Personal Clothing Budgets

Personal Clothing Budgets

What a great set of questions from Alice below about spending money on clothing as it’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. For one, getting married this year means I’ve been buying clothes for various events – from engagement photos to wedding related parties. Not to mention that I have four weddings to attend this year too!

However, I’ve also been thinking about how much I used to spend at thrift stores and how little I’ve spent in them recently. It makes me sad because one of my desires is to reduce my consumption.

Following Alice’s post, here are my personal guidelines for shopping:

  • Shoes: I’ll pay anywhere from $30 – $200 for shoes, but I tend to look for sales on expensive shoes. I also repair my shoes to try and get them to last as long as possible. Favorite shoe stores: Nordstrom Rack, DSW, Zappos
  • Cocktail dresses: I prefer to spend under $100 because the styles tend to not last for long, but for certain events it’s worth it to spend up to $200. In general, this is a place where it seems to be easy to justify larger than normal spends! In San Francisco, I love to hit RAG, check out boutiques in Hayes Valley and North Beach, as well as shop the larger department stores.
  • Jewelry: Most of what I have is inexpensive silver jewelry, everything else tends to be gifts.
  • Jeans: Goodwill Boutique is my preferred spot to purchase nice jeans. Otherwise I’ll just buy them on sale on the daily deal sites like Rue La La and Gilt. I refuse to pay more than $100.
  • Bags: As a vegetarian, buying leather is not something I enjoy. Therefore I tend to rely on a few bags here and there. Not a category I ever really buy.
  • Regular duds: T-shirts and whatnot, here I don’t like to buy expensive things, so tend to keep it under $20 for most things. Here I’ll shop everywhere and the sale racks.
  • Work clothes (dresses, nicer blouses): Here I’ll go up to $100 for a nice blouse or great skirt, but will mix and match with inexpensive pieces. I like digging through the Nordstrom sales racks, hitting places like Jeremy’s in SF, Anthropologie and boutiques.

Yet, if I look back at what I’ve bought for myself in the past two months, seems like I’ve been doing a lot of shopping for other folks – since this is all I have for myself:

  • Dress for engagement photos & Jeff’s dad’s funeral: $80 Nordstrom on sale
  • Shoe Repair: $30

In general, I try to keep it $250 or under a month.


How much other people, especially ladies, spend on clothes each month. And what the threshold is for “expensive.” I think this is wildly variable. I know women who wear designer clothes every single day, and I know girls who only shop at Old Navy.

I’ll go first:

– Shoes: Anything over $80 is…