Saturday, March 11, 2017

What I bought: Clothing purchased in 2016

Girdwood, Alaska

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 2013This 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.

Portage Glacier

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

Accessories purchased:
  • Gold earrings: $6.72
  • Silver pendant necklace: $8.00
Total spent: $14.72
Total items: 2

Homer, Alaska

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.

Seldovia, Alaska

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?


  1. Sounds like you did really well in the clothing department, especially for someone who has to be presentable and maintain a work wardrobe as well as a casual one. And the photos of Alaska are totally gorgeous!!

    As you might expect, I'm on the crazy-lady low end of the scale since fashion and I don't really get along very well. The invasion of the carpet beetles helped push me even further in that direction than I already was, because anything that's not gonna get washed regularly (like every few weeks at most) needs to be stored away in airtight containers - so any time I was tempted to buy something, I'd end up asking myself which vacuum sealed bag or airtight bin it was going to go into, and my desire to own it went down significantly!

    Despite all that, I did buy a few things - mostly to replace worn out stuff, or to beef up my winter biking wardrobe so I wouldn't freeze my rear end off! OK... I'm gonna have to guess on the amount spent, but this is pretty close

    In the used clothing department I bought:
    3 nightshirts - $12
    1 pair of sweatpants - $3
    1 pair of jeans - $5
    1 pair of insulated wind-stopper bike tights - $3 (total score, those things cost $75 new!)

    In the New clothing department I bought:
    1 pair of regular winter gloves - $1 (couldn't find the old ones - probably at the bottom of some vacuum sealed bag of stuff)
    1 pair of winter bike gloves - $45
    1 knit hat - $1 (couldn't find the old one)
    2 sun-visor bike hats - $25 (the first one didn't work out)
    1 wind stopper shell jacket. - $15

    Total Items: 12
    Total Spent: $110

    Not too bad especially since nearly half of my spending went toward those schmancy winter bike gloves... which were worth EVERY penny!

  2. You've done really well compared to my tracking since 2009, I've averaged about $1645. One year I bought nothing, saving to buy a home. Right now i'm on par with the whole of 2015, but I have many months in the year to go...


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