Author Topic: How to have a nice, small wardrobe and still be mustachian?  (Read 13092 times)

windawake

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How to have a nice, small wardrobe and still be mustachian?
« on: February 20, 2013, 06:50:49 PM »
I want to be a somewhat put together young woman, but I find that I need to replace most clothes about once a year or year and a half. I try to be pretty minimalistic in my clothing, I have somewhat of my standard uniform (black skinny jeans, v-neck shirt, and cardigan), but I find to maintain this uniform I end up spending about $100/mo on clothing. This is twice MMM's limit of $600. I don't buy frivolous things. I just bought a few things recently to replace other things that have worn out, and while I buy middle-of-the-road stuff (Target, Gap, and Urban Outfitters) since I have a fairly small wardrobe the pieces get worn out regularly. I try to be gentle on my clothes and I don't dry most things and only wash clothes once they're really stretched out or dirty. I regularly host clothing swaps but since my style is pretty pared down, I haven't had much success finding pieces I really want to incorporate into my wardrobe that way. The same goes for shopping secondhand. It's hard to find well-fitting basics at thrift stores.

How do you maintain a wardrobe? What are your tips for me? I sometimes restrict myself from buying clothes but then get frustrated because things stretch out or get irreparably damaged leaving me with holes in my already small-ish wardrobe.

Fuyu

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Re: How to have a nice, small wardrobe and still be mustachian?
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2013, 07:23:52 PM »
I'm not sure if this would be cheaper than what you're already doing now, but I try to limit myself to buying stuff from Express or Macy's only during sales. I spent about $971 in the last 14 months buying new clothes. Have you tried changing out of your work clothes and wearing older, more comfortable clothing when you're home?
« Last Edit: February 20, 2013, 07:33:01 PM by Fuyu »

mustachecat

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Re: How to have a nice, small wardrobe and still be mustachian?
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2013, 07:32:58 PM »
You're doing all the right things, but clothes should definitely last longer than one year!

Maybe it's time to upgrade to higher-quality clothing? I haven't bought stuff from Target or the Gap in ages, but I know that none of my Urban Outfitters stuff outlasted college. Not because my style changed; they just fell apart. But I'm still wearing the same J. Crew skirts and button-ups that my mom bought me for my first real interview eight years ago. Ditto LL Bean stuff I bought used (jackets that are probably older than I am).

I've found that the higher the proportion of non-cotton material in jeans, the shorter they last. My dude's 100% cotton jeans last for years. He has a denim jacket that he's had for 10 years (!). My stretchy skinny jeans, on the other hand, really show every tumble I take (I'm kiiiiiind of clumsy) and so are no longer work-appropriate after a year or so.

It's hard to recommend brands because I feel like manufacturing practices are all over the place, even for the same label. Some of my American Apparel stuff has lasted for years, others for months. I've had a lot of luck at selective resale places like Buffalo Exchange (do they have that where you are?) and Beacon's Closet. They're a step above thrift stores and several stops below retail. I'm surprised that it's hard to find basics at regular thrift stores, though. I feel like all I see are v-necks and cardigans! Maybe we should do a thrift swap. ;)

smalllife

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Re: How to have a nice, small wardrobe and still be mustachian?
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2013, 07:38:16 PM »
It sounds counter intuitive, but if you buy higher quality they will last longer and you won't have to replace items as often.  It's hard to tell brands with these things, but I look for natural fabrics, solid seams, and stick to a few colors.  If they aren't cheaply made, they will last longer before stretching - this nearly tripled the life of my shirts. 

I recommend backcountry.com for last season's clothing from the outdoorsy brands.  You can find nicer quality items for Target prices if you catch their 80% off sales.  I've gravitated towards all wool clothing: better for moisture and temperature control than cotton and doesn't stink like synthetics.

