How much is too much to spend when shopping?

A survey claims the average woman spends £1000 on her daily wardrobe. ClearDebt’s Jacqueline Cohen and 3 other women took part in a story run by the Daily Mirror to test if this was actually true and to show a comparison between a £79 wardrobe budget and an £1000+ wardrobe budget.

I remember the days before debt was an issue at the forefront of my mind.  When I would go about my life with the ethos, “work hard, spend hard”.  And when every shop window, with something that glimmered, would “speak to me” and I would have no choice but to go in and take it home with me.

But times have changed – and so has my budget!

Everyone has a back story and mine was running a business which went under due to the harsh realities of the recession.

I came to work at ClearDebt almost two years ago, and what a wake up call that has been.  There are certain lessons in life you need to learn when finances are “stretched” – and if you’re reading this right now, as a client of ClearDebt or someone with money worries, I suspect you’re nodding your head in agreement.

My words of advice to anyone who can’t resist the shops – is don’t go shopping!  And if you have to…..every time you pick something up that you don’t really need, think about what else that money could be paying for – a phone bill, a mortgage payment, your weekly food shop, your children…or your savings for the future.  Eventually….the guilt works it magic and if you’re anything like me, you’ll be proud to become “frugal”.

In today’s Daily Mirror, there’s an article by Emma Grace Smith on how much money women spend on their daily wardrobe, you’ll see I proudly took part in the story, which was based on a survey claiming the average woman spends £1000 on her daily wardrobe! Shocked? Well it does add up – even for one lady, also featured in the article, who spent over £4,000 on hers!  So, I think it’s time for you to add to the debate and let us know how much you spend on your daily outfit – go on…take a look at what you’re wearing today – including your underwear and your bag….and cost it out. Mine was a total of £79:

Dress: £14 from George/Asda
Underwear: £30 from La Senza and Bravissimo
Tights: £5 from M&S
Shoes: £30 from Dorothy Perkins
Bag and bracelets: Gifts

Why not take part in our poll and let us know if your wardrobe spending has changed since you’ve become more financially aware and how much you think you spend on your own daily wardrobe.

We’re giving away the value of my daily wardrobe to one lucky participant who we believe contributes the best comment and fashion/money saving tip to this blog!

[polldaddy poll=3325773] [polldaddy poll=3325996]

Many thanks to Emma Cattell/DailyMirror for use of photo.

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  1. We don’t believe that the recession has really affected our business. On the whole, lingerie typically does well in a recession and is akin to the ‘lipstick effect’ – it’s a relatively inexpensive way to treat yourself. As a company, we have noticed that more people have been buying fashion led styles over the last year and we suspect this is due, in part, to our customers buying lingerie sets as a way to treat themselves as opposed to replacing everyday essentials.

    At Bravissimo we also encourage our customers to learn more about how to fit themselves for a bra and the benefits that a good fitting bra brings in terms of the way they look and feel. Therefore, in addition to lingerie purchases being regarded as a treat, we have also found that our customers are realising that when your underwear fits well, your outerwear looks better, so cheaper clothing purchases look and fit better.

  2. What about us men.
    I’m not sure my yearly spend is £79 never mind my daily spend.
    Most of my wardrobe is from birthday and Christmas or emergency cloth payments.
    I blame children as when they arrive any money you do have goes on them.

  3. I reckon if you go to work in a suit, shirt and tie then men’s daily wear figure is going to be pretty high. On a cost per wear basis, we probably beat most women hands down – most men carry on wearing their suit trousers, for example, til the seat is transparent. Socks don’t ladder and only go when the big toe peeks through and shirts hit the pin when the cuffs fray. Or they do, for me, now… AAh the heady days when i used to sling my work shirt in a bin at the end of the day and my secretary got it laundered and starched.

    I think i used to wear red braces then too.

  4. My spending has definitely changed over the past year – buying new clothes used to be a weekly ritual, and even though I wasn’t buying expensive items, if you’re treating yourself too often it can all add up!

    My turning point was towards the end of last year when I found myself out of work. With no wardrobe budget at all I went cold turkey and managed to resist buying any unnecessary items of clothing. Instead I got creative and tried out different ways to pair up what I already had in my wardrobe.

    I voted that I fall into the £101-£500 category although the bulk of that comes from a designer handbag I bought 2 years and still use every day!

  5. I think you have to think carefully these days when buying things, especially with the cost of living rising, you have to make sure you’ve got enough to live on and a limited amount to spend on clothes, going out etc. This is only made worse when you buy property, there are a million and one things you can do to a house, this is what eats into my clothing budget.

    This doesn’t mean you have to give up totally, H&M, Primark, Peacocks are all great places to buy cheap and stylish clothes.

  6. I always think about what I spend and probably am the opposite to most …I always hesitate about buying clothes especially when out on my own shopping. I agree and understand the comments of the Bravissimo lady as underwear to me is whole different ball game…the right bra is a necessity but maybe the frequency or need to buy a bigger variety does go down in recession…in the end those clothes gifts of friends are made all the more special and shoping trips especially with friends become more of a social outting in an evening instead or dinner or going to the cinema.

  7. I think Jacqueline’s advice is spot on. If you can’t resist the shops – stay away. A lot of things are more important than the latest designer shoes! I always think of the John Lennon quote whenever I’m in the shops and faced with too many choices – ‘a want is not a need.’ It works for me as the guilt sets in when I realise I really don’t need any clothes.

    I like the idea of doing a male version! That’s perhaps another feature in the future.

    I liked the fact that both Lauren and Jacqueline’s outfits got the fashion director’s vote!

  8. Being a bloke, I’m of the view that women should wear stockings rather than tights, purely on money saving grounds.

    It’s like this: lets say you wear a skirt three times per week and you ladder a set of tights once every five wears . That’s 32 pairs of tights (costing a fiver each) a year – £160. If stockings are the same price and the ladder rate the same, then, as long as you buy the same brand of stockings, then the fact that you only tend to ladder one leg at a time means the remaining stocking becomes re-usable. So, If you wear stockings you would only need six pairs a year (seven at the outside), meaning you’d save around £130 a year.

    Stockings are clearly the sensible choice

  9. Ah but you need to add in the cost of the initial purchase of a decent set of suspenders or two 🙂 Thirty quid for a quality 8-strap belt – fewer is no good if you are wearing seamed stockings – and you have to have quality for daily wear. So the cost-benefit analysis needs more work.

  10. Interesting to read everyone’s different views on this. I had to give up regular clothes shopping sprees when I went freelance and began to live on a smaller budget back in 2007. I think one of the problems is that we’ve grown to see shopping for clothes, music etc. as a leisure pastime, not a necessity. We go wandering around shopping malls for fun every weekend instead of pursuing a real interest and that’s where the danger lies if you can’t control your spending.

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