Are you constantly in a state of having too many clothes with nothing to wear? If you answered yes, then it’s time for a style update with some new fashion goals. According to a study by Movinga, 82 percent of Americans' clothes from the previous year remained unworn.
So, if you use more than 18 percent of your wardrobe, you’re getting more use out of your clothes than the average American. But that number is such a low bar.
Don’t you want to love and use all of the clothes you own? To help you update and upgrade your wardrobe on a budget, start with these eight fashion goals!
8 Top fashion goals
When it comes to clothes, you may have a pattern of buying something slightly bigger or smaller in size because it’s discounted. How about grabbing an item that’s not your style in an unflattering color because it’s on sale? Yup, we’ve all done that.
This is why having style goals can help you save money and shop with clear intentions. Below are a few goals to help you build a wardrobe you adore.
1. Declutter and donate pieces that don’t fit your body or style anymore
One of the easiest style goals you can make and accomplish is to keep your closet simple. Go through your clothes and toss items that don’t fit your fashion goals anymore. A closet purge is a great idea. You can start the process with three piles: donate, discard, and keep.
If it’s hard for you to let go of some pieces, start slowly. Now that summer is almost over, look through your summer clothes and trim them down to pieces you’d want to keep for next year.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help you decide which clothes to discard or keep:
- Does it fit your body now? Or are you keeping it just in case you lose weight or put on weight?
- Is it too hard or too expensive to clean? For instance, items that are hand washed or dry clean only.
- Does it have a detail you don’t like? Or is it hard to match with anything else in your closet?
- Is it damaged, stained, or faded?
- Does it fit your lifestyle?
- Is it comfortable?
Use these questions to help you declutter your closet and have a wardrobe that's simple and chic.
2. Shop your own closet
Commit to no new clothes and shop your closet! Shopping your own closet is a way to find new pieces you can incorporate into your everyday outfit rotations.
Take out and try on items you haven’t worn for a while. You may find items that were underused because they’ve fallen to the back of the closet.
And remember to focus on comfort, fit, and quality. The items you keep should fit your body and style now. And they should excite you to put outfits together. And if you’re up for it, you might find upcycling your clothes a fun way to express your personal style.
3. Create a realistic wardrobe based on your lifestyle
Your wardrobe should fit your lifestyle. Your clothes should make you feel comfortable and confident. And whatever you’re wearing should inspire you to love your body in whatever shape or size you’re in.
Your likes, dislikes, responsibilities, and style goals are constantly changing, and your wardrobe should reflect that. Here are a few questions you can use as a shopping guide to help you build a wardrobe based on your lifestyle.
- Where are you from Monday to Sunday?
- Are your clothes appropriate or comfortable for your everyday activities?
- How do you want to look?
- How do you want to feel in your clothes?
Creating the right wardrobe for your lifestyle is one of the most important fashion goals you can achieve because you will have clothing that you love that reflects your personal style too!
4. Aspire to wear everything in your wardrobe (One of the best fashion goals to set!)
If you notice that it takes you forever to get ready because your clothes don’t seem to fit or go together, your problem is probably one of these things.
One, your closet is just a jumbled collection of clothes you accumulated through the years. Or two, you regularly buy clothes for your fantasy life instead of the one you currently have.
Buying clothes for your fantasy life could look like owning ten cocktail dresses when you barely go out. Or it could be owning four fedoras for when you can go to the beach every weekend.
There is nothing wrong with owning any of these items, as long as it fits in your life now and not for the life you imagine two or five years from now.
To get out of this habit, practice mindful buying. Focus on what will work for your personal style and real life. Before you buy an item, ask yourself questions like: “Where will I wear this? Does this work well with my current wardrobe? Can I walk in these shoes?"
And to achieve the ultimate style goal of wearing everything in your wardrobe, you’d need to get rid of clothes that no longer fit your body, your style, and your life. A great way to start building a closet full of clothes you love is to explore capsule wardrobes.
5. Choose quality over quantity
Choosing quality over quantity is the perfect fashion goal for every savvy shopper because there are many advantages to it. For instance, your clothes last longer, which means you do less shopping.