I struggle with this area as well, but I've come to realize that it's the one "material" area where I spend anything.  I am still replacing a few areas of the wardrobe with higher quality items, but that will take a year or two to complete as the old ones wear out.  Two or three bras a year will take a third of MMM's clothing budget (28F - if anyone knows of a cheap resource for bras please send it my way!). I always feel like a complainypants when we talk about these things on the forums though, so who knows if I'm worth listening to . . . 

windawake

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Re: How to have a nice, small wardrobe and still be mustachian?
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2013, 08:10:17 PM »
So far, thanks! I know the adage about buying higher quality and having it last longer. I've started that with my shoes (I only have 4 pairs, besides work-out shoes and snowboots). I just don't have money right now to invest in some of those better pieces, it's definitely on my radar for once I have a full-time job. I am asking for a nice Anne Taylor blazer for my birthday.

Also, the once a year replacement is probably more suited for frequently worn basic tops (v-neck t-shirts), other things last longer. I think the sweater I just replaced was maybe 2 years old and some jeans I just replaced were 1.5 years.

Nudelkopf

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Re: How to have a nice, small wardrobe and still be mustachian?
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2013, 08:38:05 PM »
Second hand stores, or op shops? I've recently had to acquire an entire professional wardrobe - and I got some very high quality basics (skirts, pants, blouses) at very cheap prices. In fact, I only spent $30, and I think I went overboard.

It's true that these kind of clothes are more likely to be donated than simple shirts and cardigans, but you do find these things if you shop at the right kinda store. (I went to 10 different op shops to get my professional wardrobe, but it was pretty fun).

In regards to bras, I tend to wear the same style from the same shop, and they often sell in online sales when it's a shite colour or an unusual size. Last one I got two on the online store for $7 each.. In store a few months earlier i bought the identical bra for $60. I wear a 12F.. whatever that is in American.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2013, 08:41:39 PM by Nudelkopf »

alaithea

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Re: How to have a nice, small wardrobe and still be mustachian?
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2013, 08:42:30 PM »
I think you're on the right track, and I agree that going a bit up-market will be a bigger investment at first, but will probably result in longer-lasting clothes.

As for thrift stores, I tend to only buy things made in wool and silk there (skirts, cardigans, scarves, the occasional pair of pants). If you go down the rack and touch each item, you'll get a feel for what's good quality and what's not. Look at labels and go for mid-range brands or higher. Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, J Crew, Brooks Brothers, etc.

Anybody tried Everlane? Their t-shirts are all (su)pima cotton, and the one pima cotton t-shirt I have from Banana Republic has been ahhmaazing at retaining its shape and color for years. Everlane's product photos make me feel as though I need to be an emaciated hipster to pull off wearing their clothes, though. That's been holding me back...

For bras, I usually go to Nordstrom Rack or Marshall's. I don't think I've ever paid more than $15 for one (except nursing bras --eek), but that's in a pretty average size.

nolajo

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Re: How to have a nice, small wardrobe and still be mustachian?
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2013, 09:16:41 PM »
I've had much more luck at thrift stores with business/business casual wear and some jeans than I have had with t-shirts. At this point, I really don't bother looking there. Going up market may help some, and paying attention to the weight of the material will also help. Of late, the retailers you mentioned among others have been selling 'tissue' tees that are probably half the weight of a normal tee. It's kind of remarkable marketing if you think about it; they use a much cheaper, lighter weight material, and you have to both buy two tees to wear at the same time and replace them twice as fast because they get holes in them. (That probably irritates me the most. My clothes as a kid never got holes. I should not, as a grown-ass-woman, be putting more holes in my tees now than I did then.)

Anyways... at least at Target, you may have better luck with their tees that are marketed more towards women than teens. Their Merona line seems to be a little bit heavier. I've also been pretty pleased with Lands End's quality and sale prices and they've added cuts that are more trendy. I'm sitting here, in fact, in a pair of skinny cords I got from them three years ago that get fairly regular wear throughout our admittedly short winters. Even the inner upper thigh where my legs rub isn't showing very much wear. Also, don't bother with the Gap. I used to work there and across the year that I did (2006), there was a fairly marked decline. I don't know what happened, but things I got at the beginning of that year lasted years, almost nothing I've purchased since then has come close.

