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No clothes shopping for a year?

How difficult would it be not to buy another item of clothing -- even underwear -- for the next 12 months? Think of the money you'd save.

By MSN Money Partner Nov 16, 2012 9:12AM

This post comes from J. Money at Budgets are Sexy. 


Image: Laundry (© Brand X Pictures/Getty Images/Getty Images)Could you go a year without shopping for clothes? Could you go a month? I read an article about a woman doing it over at SavvySugar, and I started to wonder if I could possibly do it, too. At least without driving myself insane.


I'm pretty good at completing missions when I put my heart into it, but there also has to be a good reason why I'm shooting for them or else I'll just tucker out and forget it.


And I already made my peace with clothes shopping about four years ago when I gave up ALL shopping (except the necessities) over 40 days of Lent. It was awesome -- a simple challenge that ended up changing my spending pattern forever. I used to spend $200 to $300 a month on stuff like clothes and random toys just for fun, but not anymore. I broke the habit!


But, for the sake of this article, if I were to take up another challenge with clothes, here's how hard or not it would be:


Shirts -- 8 out of 10 on the "hard-o-meter." Day in and day out I wear graphic tees and jeans -- at home, while I work, out and about running errands, and sometimes even church (though I have gotten better about wearing something at least with a collar). So I could, in theory, give up all new shirts for an entire year, but I'm pretty sure I'd start looking ragged come six or seven months down the road, because I don't have nearly enough shirts to cover me for a 12-month stretch. This one would be challenging.


Shoes -- 4 out of 10. While I tend to pick up one or two new pairs of shoes a year -- usually sneakers -- I could probably get away with none for a bit if I started wearing some of my older shoes I no longer think are cool anymore. So this department is easier to handle.


Hoodies -- 10 out of 10. This would be the deal breaker. Just like with my shirts and jeans, the hoodie is the ONLY thing I wear to keep myself warm throughout the fall and winter days. That's much to the frustration of my wife and mother, but they make them so comfy these days. And some pretty much look and feel like jackets anyway, probably to capture those consumers like me. So while I could just use the same 15 or so I have scattered across my closets (no joke), I definitely wouldn't be able to resist getting a new one if it was awesome looking and on sale. This would be a big fail in no time.

Jeans -- 5 out of 10. While I do wear jeans every single day, just like my shirts and hoodies, I luckily have enough to last me a while if I were to never pick up a new pair again. But only because I'm OK with holes and rips all over the place, as they only make them that much cooler.


Socks -- 2 out of 10. Oddly enough, this is one of the departments I have too many of. Every time I go shopping I usually pick up a few pairs (always on sale, of course) because I'm constantly on the search for the "perfect" socks out there. And when I get close, I then buy like 10 of them. So right now my drawers are overflowing with both awesome socks, and not-so-comfortable socks that I keep on the back burner just in case they're needed. I could probably last three months without ever wearing the same pair twice.


Undergarments -- 0 out of 10 on the hard-o-meter. Similar to my socks, I have plenty of boxers waiting to be worn too. I buy four to five at a time when I see a killer sale, and I'm paranoid of running low on these guys so I tend to hold onto the ones I no longer wear just in case. So 12 months of gong without new ones would be easy.


So, hoodies aside, I could probably get close to rocking this mission if I tried hard enough. But, really, there's no motivation here because I rarely spend money in this department anyway anymore. And when I do, everything's always on sale and I get a total thrill finding them.


Nothing like sporting my new crisp outfits in my basement when I'm blogging to y'all.


Think you could do it? Give up shopping the entire next year? If both your budget and closets are overflowing, it may be time to try out a new method. As the young lady mentions in that article, it would give you a chance to finally wear all your items that have been piling up as well.


If you have clothes with the tags still on, it's time to start sporting those bad boys ASAP. They're doing no good just sitting there. Either wear 'em or sell 'em and use that money to reward yourself for a solid 12 months of behaving yourself. You might be surprised how it affects your future habits.


More on Budgets are Sexy and MSN Money:

Nov 19, 2012 9:36AM
This isn't difficult at all.  I very very rarely buy clothes.   I could probably go two years, maybe even three.
Nov 16, 2012 11:50AM
I think it's different for women - I've stopped shopping for clothes/shoes/handbags, but I still buy underwear now and then
Dec 1, 2012 8:40PM

Since my husband passed the budget is beyond squeaky tight, so I have not purchased ANY clothes for almost two years now.  I also lost

over 30 lbs. so I had to take everything in to fit me again.  I no longer have tennis shoes, and my socks and unmentionables are getting  pretty thin, but I manage to get dressed every day.  It helps a lot to know how to do mending.

