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Frugal Living: Work Clothes

I’m quite fortunate in that I quite often don’t work 5 days a week; it’s usually 4.  And, at my current place of employment, there are multiple campuses, which means that I’m usually only in one location for 2- 3 of those days.  What does this mean?  I truly don’t need that many work clothes, which can save a significant amount of money over the l0ng-term since I really only need 3 complete outfits to wear.  Here’s my system:

I only use mix and match items where nothing I own must go with any other one item and I generally follow a basic color scheme of brown/black/grey/white to make matching easier.  I will buy only high-quality, non-trendy items which can be used year after year.  It’s a bit more expensive initially, but the cost/wear becomes very low over time.

For example: I will probably spend $60-100 on a nice pair of pants.  Let’s go with the upper price of $100.  If I wear those pants once/week for 33 weeks out of the year, for 3 years, that’s down to $1/wear which isn’t bad.  And for a shirt, which I might spend $30 on, the cost/wear is probably even lower.

I have 3 pairs of pants which are appropriate for summer weather and 3 pairs which are good for winter.  And for shirts, it’s about the same ratio.  I have 3 sweaters which I rotate in if needed when it’s cold.  And for shoes, it’s easy: one pair of black shoes, one pair of brown and a pair of dress sandals.

When one of these things wears out, I throw it out.  Then, I think about whether or not I truly need to replace it.  If yes, I will and if not, I’ll just increase the wearing frequency of the items I already have.

Here’s an example of a pair of shoes that I might wear to work: comfortable, high-quality and not trendy.

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