In other words, hun, it's not just you :-)

savingtofreedom

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Re: How to have a nice, small wardrobe and still be mustachian?
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2013, 09:24:49 PM »
In my pre-Mustachian days I was a clothes hoarder with a penchant for sales. 

I would agree with the other suggestions of buying more high quality clothing.  One suggestion that has worked very well for me is to purchase items off season.  You can get good deals at typical "mall" stores that way that can have pretty decent clothing.  If you have the time you can try the clothing on when it is full price - notate the style number and size and wait for the price to drop.  Most stores now have inventory systems that allow you to find a style across all of their stores in the US.   Some of the best places to hunt for deals are stores like Banana Republic, Gap (sometimes), J.Crew, Ann Taylor, Loehmann's, Macy's (most of the junior stuff is made poorly but if you hunt around women's with their 10 off 25 coupons applied to clearance items - they have them once a month or so -  you can do very well), Nordstrom Rack, Marshalls, TJ Maxx.  I would typically buy clothing between 70 - 90% off.  Inspect the clothing well and look for natural fibers.  If it fits well and is good quality it may be worth buying more than one.  One other place to check - although it can be too matronly at times is the Talbots Clearance Centers - not outlet.  If you don't buy the clothes the shoes and accessories tend to be very good quality and can be had at cheap prices - they also have an online clearance section that is good too. 

I would stay away from places like Target - at least recently I was checking out the clothing and most of it seemed to be not great quality.  I remember in the past finding better stuff.

Good luck.


unplugged

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Re: How to have a nice, small wardrobe and still be mustachian?
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2013, 10:20:25 PM »
I'm no expert but my take on a minimalist wardrobe is that we do have to replace each items as it wears out. I mean we do actually wear all our items. It still feels frugal to me because we still are buying less in the end. Do you happen to read Catalina Sues blog? She's not MMM or anything but she does show how we have to replace our basics a lot. She mixes HIGH end with Forever 21 tops. But only very very minimalist items.


Phoebe

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Re: How to have a nice, small wardrobe and still be mustachian?
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2013, 05:38:32 AM »
One  thing I do is have "work" and "play" clothes.  I only wear my work clothes at work or other nice events (church, showers, etc.) and that helps a lot because I can keep those higher end (more expensive) items longer.  As far as how I actually structure that wardrobe I make sure items are in the same color palette so I can mix and match and create many different outfits.

I also learned some basic sewing skills (fixing a fallen hem, sewing on a button) and this has made a tremendous difference.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: How to have a nice, small wardrobe and still be mustachian?
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2013, 05:41:56 AM »
I mostly wear J Crew and Brooks Brothers clothes that I bought over a year ago.  My workout clothes are a few t-shirts I got off woot! and shorts I've had so long I don't remember where I got them from.  I would suggest spending more on clothes that last a long time.

galaxie

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Re: How to have a nice, small wardrobe and still be mustachian?
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2013, 07:54:49 AM »
I've found that T-shirts just don't last very long.  I switched to mostly button-downs & woven blouses partly because of that (and because I wanted to class it up a bit more for work).  I have a few of those "perfect fit" knit shirts from J. Crew I got on clearance that seem to be doing ok, but we'll have to see in a year.


jrhampt

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Re: How to have a nice, small wardrobe and still be mustachian?
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2013, 08:28:46 AM »
I also find that t-shirts don't last and have switched to button-downs and jersey dresses instead.  I second an earlier recommendation for wool.  I have only two pairs of wool dress pants that I probably wear every week (except when I'm on a dress kick), and they have lasted me for 5+ years and still going.    I also have a couple of wool sweaters that are workhorses. 

