How to Calculate a budget for a new wardrobe

How to Calculate a budget for a new wardrobe

As much as every woman loves the idea of updating her wardrobe or starting one from scratch, thinking about the financial side of things can be pretty daunting. Many women abandon the idea without even getting to the ball park figure. This is also one of the first questions my clients ask me – what budget would you recommend for shopping. There is actually no straightforward answer to this question. It all depends!

To show you what it depends on, I will share a very easy-to-do exercise with you that will give you a pretty accurate idea of the sum needed.

So here we go:

Step 1 – Create a shopping list

Regardless of whether it is a wardrobe update or a brand new wardrobe, the number 1 thing you need to do is write a list of items you need. For example, you might have gaps in the wardrobe, like not enough bottoms, or not enough tops to layer with, etc. If you are planning a new wardrobe, you can have a field day coming up with your perfect pieces that you’d like to own. If you are doing an update, evaluate what kind of pieces would give you most options to fulfill your current wardrobe’s potential and focus on those.

I would recommend doing this exercise after some kind of wardrobe review (I’ll be telling you in one of the upcoming posts how to do a DIY wardrobe review). You want to have a pretty clear idea on what your wardrobe needs and where the gaps are.

Let’s say you need the following items:

  • 2 jeans
  • 1 coat
  • 3 tops
  • 2 skirts
  • trainers
  • 2 pairs of  shoes

Step 2 – Determine your maximum spend per item

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to what you view as a reasonable investment. This is all about what you perceive as sensible.

I have clients who wouldn’t spend more than 70€ on a pair of jeans and have others who would put 3o0€ behind each pair just because they view it as an important investment. Go with what feels right for you. The most important thing here is to write the MAXIMUM amount you’re prepared to invest in that particular item.

So here’s our list from above:

  • 2 jeans – 70€
  • 1 coat – 200€
  • 3 tops – 60€
  • 2 skirts – 70€
  • trainers – 70€
  • 2 pairs of  shoes – 100€

STEP 3 – Do up the totals

Once you determine the maximum amount you are prepared to spend per item, add up the totals for each item type and then the overall total.

  • 2 jeans – 70€ x 2 = 140€
  • 1 coat – 200€ = 200€
  • 3 tops – 60€ x 3 = 180€
  • 2 skirts – 70€ x 2 = 140€
  • trainers – 60€ = 60€
  • 2 pairs of  shoes – 100€ x 2 = 200€

Total: 920€

This is your approximate budget for those items. You are no longer staring into the unknown but have the potential ‘damage’ right there in front of you.

This is a ballpark figure and basically the worst case scenario. Nothing is stopping you from finding, let’s say, blouses at a lower price point. However, you might come across a coat that you love so much that adding another 70€ won’t feel too painful. But then again, you might recover that cost by spending less on other items.

One thing you might want to consider when allocating price tags is this – if the item you’re investing in is one of your core pieces that will be used in a lot of combinations or on a regular basis, aim for the best quality you can afford. The last thing you want is to have this item wear out too quickly.

What if this figure seems like too big of an investment to make in one go?

My next post is all about how to allocate and prioritize your budget so that the shopping damage doesn’t leave you starving for the month.

See you there!

Natalie x

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