The biggest misconception that most people have about their clothing is that the cheap clothes in their closets didn’t cost them very much.
Sure. You might think that the ‘cost’ part of it came at the point when you paid for it. But this is only half of it. The true cost of your clothing comes with how much you wear it. And asking yourself the question: were these REALLY clothes you wanted?
And I can’t even begin to tell you how the majority of the closets I have been in have lots of clothes in them that have only been worn once or twice. Why is that?
The problem is that most people buy clothes, shoes & bags without really thinking it through.
They base their decisions on emotional impulses like ‘this will make me feel good about myself’ or ‘I deserve a reward’ and so they get themselves something new.
Has this happened to you? It certainly has happened to me, but more on that in a second.
Their brains find an excuse to ignore the important questions that they should be asking themselves.
Important questions like ‘How many times do I really think I’m going to wear this’ and ‘with how many looks could I combine this?’ get replaced with ‘Of course I deserve this’ and ‘I need this’.
Am I right?
And then there’s the price. I’ve discovered that people are afraid to buy the more expensive thing that they really want and that would really serve them and instead settle for the less expensive thing that doesn’t ‘tick all the boxes’.
They think that because it’s ‘less expensive’, they’ll feel less guilty about it. Because ‘spending too much money’ on something is hard to emotionally cope with.
But that’s only half the story.
The guilt comes when they realise the thing they bought doesn’t really serve them after all. And so it ends up hanging in their closets, mostly unworn. And even though the item cost less, the regret of having bought it is still there! Because now, they want to get rid of it and wished they hadn’t been so spontaneous from the start.
And as most of us know by now: the stuff we get rid of ends up in the landfill.
And this is clearly not sustainable.
Why do so many clothes in our closets go unworn?
- They don’t fit right
- They’re the wrong color
- They don’t suit the actual lifestyle
- The confidence to wear them is missing
Take a look inside your closet and ask yourself why you don’t wear a lot of the things in it. I’ll bet one of those reasons pops up.
In the end it’s more expensive to spend your money on cheap, second best, emotionally spontaneous clothes, shoes & bags than it is to buy the one expensive, loved and well thought through beautiful item.
That’s because from a cost per wear perspective, unworn pieces end up costing a whole lot of money.
If I wouldn’t have settled for the ‘second best’ handbags that I had bought over the years, I would’ve been able to buy the bag of my dreams long ago. Which I still don’t have, by the way.
I wish I wouldn’t have bought ANY of them. I didn’t even need them and I hardly wore them.
Because of my poor consumption habits, I own a heap of bags that no one wants…because they simply aren’t that great.
I imagine what it would be like if I didn’t own all those bags- things that are now taking up tons of prime closet real estate and are incredibly difficult to find new homes for.
And I imagine how beautiful the bag I have always wanted would go with everything in my closet.
And yeah, I feel the hesitation to buy it because it’s really expensive. But I know it would be a bag for a lifetime.
And looking from a cost per wear perspective, it would be the least expensive bag in my closet, despite its big price tag.
So you know what I did? I set up a little savings fund so that I can get the bag I really want.
I refuse to settle for anything less now. No more second best buys.
Imagine that we paid more attention to what we’re actually buying. Imagine that you look for something based on solid criteria: does it fit me, does it suit my lifestyle, is it my color and does it say who I am when I wear it? Do I love it?
And that if it cost more, you wouldn’t have to worry. Because you know you would wear it.
And all of a sudden, the piece that costs 500$ and is worn ten times costs less than the 200$ piece that was only worn twice.
Why? Because it’s LOVED!
What’s more cost efficient? The stuff hanging unworn or the stuff you actually wear? The cheap quick fix clothing or the investment long term piece?
Try it next time you feel impulsed to buy something new and think about the potential cost per wear of the thing you’re buying. It will help you make better decisions when it comes to your wardrobe. It also helps teach you how to buy things that really matter- you may find that you buy less but better- which is better for your closet and for our environment.
So, the short answer to How to Get the Clothes You REALLY Want? Simple. Stop buying thoughtless stuff.
You can learn more about cost per wear in this YouTube episode and in my free ebook The Sparkling Green Closet.