I also recommend telecommuting as often as possible since you can live in flannel comfy pants.

velocistar237

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Re: How to have a nice, small wardrobe and still be mustachian?
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2013, 08:38:47 AM »
After you learn the brands and sizes you like, I recommend trying ebay. Add RSS searches for whatever items you need to your RSS reader. Use Gixen for auctions.

galaxie

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Re: How to have a nice, small wardrobe and still be mustachian?
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2013, 08:38:58 AM »
I also find that t-shirts don't last and have switched to button-downs and jersey dresses instead.  I second an earlier recommendation for wool.  I have only two pairs of wool dress pants that I probably wear every week (except when I'm on a dress kick), and they have lasted me for 5+ years and still going.    I also have a couple of wool sweaters that are workhorses. 

I also recommend telecommuting as often as possible since you can live in flannel comfy pants.

Do you put your wool dress pants in the laundry?  Ever had any issues with them shrinking?  I want to go for wool pants next time I replace mine, but I'm concerned about this.  Any tips?

jrhampt

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Re: How to have a nice, small wardrobe and still be mustachian?
« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2013, 08:46:59 AM »
I have washed them once or twice, on cold.  Of course I hang dry, and even this is probably risky.  I lost a wool dress  this way to shrinkage that I had had for several years.    As long as I hang them up after work, I find that dry-cleaning them once a year or so is sufficient.  I try to avoid washing wool if possible and find that generally wearing proper washable undergarments (camisoles, etc) makes this feasible.

Zaga

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Re: How to have a nice, small wardrobe and still be mustachian?
« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2013, 08:52:07 AM »
Learn a bit about basic sewing/altering garments and you'll open up a lot more options at thrift stores.  If you shop carefully you can find very high quality things there for great prices.  Like the 2 Jos A Banks suit jackets my husband recently found in his size for $10 each.  And his size is 48 or 50, so even very large sizes can find things if they look!

I'm very short and small, so I take in or up things that I buy at thrift all the time!

madgeylou

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Re: How to have a nice, small wardrobe and still be mustachian?
« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2013, 08:52:48 AM »
I have washed them once or twice, on cold.  Of course I hang dry, and even this is probably risky.  I lost a wool dress  this way to shrinkage that I had had for several years.    As long as I hang them up after work, I find that dry-cleaning them once a year or so is sufficient.  I try to avoid washing wool if possible and find that generally wearing proper washable undergarments (camisoles, etc) makes this feasible.

i don't have any wool trousers, but a washing bag can really help with keeping your sweaters nice. there are two things that ruin wool -- big differences in temperature (hot/cold water) and agitation. use cool water on the gentle cycle, and wash your sweater in the bag to reduce the agitation and friction. then lay it flat to dry and you'll have your nice wooly sweater for years.

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Re: How to have a nice, small wardrobe and still be mustachian?
« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2013, 09:56:20 AM »
There's a difference between thrift stores and consignment stores.  You may find the latter more to your liking - still about 15-30% of new but usually top brands.  I'm a working professional and have a closet full of suits and business wear that I picked up on MMM's $600 a year.  I appear to be considered fairly well-dressed, which is crazy when I compare to colleageus spending $1500+ per suit.

anastrophe

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Re: How to have a nice, small wardrobe and still be mustachian?
« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2013, 01:45:49 PM »
There's a difference between thrift stores and consignment stores.  You may find the latter more to your liking - still about 15-30% of new but usually top brands.  I'm a working professional and have a closet full of suits and business wear that I picked up on MMM's $600 a year.  I appear to be considered fairly well-dressed, which is crazy when I compare to colleageus spending $1500+ per suit.

I get most of my clothes from consignment stores and while still expensive, they are much better value (e.g. Brooks Brothers pants for $90 vs $200 new) and much better quality than Target and it's ilk.

psychomoustache

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Re: How to have a nice, small wardrobe and still be mustachian?
« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2013, 02:13:58 PM »
Hi

I'm 40-something and still working on this - I too find that the higher-quality stuff makes a big difference ...

Where I live people tend to wear the same clothes over and over more often. This was more the case 10 or 20 years ago, but now that cheap clothes from China (etc.) have flooded the market here, it's become more like the States. My goal is to keep doing what people used to do here - have a few nice things and just wear them a lot.

