Springtime is synonymous with new beginnings. Crocuses are blooming, birds chirping, and the Easter bunny is packing his basket full of new clothes, just for you. OK, the last part may be wishful thinking. But until he gets the memo, use these tips to start the year anew by building a fresh spring wardrobe on a budget.
Decluttering your wardrobe should be part of your spring cleaning regimen. Dig out your warm weather pieces and evaluate it to see what’s in good condition and what needs to be replaced. Make three piles: one for the trash, another for selling or donating, and a third for items you’ll keep. That dress you bought on clearance three years ago but have never touched since —donate or consign it. The T-shirt you’ve worn to bits should probably be tossed. Keep those items that are in good condition and that you realistically can see yourself wearing in the next year. You don’t have to throw out your one formal gown or that pair of 500 heels you bought for someday special —a few special, rare occasion items are fine. But the majority of your closet should consist of quality staples. As you sort through your things, make a shopping list of things you really need.
If you’ve got quite a few gently-used clothing items you no longer want or need, try selling or trading them in at a consignment store. Most shops give you the option of taking cash or store credit, or trade. Opting for store credit or a trade-in usually gives you a bigger return. Keep in mind, like standard retail stores, consignment shops usually sell by the season. So if you’re heading in in March, they probably won’t take your heavy wool sweaters, but they may purchase your shorts and blouses.
If you remember trading clothes with friends in high school, a clothing swap is basically just a group version of the same idea. Encourage friends to join you in the springtime closet purge and then meet up to trade items. You can spread the word through Facebook, and even create an event page where people can post some of the items they’re hoping to exchange. If you’ve got leftovers, you can take them to the consignment store.
Shop for Quality, Not Quantity
When you’re on a budget, it can be tempting to go for the inexpensive, trendy fast fashion pieces. After all, who doesn’t like the idea of buying two new dresses for $30, or a new pair of shoes for $10? But, in many cases, the attractive price tag belies the low quality. Resist the urge and focus your spending on a few quality staples. They’ll last longer and you’ll use them more often. In the end, you’ll end up saving money and avoid cluttering up your closet with impulse buys. When shopping for top-quality items, you don’t need to spend top dollar. Look out for sales and coupons and always peruse the clearance racks at nicer stores. You’d be surprised at the great deals you can snag!
After all that savvy shopping, you may even find you’ve got a few bucks left over in your budget. Use it to treat yourself on some fun new warm weather accessories like a hat or sunglasses. You’ve earned it!