How to Save Money by Greening your Wardrobe

iStock_000016533160XSmallIf you’re like me, you are always looking for ways to save money, even if it’s only a little bit each week or month. Sometimes we need to find extra funds when big bills are due but often it is needed just to make ends meet. These tips on how to save money by greening your wardrobe will really help you to keep those extra dollars in your pocket.

Before you can even start to think about how you would go about greening your wardrobe, you need to know where you stand, clothes wise, right now at this moment. This means you probably need to do a complete clean out of every drawer and closet where you keep garments. When I looked at doing this, I could see it was going to be a mammoth task so I spread it out over several weekends.

De-cluttering your wardrobe has several benefits. You probably will find clothes that you had forgotten you even had; I certainly did! You might uncover some garments that have seen better days and should probably have been recycled some time ago. After going through the process, you will have lots more room so you will be able to see exactly what you have and will avoid the mistake of buying something you already own. I know all this because they all applied to me when I finally made the time to sort through my clothes.

It’s best to be in a calm but positive frame of mind when you de-clutter. You’ll need to be able to sort clothing into piles according to what you find. There will be those that are good to keep, because you will wear them; there’ll be some that you will never wear because they don’t fit, are past their best or simply don’t suit you anymore; there may be some that you simply can’t part with regardless whether you will wear them again or not.

Anything you now longer want that is still wearable and in reasonable condition can be donated to thrift stores. Garments that are in good condition, especially well-known or high-end labels, could be donated or sold to secondhand clothing stores or through eBay or other online sites. Maybe you could organize a clothes swap amongst your friends. Whatever you choose, you will be de-cluttering your home, recycling, re-using and maybe making a bit of money as well.

Once you have de-cluttered your closets, you can move to the next step in greening your wardrobe. Look critically at what you have kept and make up different outfits using each garment multiple times. A green wardrobe is one in which each item can be worn with at least three other pieces. I found several items that I had absolutely nothing to go with and several more that only went with one thing. This meant that I had quite a selection of clothes that I seldom, if ever, wore. This was certainly not a good use of my limited clothing allowance.

There’s a couple of different ways you can address this problem: you could rush out and buy coordinating pieces to give you more outfits or you could further refine your wardrobe by discarding a few more things in one of the ways mentioned above. As the goal is to save money, maybe a combination of these two choices could be the way to go.

Once you have a green wardrobe, there are a few ways to help you keep it that way and save money at the same time. Avoid buying clothes on impulse, even if you find a bargain. Keep in mind your new green rule about how clothes have to go with multiple pieces and only buy if you really need something to complete an outfit or replace something you need to move on.

When you do need to buy new clothes, remember the different ways you disposed of those unwanted items when you de-cluttered. Check out the thrift stores and secondhand clothing shops; organize or attend a clothes swap party or check on one of the many online sites that specialize in selling used stuff. Not only will you be following your new green principles, you will also save lots of money while updating your wardrobe.

Once you have developed the habit of avoiding impulse buying, you can look at other ways of saving money on clothes. Wait for the end of season and out of season sales at the high-end stores to save up to 80% on the original purchase price of the clothes you love. These stores simply can’t hold stock over to the next season so you can benefit big time by being patient and waiting for the sales. Not only will you save big money but you will be less tempted to buy things you don’t really need because there will be less choice.

Finally, good quality will always outlast cheaply made clothes. Invest in fewer pieces but focus on quality rather than the latest fashion. Classic styles never date and can be updated and made fresh with the clever addition of seasonal accessories. Natural fibers are often more comfortable to wear and are certainly a greener alternative if sustainably made.

So use these tips to help save money by greening your wardrobe and enjoy the benefits for yourself.


How to Save Money by Greening your Wardrobe — 10 Comments

  1. I’ve decluttered my wardrobe a lot over the past few years…but there are still things that I’m trying to get rid of. I tend to assign sentimental memories to certain clothing items!

  2. I tend to wear clothes until they end up looking a bit tattered. I wear dyed denim pants to work and get at least a decade out of them. I also wear button-down shirts that are 10, 20, even 30 years old in some cases. I think all of my shoes are coming up on being at least 10 years old. And I wear t-shirts that I’ve gotten for free around the house. I do have a few suits for when I need or want to get dressed up. I only purchase new clothes when I get rid of old clothes. So I think I’m about as green, clothing-wise, as I can be.

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