I also make very clear distinctions between work/not work clothes. My work clothes - good stuff, ONLY worn to work. My other stuff - I Don't Care. Trying to save the work clothes so that they last...

E-bay - some success, some disasters...I am small but busty, and this isn't easy to fit. For bras, I have a big problem (YOU try to find 32 E bras on sale!)

I always like to hear ideas on this, thanks for starting the thread.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2013, 02:16:55 PM by psychomoustache »

Gerard

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Re: How to have a nice, small wardrobe and still be mustachian?
« Reply #22 on: February 21, 2013, 02:31:21 PM »
Some people on the internets seem to think that washing clothes infrequently actually increases wear, as the dirt grinds the fibres... maybe try washing things more often, but more gently (less/no detergent or fabric softener, line/rack dry)?
If the t-shirts you buy actually are bad in some way (poor quality, iffy ethics), maybe you should go whole hog and buy them for two bucks each from Chinatown vendors (or your local equivalent)?  They can then follow the traditional cycle of decline (outside shirt > home shirt > yardwork shirt > rag > compost).
I think other posters might have a point about seeking out better suppliers and/or labels. Another option, if your size and shape and style allow, is to look at boys' sizes. Our society is still sexist enough to expect boys to be harder on clothes, so you might as well exploit that.

smalllife

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Re: How to have a nice, small wardrobe and still be mustachian?
« Reply #23 on: February 21, 2013, 02:39:28 PM »
E-bay - some success, some disasters...I am small but busty, and this isn't easy to fit. For bras, I have a big problem (YOU try to find 32 E bras on sale!)

With a 32 band you should have some luck on herroom.com.  As a 28 I don't have much selection, let alone on sale, but I know they have more styles in 32E.  I've had the same hit or miss on e-bay. 

sheepstache

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Re: How to have a nice, small wardrobe and still be mustachian?
« Reply #24 on: February 21, 2013, 03:54:05 PM »
Of late, the retailers you mentioned among others have been selling 'tissue' tees that are probably half the weight of a normal tee. It's kind of remarkable marketing if you think about it; they use a much cheaper, lighter weight material, and you have to both buy two tees to wear at the same time

WORD.

mc6

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Re: How to have a nice, small wardrobe and still be mustachian?
« Reply #25 on: February 21, 2013, 04:01:12 PM »
I have found Lands End tops to last awhile.  I like their Ts and I also like their sweaters.  I am hell on sweaters for some reason, probably too much laundering/cats.   My one pair of LE jeans were disappointing in the fit dept. 

WhatMomWears

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Re: How to have a nice, small wardrobe and still be mustachian?
« Reply #26 on: February 21, 2013, 05:28:24 PM »
Another vote for higher quality items when you can afford them. I love the shirts from Indigenous Designs and I buy them on sale and then hand wash and dry them flat. They all look brand new. I line dry my jeans too - something about the dryer destroys the fibers in clothes.

Tshirts though - those have to be replaced regularly. I try to go cheaper at REI or Target for those since I know they'll be replaced.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: How to have a nice, small wardrobe and still be mustachian?
« Reply #27 on: February 21, 2013, 05:56:38 PM »
How regularly are you replacing t-shirts?  I wear t-shirts I got from Woot!... shoot, it's been almost 2 years, and other than one that got ripped when I got jumped*, they are totally fine.  Mostly hard use (lifting weights, other stuff to get sweaty, walking around, weekend use).  They're like $10.

*Sadly, my favorite:

travelbug

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Re: How to have a nice, small wardrobe and still be mustachian?
« Reply #28 on: February 21, 2013, 06:04:10 PM »
I love Banana Republic t-shirts, we are in Australia and I always stock up when in the USA, they last for ages and I try to buy them in an outlet store.
Another general piece of advice I have is to have a base wardrobe. Mine is black and navy; they are the two colours that I add to.
Then I invest in quality accessories. I have some lovely wooden necklaces and silk scarves that I wear to make my outfits look different.
That way I can get away with two or three skirts for each season and 8 t-shirt style tops, and afew basic jumpers.
I also try to buy plain, rather than patterned clothing due to mixing and matching combinations that are easier.

