// you’re reading...


my top 5 excuses for paying too much for clothes

WSA adsense code -->

window shoppingI often feel that as a personal finance blogger, I should be more frugal in my purchasing. Although I don’t throw money away exactly, I’m also not a follower of some of the most basic “being frugal” advice that there is. This is particularly true of clothes.

I usually pay full price for my clothes from regular high street shops.

A real frugal person would buy there clothes second-hand, or at massive discount in the sales. Whilst I don’t spend much money compared to many of my peers, compared to the rest of the personal finance crowd, I’m afraid I’d be considered a spend thrift. Here are my top 5 excuses.

excuse 1: a deprived childhood

When I was a kid, up until about the age of 16, apart from my (revolting brown, beige and gold) school uniform nearly all the clothes I had were hand me downs. When it was dress down day at school I was always very careful to be wearing the nicest of the clothes that I had.

Although I don’t resent this, I did always want new *shop-bought* clothes. I still do. I know that this isn’t really a deprived childhood, but this is one of my biggest excuses for not buying from second-hand clothes shops. I feel that I deserve better.

excuse 2: I’m a funny shape

People that have met me will confirm that I am not an average shape person. I’m 5 foot nothing, and a UK size 14 (US size 10?). This means that I am too short for regular women’s clothes. In fact, I’m actually too short for regular short people’s clothes (more commonly known as the petite section).

I am the perfect height for age 12 children’s clothes. Sadly (since kid’s clothes are cheaper) I’m far from the perfect build for that. In practice this means that it’s quite hard for me to find clothes that fit reasonably well - I’m usually in petite clothes that I’ve hemmed myself for work. When it’s hard to find clothes that fit, you are basically stuck buying them even if they aren’t that frugal.

excuse 3: I’m picky

I don’t wear brown. (See above mention of school uniform for reasons why.) I also don’t wear double breasted coats, or pencil skirts, or shirts. Basically, I’m a fussy dresser and I’m not willing to think too far outside the box. I know what suits me and I stick to it. This does mean that I don’t actually buy that many clothes, but on the other hand, it’s another reason why I end up paying full price for everything. When you’re picky, there’s less choice.

excuse 4: I don’t like busy shops

A great time to get the same clothing for less, is in the sales. Unfortunately, I hate shopping in the sales. I hate it being busy, everything takes twice as long, and the queues for the changing rooms are enormous. It gives me so little pleasure, that I’ve almost stopped going to the sales completely. When I do go, it’s generally at the tail end. It’s quieter, but not much is left.

excuse 5: I can afford to

I don’t need to pay tiny amounts for clothes. I have no kids and a reasonably well paying job. Unlike when I was a student - and it didn’t matter - I can actually afford to pay full price for clothes, as long as I don’t buy too much. They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and with no necessity, and not a great deal of innate fashion sense, my frugal invention skills are under developed.

What do you think of my excuses? Should I try harder? Do you have any (justified or otherwise) excuses yourself for your own non-frugality? Let me know in the comments.

Image by mell242 

Similar Posts:

If you like what you're reading, why not leave a comment below, subscribe to my feed, or check out some of my best posts.


35 comments for “my top 5 excuses for paying too much for clothes”

  1. I think you consider the cost per wear instead of the upfront cost.

    If I purchase a trendy item, I may only wear it a few times before I’m done with it. However, I wear my Banana Republic Wool Pants (original price $120) a few times a week in the winter and have had them for a quite a few years. Even if I paid $30 for a top on sale, the pants would clearly be a better purchase.

    Posted by SavingDiva | March 26, 2008, 2:23 pm
  2. Excellent excuses! Since you’re petite, “don’t wear double-breasted coats” rises from the level of “excuse” to “solid reason.”

    Though I don’t usually pay full price (I only shop at end-of-season sales), I do shop in expensive stores whose sale prices are more than I would pay in more normal places. Because….

