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Clothes: how to keep them longer


Clothing and accessories are an essential expense. Well… unless you make them yourself! Yet, most people don’t have that ability and must therefore buy their clothes… that they sometimes do in a compulsive manner! In effect, many tend to fill up their closets and drawers to the brim and to buy cheap stuff instead well designed pieces. Many also take care of their garments in questionable ways. That’s a pity, because there is so much money that can be saved on clothing and accessories if you just make a little effort! The more you earn, the more you spend!  Just before we jump to the tips that you ought to follow if you wish to spend more intelligently on clothing and accessories, it is important to show that people buy clothes not according to their needs, but according to their means! In effect, many stats show that consumers tend to purchase more clothing pieces as their wallet thickens. If this logically makes sense (more money means you can buy more stuff), it does not necessarily make sense from all perspectives… especially not from a thrifty one!
Statistics Canada, for example, shows that Canadian households spent $53,000 on average in 2010, 6.5% of which was dedicated to clothes. In other words, Canadian households spent more than $3,400 on clothing! But what certainly is the most interesting is that the share of a household’s budget that is dedicated to clothing hardly varies from one income quintile to another. Households with expenses just over $28,000 spent 5,1% of their budget on clothing compared to… 5,1% as well for households who spent almost $82,000 through the year!
Translate those percentages into absolute numbers, and the discrepancy you obtain does speak for itself: the Canadian households which spent $28,000 over the year only spent about $1,400 on clothing, compared to almost $4,200 for the households which spent $82,000. Of course, those who buy the least clothes probably wish they could buy more and better quality, yet, those who spend more than $5,000 could probably do just as good with less money. The few tips that follow can undoubtedly help you achieve that goal of doing just as good with fewer expenses.
Buy versatile clothes If you always buy the pair of jeans that matches with the top that is on the mannequin, then your clothing expenses will inevitably go out of control. In effect, buying clothes that you can only wear with carefully selected complementary items will force you to think in terms of “kits” that are independent from one another. Instead, you should try to build up a versatile wardrobe for yourself, one that allows you to make a bunch of interesting combinations with fewer clothes. This does not mean that you should only opt for plain fabrics or unoriginal garments. This simply means that you ought to think in terms of versatility: how can that awesome pair of jeans in the window display match with those items that you already have?
Buy better quality, not greater quantity It may seem like an obvious tip, but let’s face it: many people buy a bunch of clothes just because they don’t cost a lot. Yet, the very conception of the clothes that sell for a ridiculously small amount of money can be far from optimal and result in a shorter lifespan that will force you to buy new clothing items sooner than you think. This way of shopping is neither thrifty, nor eco-friendly. You should think about buying fewer items and making sure that the ones you buy are high-quality pieces that will last for dozens, if not hundreds of days of wear and tear.
Look at the washing instructions Who really does that will all of their clothes? Most of the time, we only look at the washing instructions of the clothes that cost us a lot of money in the first place. Yet, omitting to wash a given garment according to the specific properties of the fabric it is made of can result in rapid attrition. What is more, you should bear in mind that your clothes do not always have to be washed every single time you wear them: a pair of jeans can be worn more than one time, just like the t-shirt you did not sweat in. In effect, washing your clothes too much is one of the main culprits for their quick wearing out. You should also try to air dry all of your clothes whenever possible instead of systematically putting them in the drying machine, which can expose the fabrics to damaging temperatures.
About the author: Alexandre Duval is a freelance blogger for Simons who writes about various topics including money saving tips, travel and lifestyle.


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