In your search for quality over quantity, you’ll probably gravitate toward natural, high-quality fabrics like wool, alpaca, cashmere, cotton, silk, linen, Tencel, modal, and bamboo.
These are made of animal or plant-based fibers, making them much more sustainable because they don’t undergo a synthesis process.
As a result, you get quality clothing that lasts and it’s good for the environment. Also, most ethical fashion brands that use natural fabrics have better business practices such as paying their workers fairly and vegan or animal cruelty-free. So, supporting them is a win-win!
6. Plan out outfits (so there’s never nothing to wear)
Similar to planning your meals, so there is always something to eat, you should plan out your outfits, so you always have something to wear! Before you go out and buy a whole new wardrobe, try these tips to plan out outfits with pieces you currently own.
- Mix and match everything. Try every top with every bottom.
- Take your fancy shoes out and use them to elevate your outfits.
- Get creative with color and prints. Try out new color combinations.
- Experiment with accessories. A quick accessories swap can make any outfit feel different.
Make planning out your outfits for the week one of your main style goals to save time and money!
7. Shop pre-owned or secondhand pieces (When it comes to money-saving fashion goals this tops our list!)
One of the most important frugal fashion goals is to shop pre-owned pieces. Buying second-hand is my favorite way to shop. It’s a way to stay trendy on a budget, and it’s also good for the environment. What’s not to love?
It takes 3,781 liters of water to make a pair of jeans, which amounts to the emission of around 33.4 kilograms of carbon equivalent.
But by buying second-hand and extending the life of the item, you reduce the carbon footprint by 82 percent. Find unique styles from thrift shops and consignment stores.
I love shopping pre-owned because I get access to brands I don’t want to pay full price for. A couple of consignment stores near me carry luxury designer brands like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Gucci. It means you can get purses with good to excellent used conditions for a few hundred or a thousand dollars cheaper.
If you want the convenience of shopping from home, you can download Poshmark or thredUp. But with everyone on social media these days, your local consignment store probably has an Instagram page as well. So, check them out first.
8. Avoid fast fashion brands
The clothing industry is one of the largest carbon polluters. Clothing production contributes more to climate change than international aviation and shipping combined. The problem is not caused by fast fashion brands alone. But three out of five fast fashion items end up in landfills within a year.
The low quality of their items contributes to pollution twice, through the manufacturing process and by sitting in landfills for decades.
This is why being mindful of how we shop, where we shop, and what we buy is important. It's all about taking a slow fashion approach.
When we commit to choosing quality over quantity, the way we consume becomes sustainable. And as we take care of our clothes and wear them longer, it’s good for our budgets as well.
How to build a wardrobe for your fashion goals?
If you commit to a few of the fashion goals discussed above, you would have a reduced wardrobe. And since you don’t want to go back to the same habits that got you a closet full of clothes that don’t fit or don’t go together, below are some tips on how you can practice mindful shopping.
Analyze your daily life
Analyze your lifestyle to help you determine what you should be shopping for. What do you do during the day? What clothes are appropriate for the activities you take part in? Taking note of what clothes you’ll use every day will also help you avoid impulse buys.
Identify what you like and dislike
Get clear on your fashion goals, such as how you want to feel in your clothes and how you want to look. Next, identify your style, likes, and dislikes. These could be certain trends or styles that don’t flatter your body type.
It could be bold prints or colors. Knowing the types of materials you like also helps you shop for items that will complement your style.
Know your style
Your style evolves through the years, and there’s nothing wrong with trying new ones. But identifying the styles you currently gravitate to helps you stay on budget and avoid impulse buys.
Style approaches you could try adopting include a minimalist wardrobe, or perhaps a style uniform. Knowing what pieces you like to put together also helps you shop for clothes and accessories that you’ll love.
Achieve your fashion goals the smart way
Now that you have a clear idea of the fashion goals you want for yourself, create a list of the clothing items you need, and develop a shopping strategy. Practice mindful shopping and choose quality over quantity. All of which helps you stay on a budget, and you’ll have a better sense of style to boot!
Learn how to craft a budget that suits you best that also includes room for fashion with our completely free budgeting course! For more excellent financial tips, be sure to follow Clever Girl Finance on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook!