What I've spent on clothing this year

Hello Sunday and friends.  Thank you so much for all the comments and emails I've received.  So many emails with very detailed advice and suggestions and courage!  Thank you so v much.  A lot of you say don't pay off the house and more of you say pay it off.  It's such a personal decision and one I don't take lightly.  I'm still in the camp of pay off the house but I hear the other side loud and clear.  I suppose it depends on your life experience which side of the issue you land on.  I will go more into detail about my personal decision in a future post.

But today I wanted to do a check-in on how much I've spent so far this year on clothing.  I've been combing through my numbers bc that's what I do and this is what I saw.  I remember frantically rushing through Target one January day and grabbing a pair of black jeans.  I had no time to try them on and they sat in the bag for a few weeks before I even did.  That's the way things were in January 😢.  Anyway they fit perfectly and I kept them.  Also, Everlane kindly sent me a few free things to review which you've seen but those were gifts so do I count them?  I'm choosing to tally what came out of my account.  Here is the list...

Target black jean $15
H&M Blue Toile Dress $19
H&M Red Toile Top $34 (Love this little linen/cotton top!)
Thrifted white cotton top $15

Total $83

I really don't plan to spend anything this fall or winter but if I come across something one never knows.  Over the years of blogging I notice I mostly shop in Spring and Fall.  I suppose that's pretty normal?  Of course I have no idea what normal is.  Do you?  x


  1. The printed top is so pretty on you and a great colour. Perfect with your jeans.
    You look very relaxed in that pose...Town and Country photos often depict a woman in her home this way!

  2. what is "normal"?...the old saying "normal is only a setting on the washing machine" (so true).
    I'm taking a trip to San Francisco soon and plan on purchasing a few fall things- I've gotten so picky!! How's your closet system working? I loved seeing your curated wardrobe and how it fit perfectly in your closet!

  3. I know I've said this before, but every time I see a post from you I feel like I hit the Jackpot. Love this subject as much as the money subject. I'm trying to get better with my clothing purchases...and shoes...oh my gosh, the shoes. Though I have lots of clothes in my closet and drawers, I always reach for the same ones, and often feel like I don't have enough. You've inspired me to go back and read some of your previous posts and reassess what I have. Thank you for putting the effort into these posts. I love them! xo

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  5. Target has jeans for $15? I need to check that out.
    You always look so fashionable.
    I'm on team pay off the house! Invested money can be lost but a home without a mortgage, is yours forever.

    1. Me too! Pay off that FABULOUS house. If it were me, I'd want to own it asap and potter around in it forever. Clothes? I'm fat at the moment so need to get the weight down and actually use the clothes I own. Interestingly, because of the additional weight, I'm forced to wear the same thing every day - a pair of oversize designer shorts that are a bit baggy and come down to the knees. I put these on every day and just choose a T-shirt. It's been quite freeing.

  6. Janet, I think normal is the cycle on the washing machine ;)

    1. I was drinking some tea and spit it out from laughter! That is the best answer to “What is normal?” haha! Love it.

  7. who would want to be normal? Or typical?

  8. Your outfit is very pretty and relaxed. Spring and Fall are when I WANT to shop, and it's fun to get a few new things for the change in weather, but I have always found the best deals at the end of each season. Like right now I'm finding decent deals on summer clothes and shoes.

  9. As one ages one realizes that ....most fashion is for younger woman. Despite exercise and a healthy diet the female body just changes, comfort becomes important. If one buys more classic styling it can be worn for years. Shopping for clothes is the last thing I want to do. Simplification is the my mantra in everything except maybe Halloween...hahaha! You are a classic beauty Janet and you just exude great style. I think you could wear a paper bag and look tres chic.

  10. As one ages one realizes that ....most fashion is for younger woman. Despite exercise and a healthy diet the female body just changes, comfort becomes important. If one buys more classic styling it can be worn for years. Shopping for clothes is the last thing I want to do. Simplification is the my mantra in everything except maybe Halloween...hahaha! You are a classic beauty Janet and you just exude great style. I think you could wear a paper bag and look tres chic.

  11. I am amazed that you have only spent $83 on clothing this year! Wow! Four years ago, I began tracking discretionary spending. I have learned so much about myself in the process. And yes, I am spending much less now. As to your house, do what you think is best. I can say from personal experience that I have a peace of mind I had not previously known since I paid mine off. Best wishes to you in the process and thanks for sharing. And you look like a diva from Hollywood in that photo on the couch. You are amazingly glamorous and I suspect you don't even know it.