    * Better stores have better service, which I appreciate and am willing to pay for.
    * Huge department and discount stores have sooo much junk on the racks I get overwhelmed and end up leaving with no purchases. I hate those places.
    * I highly resent the assumption that I am a shoplifter. So, I will not shop in stores where I’m frisked, limited in the number of items I can take into a dressing room, and made to check each item with some bored, officious clerk before I can try it on, and where each item has an alarm clipped to the fabric. This defines low-end stores.
    * Higher quality merchandise lasts longer.
    * You can’t get a pair of dress pants that fit around a grown-up woman’s rear end anywhere except at Talbot’s.
    * When you see something you like and it fits, you’d better grab it, because you’ll never see it again!

    Posted by Funny about Money | March 26, 2008, 3:10 pm
  3. Like Saving Diva I work on a cost per wear basis, my £200 wool coat is a bargain because it’s still going strong several years later, (and I always live in cold places) my $30 on sale jeans were not as I have only worn them 3 times.
    I can agree with all your excuses most especially the busy stores one. I cannot shop in a sale, I develop a deep hatred of my fellow human beings and a pounding headache after about 5 mins if I am in a busy mall. The only sale shopping I tend to do is if there is an online option and I can go to the store before the busy time to try it on.

    Posted by Looby | March 26, 2008, 3:32 pm
  4. well goddammit. Good clothes just feel nice! I love my £30 TK maxx jeans (reduced from a lot more), I only have two pairs of jeans, so I wear em to death!

    Posted by Angell | March 26, 2008, 3:59 pm
  5. I think your ‘excuses’ are perfectly valid ones personally. There are some things that you just need to do for yourself. This is your thing.

    Posted by debtdieter | March 26, 2008, 7:14 pm
  6. I’m feeling very lucky now that I got my first new dress at the age of 12!!! Wow. I don’t know the next time after that I bought clothes at a non-thrift store, maybe 15 once I had my own job? Until about 12 it was hand-me-downs and then Salvation Army shops.

    For the most part, I still don’t buy “new” clothes, but my body’s also a funny shape (no, really, the waist is really thin but the hips are really curvy) and I can hardly ever find jeans to fit it right. Thrift stores have more variety and styles from more periods so I have better luck.

    I buy new t-shirts (the tight kind) because those stretch so easily.

    But since you can afford it, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with buying nicer clothes. What you wore in DC looked great and if it lasts well then it’s also a good financial choice.

    Posted by Mrs. Micah | March 27, 2008, 1:54 am
  7. If spending money on clothes you like doesn’t deprive you of other pleasures you value more, then there’s no reason to change your habits. How you prioritize your discretionary spending is your decision.

    I’m trying to figure out how to deal with an onslaught of hand-me-downs. Two of my mother’s co-workers are roughly my size and keep offering me their castoffs, asking that we take anything I don’t want to a local charity thrift shop. Some of it is fairly nice stuff, in good condition, and suitable to wear while teaching, but it really isn’t my style at all. I really don’t relish the idea of wearing a bunch of calf length, pleated front, elastic back, straight skirts and matronly blouses to work everyday, but it seems silly to turn down free clothing when I need to build my professional wardrobe.

    Posted by E.C. | March 27, 2008, 2:39 am
  8. I have always felt that clothing is an extremely personal thing, and the reasons for choosing them are also extremely personal as well. I like the funny shape reason!

    Posted by tehnyit | March 27, 2008, 12:03 pm
  9. I think you pretty much nailed all my reasons. I wasn’t deprived as a child per se, but I can related on all the other points. And the biggie is the cost per wear factor. I do shop at consignment shops and thrift shops, but then too, I’m looking for the quality peices hidden amongst the rags. Hey be proud to be 5 foot nothing!. I say I’m, 5′2 on a really good day with a slight heel.

    Posted by bouncing betty | March 27, 2008, 6:07 pm
  10. I don’t think you need an excuse for something you have no problem with. It’s one thing if you’re trying to justify it to yourself… but your reasons seem good to me!

    My excuse isn’t so tight - I had lots of new clothes when I was a kid but they were UGLY. So now I just want nice clothes. :)

    And I have never shopped at Talbots, and my pants fit just fine, thankyouverymuch. :)

    Posted by deepali | March 27, 2008, 10:26 pm
  11. It’s really up to you, I think. As long as you’re financially on track and it’s worth the expense to you, then it’s fine isn’t it?

