Making a frugal wardrobe work

 Today, I put all my summer clothes away. I have put them all in a big drawer in the bottom of the wardrobe and I judiciously went through my wardrobe and recycled, put aside to eBay and bagged up clothes for the charity shop. It may look as if I have hardly any clothes as the clothes in the picture below are actually my entire working wardrobe.

 I have two suits. One new and one from the charity shop. They are tonal and I brighten them up with a coloured tops or a black/white top along with a coloured scarf. Look out for the street vendors who sell ‘pashminas’ (not real one I hasten to add! the acrylic but nice and soft ones) – I bought four last year for £10 and will be wardrobe staples for years to come. I’ve been asked how to wear one – I wrap it round my neck and tie a knot!

 All my work skirts are of a similar style and are tonal and will go with any of my suit jackets, any of my coloured tops or any of my cardigans. I can vary what I wear to have a different outfit every day for almost a month.

 It may look as if we are getting rid of more than we are keeping but I think it’s really important to look at your clothes and recycle them if they don’t fit, you don’t like them or you’ve worn them to death. I have six suits and jackets that are going to be sold on eBay because I’ve put on all the weight I lost. I may have liked being a size 12, but I didn’t enjoy the discipline or the starvation required to stay that weight when my body wants to eat and be a size 16.

I have a chest of drawers for my weekend wardrobe which contains: three pairs of jeans, 1 pair of jogging bottoms, 2 cardigans, 1 fleece, 1 polo neck, 1 crew neck, several coloured t shirts, all of my socks and underwear. It may seem like a very small collection of clothes, but they all fit, I like them all and they are all a size 16.

A frugal wardrobe has very little in it; it will all fit you; you will like everything in it and you will wear it all on a regular basis. Go on, have a good sort out, check what goes with what and recycle what you don’t want, need or doesn’t fit.


18 thoughts on “Making a frugal wardrobe work

  1. I need to do what you've done! How do you wear your pashminas? I'm never sure how I should wear them!
    I've nearly finished reading your whole blog now. I started at the begining, and so far (I've done this over a few weeks, not just today I hasten to add! 🙂 )I'm up to May this year. Brilliant reading!
    Take care,
    Donna x


  2. My word,

    I have three wardrobes of clothes plus 6 drawers, plus about ten big sacks in the attic. I'm slowly making my way through things I don't think I will wear again. Especially those lovely small sizes which I don't think I will be again! Admittedly there are clothes there that I had in my teens which I still wear, so I'm not a wear once and chuck person. But when I'm a bit better, this is the first area I really want to change. I'd like to tackle all the stuff taking up space in the attic and sell it, and start thinking about the things I buy and don't need. I know I have a real problem with spending and it centres around clothes. I will buy things because I think it will make things seem better and it does for a while. But now I think I would get more out of selling things on and making a bit of money. I certainly need it.



  3. Unfortunately, I am a shoe hoarder. I am too attached to them and remember the good times in them.

    My problem is uniforms. Now, one of the reasons I chose nursing was so I wouldn't have to have a work wardrobe, right? Fail. I have too many uniforms according to the husband (this is rich coming from a man with 23 pairs of combat boots).

    Pashminas? The husband and my best friend are both over in A'stan again. When they come home on leave, they bring back a dozen pashimas, each. My husband brings them for my co-workers (he says for putting up with me) and my friend bring them to the female clerks and officers at his detachment. They are lovely colours and patterns but how do you tell two well meaning men that enough is enough?


  4. Hi everyone, in reply, I learnt many years ago that happiness is intrinsic, it can not be bought, nothing in a shop can make anyone happy. I own my own emotions, somedays are good some days are bad. I know I look good naked (see Gok Wan for the refernce)I know I look good in clothes whether jeans and wellies or a smart suit. Shoe lady……..I own: black flats, black heels, trainers, 3 pairs of sandals and that's it! I'm barefoot at home and no shoes have ever made me happy…..taking them off after work makes me happy as does taking my clothes off at the end of the day and putting on baggy jim jams! Like I said, take a look at your wardrobe and keep some and recycle the rest.


  5. I need to do this again as I have some really ratty stuff that needs to go in the rag pile. I did get rid of all the ones that don't fit last year. I wish mine was more interchangeable like yours. I don't wear suits, just slacks and bouses and it is hard to find clothes for very large ladies that don't cost a fortune, unfortunately the charity shops rarely have any.


  6. I'm with you Lady H! God bless you xxxxx I struggle to buy size 16/18! Bras are a nightmare! but I can still shop in regular shops even if my size sells out first, women are curvaceous, have big knockers, squidgy bits and go in and out in all the right places………..shame clothes designers don't share my view of womens' bodies,xxxxxx


  7. I loved this post. I loved a good mooch through your wardrobe – thanks 🙂
    To be honest – I think I might even have a few less clothes than you – which pleased me – I like a basics black trouser suit (couple of pairs of trousers, one black jacket) start and then lots of bright tops and some bright jackets to go with white tops. I have loads of pashminas / scarves – mainly made myself. A lady at church who spends mega mega bucks on designer clothes once said she thought I was always “well put together” I nearly choked – if she did but know – lol!


  8. Hi! Just want to let you know that I am a fan! Pls continue writing good stuff about frugality. I am a work in progress on that dept. with few moments of being an offender (ie. spending few bits of pennies on unnecessary stuff) but trying to get back on my feet again. You are a living inspiration.


  9. Firstly i love your secondly my hubby loves your blog too???..he has just read the wardrobe one and is looking at me across the ok i admit i'm a clothes fiend,shoes bags etc…anyway after learning this yr who your true friends are (hubby made redundant and friends no longer want to know us)i have decided to clear out and give them to my best friend who is struggling so much and needs some new stuff but won't admit it..i shall keeps basics and 1 or 2 luxuries but thats it…hubby reckons i should follow your example…i am doing but he doesn't notice yet lol….
    take care


  10. Well done you! – I've also been through all of my clothes this week – I bought 6 jumpers from the factory shop in a size that fits me and I actually like, and then emptied my wrdrobe of the ones that don't fit or I don't like the way I look in! I'm no longer a size 12, I'm a size 14 or Large and I am now coming to terms with that.
    Snaps to us eh! (As they would say in Legally Blonde!)


  11. I am afraid we all have too many clothes. Last year when we took on the mortgage, I didn't buy ANY new clothes [not even tights or knickers] and THIS year I have allowed myself two new dressesfor my nieces wedding – a light summer one and a warmer 'backup' one, both from sales – plus one new skirt and jacket from charity shop. And that is IT. I have got so much pleasure from reorganising the combinations of tops&skirts, and refashioning some garments.

    keep up the great blog!


  12. Do you think you could show us some of the iff combinations of clothing you put together.I have a wardrobe full and only ever put the same thngs with the same things-go on do a Gok


  13. Don't work, go to church occasionally. We have thrift shops that have 50% off for seniors twice a week. I have about 500 articles of clothing, mostly from thrift shops and may wear 25 pieces in a year. Tempted to pare it down to 50 pieces or so. Need the space.


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