a sweater and two shirts nice enough for work for $30. I hope to stumble on the same sale again next year. I just wish I remember WHEN it was!
Burlington Coat Factory! Forgot about that place… Ross too, I can never find one of those?
Have you considered repairing your clothing? You don’t need to impress anyone at work with it, so really all you need to do is make sure anything inappropriate is not showing. Most beginning seamstresses/tailors can do a lot for a little money and time. You can also learn how to do many clothing repairs online thanks to YouTube. I just repaired all the pockets on my jeans because my phone and wallet were rubbing a hole in them. Cost me about 4 hours in time to do three pairs of jeans (I already have a sewing machine and denim thread and needles).
Nice job! For jeans and shorts – yeah, I can totally get them patched and/or sewn up. Until they wear out too far for that, which wouldn’t be the first :( It’s more about my t-shirts though as they fade and get dirty looking, like in armpit areas (ewwwww). Luckily I like pain white tees so those are pretty cheap in packages as “under shirts” but not so easy with graphic tees.
I hit Goodwill a few times per month and I tend to stick to one or two sections so essentially I replace my favorites before they reach the worn phase. Minimalism has the flip side of showing us we really do need to shop for clothes.
I just re-organized our closet. While husband has A LOT of clothes, I am left with few, especially since I put the ‘pre-pregnancy’ clothes in a box. Yes, they fit IN A BOX. Now I have 2 pairs of jeans (one that I can still wear under my bigger belly and one pair of maternity jeans), around 10-15 t-shirts (4 are for sleeping/home), 2 pairs of sweatpants to wear at home and 10-12 blouses (hoodies, cardigans etc.). That’s my entire ‘wardrobe’ :D
Even my husband said to me ‘by god, you really have too few clothes’. I’ll probably buy few more in the near future, but I don’t have an issue with my small wardrobe. I don’t use too many clothes anyway (work from home) and see no reason to ‘sink’ my money just to fill up the closet.
WOW! That is pretty impressive! Your significant other and mine are in similar situations, haha.. I should snap a pic of my wife’s wardrobe ;)
I used to get a lot of my clothes at second-hand stores, but lately I just ask for clothes for Christmas and my birthday then that usually tides me over until the following year.
My wife has this same plan. She buys me clothes for birthdays and Christmas so she can then spend our combined clothing budget on herself! I need to split that sucker into two parts, one for her and one for me!
Haha that’s something my wife would do.
That’s a good idea!! I never really want that much stuff for my birthday or xmas anyways, so that would actually be useful :)
My husband shops for clothes about twice a year. He likes some of the L.L. Bean clothes (NOT the double-pleated golf shorts, mind you, but the stuff that’s more rugged and younger!). They’re on the pricier side but we typically get his stuff from the clearance rack, and they have held up really well. If there is a style he likes we’ll get as many of them as are on clearance and sometimes go online to see if we can snag more (using ebates for cashback, of course).
The other source of my husband’s clothes are free t-shirts from conferences!
HAH! I got three of those this weekend which I’ll now be trying out :) Thanks FINCON and Fat Wallet!!
I recently did a “Minimalism binge” myself and got rid of a ton of clothes that I never wear. I usually go to consignment stores a lot to get decent clothing for next to nothing. Stores like Well Suited and sometimes Buffalo Exchange. By the way, it was great meeting you at FinCon and can’t wait to have you on my podcast!
Yeah dude – let’s do it! Really love what you’ve got going on over there :)
I am like RB40 in that I’m not buying clothes at all this year. All my socks have holes in them, which was a little embarrassing because my Fincon roommate saw them, but if PF people can’t understand, who does? I’m a little scared to go shopping again, and I hate buying clothes online, but I’m going to have to soon or start sewing patches onto stuff. I do wonder if buying nicer stuff is worth it or if buying cheap stuff more often is the way to go. If you figure it out, please share.
Haha… i don’t mind what people see or don’t see, but holes get cold in the winter! :)
I just scored a t-shirt at Kohls while going through the clearance racks for my husband – a Tony Hawk (s) that says “Hustlin” on it! I thought of you!
In general though I buy my husband’s and my clothing at thrift stores, Kohls, Target. If husband needs dress cloths (he’s a suit), then Macy’s is my go to store. I work in the medical field so I wear scrubs – always. Buying clothing for my children (all under 5) have proved that quality is best. I try to buy clothing at thrift stores and 2nd time around stores. Then I hit the outlet malls for Gymboree, Gap, Osh-Gosh.
Nice! Your husband is one lucky man to be hooked up like that :) I have a Tony Hawk hoodie from Kohls myself, but I’d MUCH rather have a tee that says Hustlin’ on it! That’s sexy!!
I totally agree with you! I hate shopping!! But when I do, I love going to thrift stores and finding like-new items for my wardrobe!
I don’t shop for clothes online! Women’s clothing is such a hit and miss and sizing is really hard so I’d much rather shop in person. I usually hit up outlet stores for all my clothing if I buy anything. I’ve barely bought anything in the last year though. Good sales are coming up for black friday!!!! Can you hold out until then and find an outlet mall?
I pretty much have to cuz I’m too busy to go to stores in person anyways right now ;) I forgot good sales are around the corner though – it’ll become one of those “one for me, one for you!” type holiday shopping deals, haha… Woo!
Get https://getadblock.com/ … no one should have to put up with internet ads.
I actually kinda like them :) It makes me nervous when I’m on a site that *doesn’t* have ads cuz I’m wondering what they’re up to! Haha…
I was reading an airplane magazine and showed my husband an ad for a company similar to Trunk Club. The ad was suggesting that men should wear a blazer and slacks on an airplane because it shows that this isn’t your first airplane ride. My husband looked at what he was wearing and said, “Wearing a t-shirt and flip flops on an airplane says that I don’t give a rat’s ass.” :)
YES! I love your husband :)
I agree with quality over quantity. I’m trying to switch my wardrobe in that direction and it really makes a difference. Also have to agree about the lulu lemon stuff, it lasts forever and is so comfy. And they have men’s clothes too! My sis works there and can only buy me stuff once a year with her discount.
They have men’s stuff??? Really?
I really should do a purge of my wardrobe, there’s stuff just sitting there I never wear.
Thanks to my jobs (dairy farmer and plumber) I spend the majority of my day in work clothes. Due to the nature of these jobs I just let them get good and ratty before they get hacked up in to rags. For “going out” I’m typically a jeans/t-shirt kind of guy. Nothing too fancy for me.
Snagged this guy at a thrift store last year.
Nearly passed on it until I saw something lurking in the shadows, at which point it became a required purchase. ;)
Hah! Awesome find indeed :) Took me a few seconds to see it too!
I like the Steve Jobs/Dean Kamen philosophy; I pretty much wear the same thing every day. For summer, I bought a 6 pack of white undershirts from Costco. For winter, I bought a stack of long sleeved shirts from Old Navy on the clearance rack. My style is no style!
While I work from home now, I did this even when I had to go into a job. At some point, I found out that my co-workers thought I was wearing the exact same thing every day. They still thought I was a bit nuts when I told them I just have copies.