Dec 1, 2012 5:49PM

Last year while cleaning my closet I realized my friend had turned me into a shopaholic and I had a lot of things yet to wear. I started staying home on Saturdays and spent a minimal amount this year on clothes. My closet is getting much more manageable as I let more and more go. I realized I was shopping not out of need but for the rush of finding a good deal. I'm spending more time teaching my grandaughters how to cook, sew and crafts. They dislike shopping as much as I do.


Dec 1, 2012 7:37PM
I haven't purchased clothes in years!
Dec 2, 2012 12:59AM
This is not news, i hav enot bought any new clothes in 2 years....:) and it doesnt mean it saved me money just means i dont have it to spend on clothes.
Dec 1, 2012 9:18PM
Wow I have been a heck of alot longer than any year, Its not hard to do when you can't afford to shop.
Dec 1, 2012 5:19PM
From just the title of the story (not to mention my experience from 26 years of marriage), I assumed that the article had to be directed exclusively at women!
Dec 2, 2012 2:20AM
Other than underwear, socks, and 2 pair of sneakers, I haven't bought any new clothes in 10 years.
Dec 1, 2012 4:14PM
I could probably do it for myself, and although the kids have enough to last them the year...I don't know that I could resist the cuteness of some things :)
Dec 1, 2012 4:09PM
I have gone long periods without buying clothes, but then, everything wears out all at once - like this year. . . so, I am not sure that this would save any money in the long run.   This year I had to replace all underwear and socks, many tee's and nightshirts, pants, shirts, sweaters and shoes. 
Dec 1, 2012 9:50PM
Hmmm....... I am a woman and have not purchased any clothes for at a 2 yrs. All I do is get up and go to work and I wear a uniform  for work. I live on farm so it leaves every little time for anything else. This best must Aimed at the Metosexual!
Dec 2, 2012 1:38AM
Not that difficult to do-depending on what one does for a living. I'm in health care and have to wear scrubs four days a week. Old scrubs can be used while you clean, wash your car, etc.   If you can sew a little bit you can take up and let down hems. The little black dress for women never goes out of style; mix it up with other jewelry besides pearls. Changing buttons on sweaters and jackets can give them an updated look.  Wash everything on cold and delicate-turn all clothes inside out-put into net washing bags-clothes can stay looking new for a year. Does this article consider swapping clothes with friends as buying?  If not, clothes swapping can have incredible results. I swapped a faux fur coat for an authentic Prada bag that my neighbor got as a gift from an ex-boyfriend and didn't want to be reminded of him when she carried the bag. If you can knit, you can pull apart sweaters, scarves, etc and knit into something else.  If you can sew really well, do as Scarlet O'Hara did in Gone with the Wind-turn your curtains into a fancy dress! 
Yes I could stop buying clothes for a year or more. The only thing I've bought in the past four years is two pairs of shoes and two sets of underwear. I have enough clothes in my closet to wear something different every single day for a month. Simply wash them and hang them back up and I am good for another month. Clothing has not been one of my bad spending habits. But having worked as an Executive Administrator for many years I did have to have nice clothes and what I bought lasted and stayed in fashion for a long time. Now that I am retired I don't need to buy anything except underwear every once in a while. I have drawers full of socks and things like that so don't need them. I am not driven to buy with the sales or ads.
Dec 2, 2012 12:23AM
I could go without buying clothes for 3 problem.  I don't buy into the latest clunky shoes and stick to the basics when I buy clothes.  It's for fashionable in the long run, and if you choose wisely, you can stay close enough to the trends to be trendy!  And I always have a black outfit to wear with pearls when necessary....other colors too, but having a nice black outfit for each occasion is always a good idea, don't you think?
Dec 2, 2012 12:22AM
done...many times...what is the difficulty?
Dec 1, 2012 11:14PM
I have never been a shopaholic, so this is a breeze for me.  It's already been years since I purchased clothes, shoes, make-up, etc.  I win!  LOL
Dec 27, 2012 5:12PM
My wife is doing this right now and is blogging about it.  For her, it's no clothes, no shoes, and no purses.  You can read about her experiences here: 
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