Fall is officially in session, and to help you start the season off on the right foot, I wanted to talk about something different today – budgeting. I think it’s safe to say that at the start of every new season, there’s an urge to want build a new wardrobe from scratch. With so many fresh trends to try, it’s extremely tempting, but this isn’t very practical at all. I realize that knowing exactly how much you should spend on clothes can be tricky, so I believe in budgeting. Knowing how to budget for your fall wardrobe is key to satisfying your fashion cravings while shopping within your means. Below, I’ve shared all my tips to help you accomplish that for the season ahead.
Gucci Belt (also here, read my Gucci belt sizing guide HERE) | Similar Camel Coat (also similar here) | Similar Camel Sweater Dress (also here and here) | Stuart Weitzman Over-The-Knee Boots | Prada Cahier Bag | Quay Aviator Sunglasses
Create a budget
Coming from finance, it’s no surprise that I am a fan of budgeting. So before you go on a shopping spree, make time to sit down and analyze your budget. Experts have estimated that 5-7% of your after-tax income should be allotted to clothes on a monthly basis. While I don’t think every month has to be fixed, I do believe you should look at your expenses and savings, then set aside a realistic number for what’s appropriate to spend on clothes. This budget that you create can be for an entire season or over each month.
Shopbop Off-The-Shoulder Sweater (sold out, similar here, here and here) | Blank NYC Faux Leather Pants (wearing a 24) | Similar Leather Jacket | Alexandre Birman Heels |
Givenchy Antigona Bag |Quay Sunglasses
Assess your existing wardrobe
Once you’ve set aside a budget, it’s time to take inventory of what’s in your closet. I’ve learned that when I’m constantly buying new things, it’s easy to forget about old pieces I love. You’ll also be able to eliminate items that are no longer useful so that you can make room for new ones. This will help you determine which key items are missing – and what you really to to buy. I love closet cleaning around this time of the year because it helps me build a versatile and timeless cold weather wardrobe.
Sell what you no longer use
If you find yourself with a pile of clothes and accessories that you no longer wear, it’s time to decide how you’re going to get rid of them. There’s always the option of donating; however, if you’re looking to earn some cash for some fresh fall pieces, you can always try selling them on Poshmark, eBay, or Depop. I’ve had a lot of success selling pre-loved items and I think it’s a great way to rebuild a wardrobe.
Know where to save
I love designer labels as much as I love high street brands. And I truly believe a stylish wardrobe is all about a good balance of high and low. That’s exactly why I started my Splurge Vs. Save series. This is an incredibly important element to building a budget for your fall wardrobe. Before I spend a lot of money on one thing, I always try to look at it from a long-term perspective. If I can’t see myself wearing it year after year, then it’s a save item. This fall, that would comprise of seasonal trends like sequins, snake print, cowboy boots, or metallics. You can find plenty of great fitting styles from brands like Free People, Topshop, and H&M. I also believe it’s worth saving when it comes to fall accessories like scarves and beanies unless they’re cashmere!
Decide where to invest
Investment-worthy items stand the test of time – and I know I will never get tired of them. These are items like handbags and shoes, especially suede and leather boots for fall and winter. They will last a lifetime as long as you take care of them – and they just make everything look more chic. Another item worth splurging on is outerwear (more to come on splurge vs. save coats later this week). It probably isn’t realistic to have several investment pieces on your wishlist, so I highly recommend narrowing this down to only one or two items for an entire season.
As you build a budget for your fall wardrobe, don’t forget to consider future events on your calendar that may have a specific dress code. For example, a black tie event or fall wedding, which calls for formal wear. As these items are typically higher priced than just a sweater, you want to ensure that you take those pieces into consideration.