I panic in front of my closet at least twice a week because I think I have nothing to wear. It’s one of the worst feelings for a woman. There is usually somewhere important to go and I want to look nice, but I just can’t seem to find the right combination. In these moments of panic I don’t see the two closets full of clothes or the number of plastic containers filled with tops and cardigans. I simply see shirts that I’ve already worn that week or pants that aren’t nice enough.
In hopes of making getting dressed easier I decided to make a list of clothes I really needed. Then I riffled through closets to get rid of worn and out-dated items. I came upon a coffee table book one day about simplifying your home; it include a section about the perfect wardrobe. The list of clothes for women was fairly short and consisted of a trench coat and a cashmere sweater. Neither of these items are necessarily my style so I challenged myself to make a list of my own basic wardrobe items. To make it even more challenging I wanted the total value to be under $300.
Creating a Wardrobe on a Budget
It was hard not to get lost in the world of accessories. I shoved away visions of headbands, necklaces, and lovely hoop earrings. When coordinated correctly, an outfit can still look polished without jewelry and hairclips. I chose season-less items for layering all year round. There seems to be an idea in our culture that says a woman can’t wear the same t-shirt twice. With additional layers and great pants it would actually be a crime not repeat such classic pieces. In order to make complete wardrobes for under three hundred dollars I quoted prices from stores such as Target, Old Navy, Kohl’s, and Fred Meyer. After much deliberation between jeans or khakis and wishing I could add several colorful scarves into the budget, I ended up with the following items for both men’s and women’s wardrobes.
A Woman’s Wardrobe for Less than $300
- A good pair of jeans (I recommend a dark wash for formal or casual wear) ($40)
- Cardigan ($25)
- Ballet flats (for work or play) ($20)
- Tennis shoes ($40)
- Sweater ($25)
- Gray V-neck t-shirt (to go with EVERYTHING!) ($14)
- Striped tee ($14)
- Sweatshirt ($30)
- Floral tank top ($14)
- Boots (booties, knee-high, camel, gray – you choose!) ($40)
- Knee-length skirt ($30)
A Man’s Wardrobe for Less than $300
- A package of white V-necks ($15)
- A good pair of shorts ($20)
- A good pair of jeans ($40)
- Plaid button down shirt ($25)
- Solid button down shirt ($25)
- Tennis shoes ($40)
- 3 t-shirts ($42)
- Patterned short-sleeved button down shirt ($25)
- Solid short-sleeved button down shirt ($25)
- Sweatshirt ($25)
- Flip flips ($15)
The lists above do not include socks nor intimates. Your basic wardrobe may need to be adjusted according to your job and athletic gear needs. Add coats and additional outerwear according to the climate of where you live.
I simply challenge you to make a list of your own with a total cost under $300. If you’re bored with your wardrobe I encourage you to look at this list and weed through your lot. You will find your creative juices flowing when you are able to see all the pieces. Getting rid of and sorting through clothes not only simplifies your closet, but makes getting dressed a little easier.
What’s in your wardrobe? Have a few thoughts? Leave a comment below!