    I am a petite plus, which is hard sometimes. I also have a waist which is proportionally large (even when I was slimmer I still had a thick waist). I shop end of season sales as well as thrift stores. Sometimes I sew things, like simple skirts. Honestly though, I don’t care all that much about clothes…

    If I had more money I might worry about ethical issues, buying organic cotton and fair trade too. But unfortunately most of this stuff is fairly casual and not suitable for work.

    Posted by Canadian | March 28, 2008, 12:01 am
  12. P.S. One of my reasons for buying from thrift stores has nothing to do with money, but with my beliefs about how wasteful our society is and how I don’t want things to be produced, and resources and energy to be used, if there is no need for it.

    Posted by Canadian | March 28, 2008, 12:04 am
  13. To E.C. - If you know how to sew you might be able to adapt some of this unsuitable donated clothing. Check out the Wardrobe Refashion blog for ideas.

    Posted by Canadian | March 28, 2008, 12:05 am
  14. Excellent article Plonkee! I think the excuses are entirely valid. They show you know yourself, and how you relate to the current retail market. High Street retailers favour the tall, svelte and flat chested. It is fair to say most women don’t fit into that body shape, so it will always be tough to find something that suits you individually. I think that being frugal does not mean you need to necessarily shop in thrift stores all the time. As you say, if it something you can work in to your budget, why not? x

    Posted by Kerstin Doe | March 28, 2008, 7:08 am
  15. @E.C.
    I firmly believe that it’s not silly to turn them down. You are a 21st century American, you don’t have to wear all the hand me downs you get. It’s important to feel confident in what you are wearing.

    Posted by plonkee | March 28, 2008, 8:33 am
  16. Hear hear. Cost per wear = my best friend (now)…. your reasons are all solid!

    Posted by Fabulously Broke | March 31, 2008, 2:16 pm
  17. I feel the same way about traveling—it’s the reason I’m so frugal everywhere else in life. Traveling is where I get to have some fun with my money.

    Posted by Writer's Coin | April 1, 2008, 12:09 pm
  18. I’d rather have $100.00 than a $200.00 pair of jeans. It’s pathetic to try and mask your insecurity or feed your vanity with clothing. A real woman knows better.

    Posted by Ashley | April 16, 2008, 9:48 pm
  19. I have been a fashion fanatic for as long as I can remember, it has become an obsession, I am always looking for the next great thing. My newest addiction is t-shirts, they are comfortable and they are probably the easiest thing to buy online, you know “without trying them on”. I found this new independent t-shirt company the other day, I get a feeling they are new and small too, I just purchased one of their t-shirts, and let me tell you I’M IN LOVE, check them out: http://www.rhetoriclife.com

    Posted by alice | September 18, 2009, 8:27 pm
  20. You make it sound so simple. It is still over my head.

    Posted by nike running shoes | July 20, 2010, 7:28 am
  21. Hi girls! Fashion clothes and accessories. For you, dear girl. ;)
    If you like our online store, then invite your friends to us.
    Always glad to see you. Sincerely Mary.

    Posted by Mary | November 5, 2010, 10:07 am
  22. Hi girls! <a http://lifefashionstyle.com Fashion clothes and accessories. For you, dear girl. ;)
    If you like our online store, then invite your friends to us.
    Always glad to see you. Sincerely Mary.

    Posted by Mary | November 5, 2010, 10:08 am
  23. The author has written an excellent article. You have made your point and there is not much to argue about. It is like the following universal truth that you can not argue with: No truth is universal, everything has its exception.

    Posted by radii | November 8, 2010, 2:23 am
  24. Thanks for sharing

    Posted by links of london | November 19, 2010, 9:04 am
  25. Great website…and cool article man…thanx for the great post…keep on posting such articles… Resources like the one you mentioned here will be very useful to me! I will post a link to this page on my blog. I am sure my visitors will find that very useful.

    Posted by christian louboutin | November 22, 2010, 3:56 am
  26. Thank your for display me so fantastic notion as part of your blog. I am really gree with you. Your viewpoint is amazing.

    Posted by hghjj | November 26, 2010, 7:56 am

Post a comment

Proud member of the