Wondering how to cut down on spending money on clothes and make your existing wardrobe work harder? We’ve enlisted the help of Justine King to show us how.
Justine King is a freelance stylist and fashion broadcaster. A regular fashion contributor to Virgin Media TV’s Xpose, Justine has styled many of Ireland’s well-known personalities and musicians including Amanda Byram, Rachel Allen, The Blizzards, The Coronas and Chasing Abbey, as well as having her editorial styling work featured across multiple glossies and publications.
- Start with a wardrobe clear out
“This might sound weird, to get rid of clothes you do have in order to stop yourself buying any more, but hear me out. They say we wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time. Opening a wardrobe stuffed to the brim with clothes you hate will instantly fill you with the feeling of having a “wardrobe full of clothes with nothing to wear”. By clearing out the items you no longer wear or like, it leaves room for only the items you do wear, making it much easier and clearer for you to put together your daily outfits. Don’t hold on to clothes for emotional reasons (i.e. the bodycon dress you wore on your first date with your partner 8 years ago) or guilt reasons (you spent too much on it to throw it away). Every item in your wardrobe doesn’t need to spark Marie Kondo enthused joy, but it does need to be worn on a regular basis to earn it’s keep.”
"By clearing out the items you no longer wear or like, it leaves room for only the items you do wear"
2. If you’re serious about saving (money and the planet), an outright shopping ban is easier than “trying to cut down”
“I see this one a little bit like dieting. When I say I am “cutting down on sugar”, it’s usually mood-dependent and the diet goes out the window when I’m tired and pass a cupcake shop. If I say “I am not eating sugar of any kind at the moment” I stop and think before putting a vanilla-frosted sugar bomb in my mouth. The same goes for shopping. By imposing an outright ban you eliminate any of those usual internal excuses you tell yourself en route to the cash register (“Sure I’ve worked hard for it”; “It’s on sale so a great deal”). Be strict on yourself no matter how good a bargain it may seem; “No Shopping” means no shopping.”
3. Look at what pieces in your wardrobe can be repurposed/ restyled in a different way
“When you’ve had an item for a while it can be hard to picture it styled in any other way than the way you intended when you bought it. But putting your creative cap on can lead to plenty of fresh styling opportunities for your well-loved threads. Think of the current midi skirt trend; layering a cosy jumper over an occasionwear dress and adding boots can take a formal dress to a whole new daytime casual dimension. A pant suit can be dressed down for daytime with trainers and a t-shirt.”
4. Borrow outfits from friends
“We were all great for borrowing outfits from our friends as teenagers but do this way less as adults. If you’ve got a special occasion coming up (perhaps a wedding or big birthday), use your friends’ Instagram feeds as your personal stylist and borrow something for the big event. We rarely wear occasion pieces more than once so be generous in offering to loan your wardrobe to pals and hopefully they’ll reciprocate the offer. Let’s end this Instagram culture of only being photographed in an outfit once.”
"Let’s end this Instagram culture of only being photographed in an outfit once."
5. Thing of the “3 Event Rule” when purchasing a garment
“Before you buy any piece of clothing, think of 3 events you have where you will definitely wear that item. If you can’t think of 3 definite occasions for it, it’s not a smart purchase. I have plenty of items I “love” in my wardrobe that I bought without considering where I’d actually wear them and while I might still love them, they never see the light of day. Your wardrobe isn’t a costume museum, it’s there to hold the clothes you actually wear, so be smart when making purchases.”
"If you can’t think of 3 definite occasions for it, it’s not a smart purchase."
6. Invest in the garments you wear the most
“Think of the items you wear most frequently (be it jeans, trainers, a coat) and this is where you should spend your money. So many of us are guilty of forking out €250 for a formal dress we wear twice but won’t pay more than €50 for jeans we’ll wear every weekend.”
7. Plan your outfits ahead of time
“Start your week off right by planning 7 days of outfits on a Sunday evening. This will ensure the pieces you want to wear are clean; prevent you from getting bored of your wardrobe by having at least 7 different outfits ready to go; and also prevent morning rush stress as a result of having “a wardrobe full of clothes with nothing to wear”. If it’s not possible to plan for the week ahead, at least prepare your outfit for the following day the night before.”
Follow Justine on Instagram stories @justinekingxx for fashion and styling tips or check out her styling work at www.justinekingstyling.com.