Ever since reading that the average US shopper spends $1,100 per year on clothing and purchases 68 items plus 8 pairs of shoes (Overdressed by Elizabeth Cline), I've been curious of how I measure up. I've taken a mental tally the last few years, but apparently I haven't officially tracked it since 2013. This year, inspired once again by Exacting Life, I've dug out my receipts to add it up once again.
In 2016, as in the year before that, many of my clothing purchases were made in preparation for another trip to Alaska (hence the photos). So most items were casual or outdoor wear. Luckily I purchased hiking boots and a good raincoat for my first trip in 2015 so those were covered. I also purchased two dresses and earrings for my cousin's wedding and rehearsal dinner, but luckily I found both on clearance. And, bonus, they're both suitable for work as well so I've worn them each a few times.
Items purchased in 2016:
- Convertible hiking pants: $37.43
- Red dress and black and white dress for wedding: $88.29
- Black and white dress: $26.98
- Two sweatshirt jackets: $38.68
- Blue Style & Co. sweatshirt jacket: $28
- Four t-shirts: $24.54
- Two souvenir t-shirts: $10.99
- White cardigan sweater: $26.88
- Black and white blouse: $16.11
- White blouse: $12.99
- Tan blouse: $26.98
- Black work shoes: $42.99
Total spent: $320.57
Total items: 18
- Gold earrings: $6.72
- Silver pendant necklace: $8.00
Total spent: $14.72
Total items: 2
I'm happy with my purchases this year., although the number of items is always higher than I'd guess. I've worn all the clothing multiple times, except maybe for the tan blouse. I like how it looks, but the fabric traps heat so there's a limited time period when I can comfortably wear it.
I don't set strict budgets for my spending, but instead keep a watch on my monthly credit card bill. Everything possible goes on the card and is paid off monthly. If I have a high month, I tighten the discretionary spending for the following month or two. It might not be textbook, but it works for me and I'm still able to save a significant portion of my income.
After several years of relatively low spending on clothing, I suspect this year will be higher as I really need to replace and supplement my summer wardrobe, both work and casual.
I am curious to see how my overall clothing inventory numbers compare to last time, so stay tuned for an upcoming post.
How does your clothing spending compare to the average?