Zaga

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Re: How to have a nice, small wardrobe and still be mustachian?
« Reply #29 on: February 21, 2013, 06:28:23 PM »
How regularly are you replacing t-shirts?  I wear t-shirts I got from Woot!... shoot, it's been almost 2 years, and other than one that got ripped when I got jumped*, they are totally fine.  Mostly hard use (lifting weights, other stuff to get sweaty, walking around, weekend use).  They're like $10.

*Sadly, my favorite:

Off topic, but I think you can get them to print up out of date designs now, it's a recent thing. http://shirt.woot.com/catalog  Yep, I found it, you can get that one again!  I understand, my husband is a shirt woot addict, he has SO many t-shirts from there, and they never seem to wear out!

galaxie

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Re: How to have a nice, small wardrobe and still be mustachian?
« Reply #30 on: February 22, 2013, 07:17:22 AM »
My work wardrobe plan is....
navy blazer
tan pants, gray pants, and a pair of wild contrast-color pants (kelly green?)
a pencil skirt or two in the same group of colors
black short-sleeve dress (sort of like this: http://www.jcrew.com/womens_category/dresses/Day/PRDOVR~15874/15874.jsp )
button-down shirts and blouses in a variety of prints & colors
wool sweaters
1 pair of dark jeans for casual days

I already have some of these things, and I'm slowly accumulating the rest.  I have a few extra dresses, too.  It pays to have a plan so I don't just randomly get stuff that doesn't go with the rest of my closet.  Recent workouts have been changing my shape, though -- I have to wait for my body to settle down and then make sure everything fits ok.

For non-work activities I've got a stockpile of t-shirts from college when I used to wear them more often -- I really won't need any more of those for a long time.  If I need to look nice outside work (for a party or whatever) I throw on a work outfit/dress but with extra funky jewelry, or I wear a blazer/cardigan over a decent-looking t-shirt.

jeepbraah

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Re: How to have a nice, small wardrobe and still be mustachian?
« Reply #31 on: February 22, 2013, 07:28:43 AM »
Wash clothes less? By all means if you drop some food on some pants or get a stain wash it the same day. I can't help but feel wearing a shirt for 5 hours and then washing it when you haven't sweated at all is a large waist of time and money.

An example my wife will wear sweatpants around the house, then throw them in the wash at night. She does 4 loads more clothes than myself a week.




icefr

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Re: How to have a nice, small wardrobe and still be mustachian?
« Reply #32 on: February 22, 2013, 10:17:38 PM »
Two or three bras a year will take a third of MMM's clothing budget (28F - if anyone knows of a cheap resource for bras please send it my way!). I always feel like a complainypants when we talk about these things on the forums though, so who knows if I'm worth listening to . . .

Yeah... I'm about the same size as you. One of my biggest expenses is buying 3 new bras when I lose or gain 5 lbs. You can't really buy them on sale and it just sucks. I buy mine from barenecessities.com and I've had good luck with their return/exchange policy. A bathing suit is also going to run me $100, which isn't super mustachian either... I've stopped buying new bras for the heck of it and only buy new ones when my current ones don't fit properly anymore. Other than that though, I can't really cut that spending down. :( Guys just don't get that bras cost $60-70 and there's nothing you can do about it. At least they're not the $90-130 that I paid for the same bras in Canada!

psychomoustache

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Re: How to have a nice, small wardrobe and still be mustachian?
« Reply #33 on: February 22, 2013, 11:48:46 PM »
I hear you on the bras (32 E) American
I can find excellent ones here for just 10 euros at the factory outlet shop, but my size isn't there very often. Every time I'm near that shop, I always pop in and check all the same, and buy them if they're there. I get the 70 euro brands for 10, it's amazing...
I went ahead and spent a lot on a bathing suit as well - not much choice there, and we live near the beach...
I looked into breast reduction as a way to be able to dress more easily and be more comfortable, thinking it might be covered by our health care system - it is, but I'm not quite big enough by about 100 grams per breast...so it would cost me 3000 euros. So I make do with factory outlet bras...!

