How Much Money do you Waste on Your Fashion and What Impact is That Having on Your Business?
As a small business owner the last thing we can afford to do is throw away money. We know that we want to maximise profits and reduce costs and yet it doesn’t always happen this way. There are unexpected events, things with enough planning we can prepare for and then there are illogical purchases that get in the way. Ideally we want to make sure each dollar is spent wisely and one area where we often don’t spend as wisely as we could is with the clothes we buy.
Do you really know how much money you spend on clothes? Do you really know if you are getting the value out of your pieces? Your strategy might be to only go shopping periodically and when you do, only buy pieces occasionally, but are you really buying the right pieces?
You can also be wasting money on items that you are not very happy with. Whats the point of buying something that you really don’t like, that you’re buying simply to fill a gap? Why not wait to find the right pieces? If you can’t find the right fashion in your city, or feel overwhelmed when looking online, then maybe you need more information or advice.
Before understanding how to save money on our fashion and make better choices we need to see things a little differently and from a broader perspective. Let’s take a look at how much money we actually spend on items that we never wear. We need to understand why we bought these items and why we are not wearing them.
Lets take stock of all those purchases. I encourage you to go to your closet and take out anything you’ve worn three times or less. Put them on your bed and estimate the total cost. Are you surprised? Now ask yourself why you don’t wear each piece? It’s likely it fits into one or more of the following reasons;
- Bad advice from friends or sales people. This is something we’ve all experienced. Typically we get home, try on the outfit we purchased and liked or were convinced to buy in store, only now we have buyers remorse because we know we’ve bought something that we’re never going to wear.
- Doesn’t fit properly. Either we didn’t try it on in store, or we bought it in expectation of losing weight or we bought it online and it doesn’t fit as we thought it would.
- Bought under pressure. You needed to buy an outfit for a business event and couldn’t find what you were after, so you ran out of time and bought something under pressure not because it was a good decision.
- Doesn’t go with anything else in your collection. You saw an item in store and fell in love it but soon realised it doesn’t really work with anything else that you own.
- Not having a fashion strategy. This is like not having a business strategy, our purchases lack direction and the results are always less than ideal.
- Bad fabrics. We can often buy something because it’s made of cheap materials such as polyester or nylon. Whilst the initial purchase is cheap the poor quality fabric lacks durability and we soon regret the purchase.
- Buying because it’s a brand name rather than because it’s what we need. It’s easy to have a favourite brand but sometimes we buy a particular piece in that brand based on emotion not practicality, or even quality and we end up with an expensive piece of clothing that either doesn’t get worn or doesn’t last.
As business owners we need to work to a strategy, part of that is making smarter purchases. By knowing the most common reasons for making poor fashion purchases, as identified above, hopefully we can avoid making the same mistakes and ultimately save a lot of money.
A major element of the work I do with my clients is education. I’ve developed a set of what I like to call my Loweisms and these are a set of guiding principles based on my philosophies and my industry experience in Australia and Internationally. When it comes to saving money the five Loweisms which are the most important and most relevant are;
- Quality not quantity
- When in doubt don’t
- Buy the best you can afford
- Invest in the classics
- Look after your investment
As a small business owner the last thing we can afford to do is throw away money. If you consider your fashion buying strategy, it could save you a lot of money which could ultimately have a surprisingly big impact on your business. It’s easy to overlook fashion purchases as a major expense or even to put a dollar value on the wasted purchases, but statistically most of us only wear twenty percent of the clothes we buy, which amounts to a lot of wasted money. But if we think differently and buy more strategically, it can be a very different story.
Lalita Lowe Personal Fashion Curator