  12. I used to love clothes. but now they seem rather unimportant. why? was I simply dressing for Bob?
    or for work? since retirement I am so happy dressing for no other reason than my own comfort!
    has 'COMFORT FIRST' become my norm? lol! YES!
    pretty much like the Queen Vee says.
    a sea change happened for me and I have regarded it as a good thing. I just don't care! as long as I'm CLEAN and NEAT. I like a New England preppy look that takes very little to maintain. cream. navy. white.
    but then I'M NOT AJJ with the BODY IT TAKES to look otherwise! no sour grapes ... just facing reality! LOL.
    sending you love and strength darling bean.
    and a happiness that will come back someday in time. XO

  13. Janet- you should seriously model. You certainly do have a certain je ne sais quoi. I find a shop less and less often as time goes by. Love good quality classics- cashmere, wrap dresses, cardigans, blazers, boots- that seem to last forever. I spent a whopping $99 on clothing during the past year- a red blouse and a new pair of sandals. I am off now to check out that beautiful H&M top- it is just my style!

  14. What a great question. My clothing expense for the year would have been really good if it hadn’t been for a winter coat and Chelsea boots I needed to replace. I recently found a Barbour on the Nordstrom Rack website that was marked down to a price I couldn’t refuse. This jacket will literally last the rest of my life. The boots were marked way down too so I think I shopped quite wisely.

    I’ve had black pair of Everlane jeans for several year. They fit fine but I don’t find the fabric particularly comfortable.

    As always you look as beautiful as your home.


  15. My husband and I allow ourselves $75 each month for clothing budget. Makeup, sunglasses, hats, face creams, shaving balm, etc also go into this category. I think most of my spend this year has been on athletic wear. I admire your frugality! I'm all for paying off your house. It is a wonderful feeling to have that paid for and to be completely debt free. ~Miranda

  16. Janet,
    I love your outfit. I've found some unbelievable buys at Target. Early spring there were some great gingham black and white (side zipper) capris, I bought them and went back and bought the additional color (navy and white). They were $24.95---later I got a popular store catalog and found the same identical pants for $79.95. Thank you for sharing and for showing us on so many levels that great style doesn't have to break the bank. :-)

  17. NO. I don't have an inkling as to what "normal" is when it comes to clothing needs/expenses. But I do applaud your $83 annual clothing expenditure. Your impressive measure of restraint and sensibility and a keen eye for enduring classics is a strong shopping mantra. I'm wholly in your camp. Looking back, I've always been a frugal shopper yet my purchases often were not suited to me and eventually were pushed to the back of the closet. If on occasion I reluctantly wore one out of guilt I couldn't wait to return home to the shed it. Inspired by your past household culling, my turning point came the day I got up the gumption to donate all of my mistakes. Thank YOU Janet . . . this cleared my head as well as my closet . . . I now buy ONLY what I know I will reach for over and over and never more than I truly need - so I don't buy much. YOU are a wonder.

    Now, about paying off the house? That's above my pay grade - but I know you will act on sound professional advice and in due time.

    I continue to beam my love, comfort, encouragement, praise and respect your way


  18. Although I don't NEED anything, I buy fabulous vintage when I find it.


  19. Hi Janet, I agree with the others - you would look elegant in a paper bag! You have the type of body that clothes are made for and an elan to match. As for paying off the house, i think it depends on you and how you feel. I would not pay off mine because I know I don’t want to live here forever and there is more than enough equity to pay for a smaller house which I want. All circumstances are different.

    Go with your heart and feelings and on another note I would advise you to not make any decisions until the grieving period is over - at least 2 years. I wish someone had told me this when my husband died in 1998. I made a lot of unthought decisions that were not wise.

    As for clothing, I’ve tried to be one a minimalist. Last fall I decided that I didn’t really need anything except a new fleece hoodie to replace a worn one. Then I fell and had a hip replacement which required a whole new shoe wardrobe - lower heels and slip-on boots and shoes. I now don’t really need them any more but I love them and their comfort and ease. I’m short and wanted to be taller but now have accepted my height. Now I’m all about comfort in all clothing. Your success in being elegant and frugal at the same time is so inspiring.

    You have taught me I can be beautiful and comfortable in my skin with a few well loved and simple clothing pieces! Thank you thank you.

  20. I strongly recommend paying the house. We paid it off 5 years ago. We came into some money and that's what we decided to do with the money. We now have peace of mind. The house it ours. Doesn't matter what happens in jobs, life etc... The house is ours. Well unless you don't pay your property taxes...then they take it away. But that's another story. 🤓 Another thing...you wear a lot of white shirts. How do you keep the armpits from turning yellow. I've tried many different anti perspiration sand it's all the same.

  21. I've bought only one thing so far this year. I'm trying not to buy any clothes but couldn't resist an Italian red linen top. It cost slightly more than your total spend, so you are still ahead!
    On the topic of paying off your house, do make sure that there are no tax advantages in retaining a small mortgage. This used to be the case in England and we kept a small sum on the house that could easily be cleared. Once you are mortgage free you will have the pleasure of knowing that you've done something that your lovely man had always wanted.


kindness is never out of style.

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