Ask the Edit: Wardrobe Budget Question
Jan 3, 2019
What do you spend on clothing? What is the right amount? Is there an amount that is too much?
This is sort of odd and embarrassing, so please keep me anonymous…
Regarding budget, what is appropriate to spend on your clothing, specifically work clothes? I understand there’s no real right answer, but it’s something I’m struggling with. I love MM Lafleur clothes, but I’m balking at spending over $200 on a dress! But I’m no longer just starting out in my career, making decent money and maybe it’s time to graduate from buying $50 Calvin Klein dresses at Marshalls.
Everyone assigns their wardrobe a budget based on their priorities, their available capital, and their comfort. It varies from person to person.
For example, I won’t buy handbags from designer brands like Celine or Louis Vuitton. They’re just not for me. I understand they retain value. I understand they’re well-made and last a long time if you care for them. I understand they’re a status symbol. But I would worry too much about damaging the bag, and I would end up regretting the purchase.
When it comes to spending a certain amount on a dress, the only thing I would suggest you consider is this:
Our salaries usually increase in relation to our responsibilities. Our responsibilities usually increase as we climb the ladder. And as we climb the ladder, projecting a certain image can make that climb smoother. Because as much as we might like to be valued solely for our talents, what you project to the world with your appearance matters.
So if you’re feeling sheepish about spending $200 (that I assume you can comfortably afford w/o credit) on a dress for work, ask yourself why. Is it because this isn’t a priority for you? Is it because you have other reservations? But would upgrading your wardrobe, within reason, improve how you feel about yourself or how others might view you in your profession?
These are just some questions to ask yourself. There’s only the answer that works for you.