Why I Stopped Buying New Clothes

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When is the last time you bought new clothes? Was it yesterday? Last month? For me it has been even longer…probably close to three years. Its not that I can’t afford to go buy new clothes. I can. It’s just that I don’t see a real need to. Please don’t misunderstand me. I don’t wear rags. Okay, some days I bum around the house in pajama pants and a t-shirt, but that is purely for comforts sake. Somewhere along the way though, I simply stopped buying new clothes.

I haven't bought new clothes in at least 3 years. I simply stopped buying them. Want to know why? I explain in the post!

The truth about why I haven’t bought new clothes in such a long time actually starts about 3 years ago. I woke up one day and really looked at my closet and my dresser. What I saw actually shocked me. I had more clothes than my Tom and my daughter combined. That blew my mind because honestly? I totally don’t remember buying that many clothes for myself and in fact? I know I didn’t. Some were given to me, some were from free credits I had on various sites and so on.

Why I Stopped Buying New Clothes

When I got to really looking at what filled my closet, I was actually more than taken back. I was honestly pretty disgusted. I had 18 pairs of jeans alone. No, I’m not joking. I gave up on shirts because I could see there was more shirts than jeans and I couldn’t even reach the skirts and dresses. Once I got over the shock, I realized two things. 1. I really needed to skim down on what I owned and in a very bad way and 2. I would not be buying clothing for a long while.  After I’d had my coffee that day I sat and figured out just how much money was tied up in my closet. Assuming I would have spent $50/mo on clothing, that equals $600 per year. I know that my closet wasn’t that full a couple of years before so I figured I had been accumulating clothing for around 2 years. That is a minimum of $1200 that I easily (and very likely) spent on clothing that I didn’t need.

So off I went to that closet and when I got there, I pulled every single piece of clothing I had out and laid it on the bed. I then emptied my dressers. I spent the next EIGHT hours going through it all. I started with the clothing that I knew I would never wear. Those items were divided into two categories – donate and sell. Then, I went with the items that were a size up and a size down. My weight fluctuates very badly so I wanted to keep a few items in my current size and those two sizes that I could easily be wearing next month. Of those items that I kept for weight issues, I pulled out 8 bottoms (4 pairs of jeans and 4 pairs of shorts/skirts) and 8 tops (4 short sleeved, 4 long sleeved). I made sure that each top could be worn with each bottom giving me a total of 16 outfits in each size no matter what the season. I boxed those outfits up and labeled them with their sizes for when I need them.

Once that was done I turned my attention to the clothing that I had in my current sizes and I repeated what I had done earlier. I pulled out 8 bottoms and 8 tops. I now had 16 outfits in my current size. I finished off sorting through it all by pulling out 4 dresses that could be used for a variety of occasions. I wish I could say I was done, but unfortunately I still had a very large pile of clothing. Once again I repeated what I had done earlier and filtered what was left by donate or sell.

Now let me stop here for a sec: I am REALLY bad about remembering to take things to the Salvation Army unless I have a really huge load of things so with only 3 boxes, I knew that I wasn’t going to remember. In fact, I was more than a bit concerned that what I had just sorted out would end up back in my closet so I did what I always suggest you guys do. I had Tom take them down to the car and drive them over right then and there. The items that I had set aside for sale were things that I was sending to my favorite consignment shop to sell online so I printed my label right then and there, boxed them up and left a note for the mail carrier that I had a package that needed to be picked up.

By taking care of those things first and foremost, I avoided what I knew would eventually happen if I didn’t take care of them. My closet being full again.

After putting the clothes I kept back in my closet, I confirmed the decision to stop buying clothes and to stop accepting people’s hand me downs. I don’t mind wearing a hand me down, but I do mind having more unneeded clutter in my home.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because maybe you need to stop buying clothes too. Maybe your closet is stuffed full of not only your clothing, but your hubby’s as well. Maybe your kids have more clothing than they could ever wear before they outgrow them. Maybe you’re spending too much of your monthly budget buying things that you truly don’t need.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that we really started scaling back on the amount of “stuff” that we owned earlier this year. I seem to have a lot of revelations when I first wake up because I woke up one morning and realized just how materialistic my family had become. Call me silly, but I just don’t like them thinking that way so we’ve made a point of getting back to our roots as a family and finding simple. Simple what you ask? Simple everything.

By not buying clothing when I didn’t need it, I’ve saved at least $1200 and have kept so much clutter from my home. Just the money alone made it worth it for me. $1200 isn’t chump change to me and I’m fairly certain it isn’t to most of you so that brings me to this question: If you cleaned out your closet, how many outfits could you get? How much of your hard earned money could you save?


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Stacy Williams

Stacy Williams is a 37-year old wife to a USAF Gulf War Veteran, mother of two teen girls and fur-mamma to a rescued pit bull. The face and brain behind the frugal living and lifestyle blog Six Dollar Family, she also owns and manages Long Haul Wife, Republic Preparedness, The Genealogy Queen and a handful of others sites. By the age of 30, Stacy had overcome a drinking problem, a drug addiction, divorce, survived domestic violence, and had built a life for herself and her daughter after spending 10 months in a homeless shelter. Stacy is passionate about homeless advocacy and addiction education.  Her first book, also called Six Dollar Family is available on Amazon.

Learn how to earn a full-time income from home by learning how to start a blog just like this one! Click HERE to check out Stacy's step-by-step tutorial.
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  1. Pamela Marks says

    I would love to link back to this blog from my blog and just touch base on what our house of clothes look like. Please let me know if this is OK with you ? If not I will just do my blog and not link back. Thanks again I needed motivation.

  2. Stacy,
    Thanks for putting in writing what a lot of us need to do. My closet is going to get a good going over.

  3. I had a similar light bulb moment when we moved last year, getting all tour clothes out and really seeing what you have can be quite a shock can’t it?
    I thought my 5 check shirts was bad but your 18 pairs of jeans trumps that! I’ve not bought any new clothes since we moved except underwear though I have made some (from my fabric stash which is a whole other story!) and had some given as a Christmas present. It’s really not a hardship and it’s nice to have a wardrobe where everything fits in.
    I love your systematic approach to the sorting especially with size, such a good idea.

  4. Linda A. Reynolds says

    Thank You so much for this reminder. I have friends who rent storage place for all the stuff they cannot even keep in their home. Great reminder that life is more than about accumulating stuff!!!!!!!!

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