amyable

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Re: How to have a nice, small wardrobe and still be mustachian?
« Reply #34 on: February 23, 2013, 10:01:14 AM »
I've found Urban Outfitters to have really low quality for the price--I feel like even Target has better quality.  I bought two pairs of skinny jeans on deep sale at Urban Outfitters last summer, and they're both already really thin and faded--I only wear jeans on the weekends, so they're not being worn that heavily. 




unplugged

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Re: How to have a nice, small wardrobe and still be mustachian?
« Reply #35 on: February 23, 2013, 11:41:45 AM »
Did you know UO is now selling used clothing with a mark up? Yep hand picked (thrifted) just for you! $$$$$$.

I recently learned a secret from some teens. Some gals are buying $13 "jeggings" from Walmart. You have to read the reviews because  some colors run big or small. They apparently look quite similar to some designer jean leggings. Your shirts/blouses/tops cover the top of the jegging so they don't feel so Walmarty LOL. They seem to tuck into boots well also. Not bad when AE jeggings run $34-$49.

Lina

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Re: How to have a nice, small wardrobe and still be mustachian?
« Reply #36 on: February 23, 2013, 01:12:47 PM »
I have found that high quality bras lasts really long although they are really expensive. I have 32 F or G depending on the brand. My net worth would increase significantly if I would add my underwear to it. :D

As many already have pointed out higher quality in clothing and shoes saves money. I also buy clothes that can be mixed indefinitely with other pieces.  Also look at the fabric, some mixes of fibers are a sure sign of bad quality. I really like cardigans in merino wool.

Miss Stachio

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Re: How to have a nice, small wardrobe and still be mustachian?
« Reply #37 on: February 23, 2013, 01:21:00 PM »
If you're a common size and have time (ie. don't need the wardrobe tomorrow) then thrift/consignment stores are great.  Hospital thrift stores are generally pickier about the clothes and the proceeds go to the hospital.  There is a hospital thrift store a few blocks away from me where I recently picked up super 2 thick cashmere sweaters (not likely get get holes any time soon), a cashmere short sleeve and 2 leather cross body bags for $50 total.  Recently I found a pair of dressy leather boots at Salvation Army for $15.  I walked next to door to DSW and saw a similar model of the same brand for $80.  It takes a little while to figure out what works so you can get through a thrift store quickly.

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: How to have a nice, small wardrobe and still be mustachian?
« Reply #38 on: February 23, 2013, 08:39:56 PM »
So I have this black boat neck high-end knit shirt from Donna Karen (?? or something kinda fancy) that I wear all the time. I got it for maybe $20 at Nordstrom Rack (Nordstrom's Discount store) and I am SHOCKED at how well it's worn compared to base-line knit shirts. So, another vote for better quality less often. Another thing: the clothes I purchased in Paris, even the "Target" or "H&M" type store clothes are all just BETTER. Fabric is better, construction is better, seams are better. I conclude therefore that the American clothes-buying audience is presumed my manufacturers to not be quality-sensitive. Let's all do what we can to send a message to clothes manufacturers and maybe change that.

Dee18

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Re: How to have a nice, small wardrobe and still be mustachian?
« Reply #39 on: February 23, 2013, 11:20:41 PM »
I agree with the suggestion to buy great brands from last year's styles at T.J.Maxx.  You can get high quality at very low prices.  I recently bought at Jones New York jacket and skirt suit (needed for work) for $58.  It was originally $ 390.  Buy clothes made with the best quality fabric.  Target is fine for the occasional fun piece, but in my experience their clothes cost more than something from T.J.Maxx and are of lower quality fabric.  To maintain clothes: flip them inside out and wash on gentle with a little mild detergent.  Put on "normal" rather than gentle only for the spin cycle. Hang to dry. 
PS-My best friend calls Target "the $ 100 store."  The displays are so tempting it's hard not to buy stuff.