Shopping for a wardrobe may seem simple enough, but did you know that it is considered a major expense for many?
From purchasing clothing for work to building a wardrobe that accentuates your personality, knowing how much the average person spends on clothes each year can help you to plan and budget in advance.
On average, adults aged 25–34 are likely to spend approximately $161 a month on their wardrobe. For those in the 35–44 age bracket, you can expect to spend around $209 a month on clothing.
The average person may shop for new blouses, t-shirts, slacks, jeans, and other casual garments around 1–2 times per month, depending on their career as well as their budget.
Additional work and casual shirts are typically the most frequently purchased items in all age brackets and among both genders.
On average, men who are aged 16 and older spend approximately $325 on clothing every year.
Men who spend the most on clothing are between the ages of 45 and 54 years old.
On average, men in the 45–54 age bracket find themselves spending approximately $120 more on clothing than men who are between the ages of 35 and 44 each year.
It is known that women love to shop and have an affinity for beauty and fashion that cannot be matched by men.
On average, women, spend around $570 on their wardrobes each year, which is significantly higher than the average man.
Women who are 16 years of age and older typically spend at least 75% more than their male counterparts at any age.
Women who are in the age bracket of 45–54 spend the most, similarly to men, coming in at just under $800 annually, or around $67 each month.
On average, a family of four (according to BLS, or the Bureau of Labor Statistics), spends approximately $1,800 each year on clothing.
This statistic does not just include traditional nuclear families, but also single people as well as independents who are living together and managing finances as a familial unit as well.
Shopping for shoes is often equally, if not even more important for families each year, especially those who have children.
For an average family in the US, spending around $400 per year on shoes is the national average.
Those who are aged 35 to 44 are most likely to spend the most on shoes for their families, whether they are purchasing shoes for themselves or for their children.
On average, parents spend approximately $1,280 on clothing for their children each year, depending on the age of their children as well as the number of children in any given household.
Typically, women pay around 8% more for their clothing than men for the same type of clothing, fabric, and in some cases, even for the same label.
For women’s jeans, women can expect to pay approximately 10% more than for a pair of men’s jeans.
Shirts are also around 5% more for women’s shirts than for men’s shirts.
While the average wardrobe for a woman will vary based on her lifestyle, fashion style, as well as her wardrobe budget, women will typically have anywhere from $1,000 to $2,500 of clothing in their closet at any given time.
For those who love fashion, approximately 9% of all women have more than $10,000 worth of clothing and fashion garments in their closets right now in the US.
Up to half of all women admit that nearly 25% of their wardrobe sits unworn or has never been worn.
Overspending on clothing can add up to significant costs, especially if you are attempting to stick to a budget.
When you are shopping for clothing and want to avoid overspending and adding to your wardrobe clutter, keep the following tips in mind:
- Create a list of the items you need to purchase and stick to this list, refusing the temptation to veer towards new pieces for your wardrobe.
- Take a serious inventory of your current wardrobe, including any clothing you may have put away for future seasons.
- Try on every single garment you intend to purchase, even if you believe that the item will fit without question. Trying on garments can help you to determine if the clothing is what you will want to wear each day or if it will end up in the back of your dresser drawer.
Although there is no definitive answer to how much you should spend on clothing each year, there is a way to budget your fashion purchases to avoid impulse buys and unworn garments from piling up in your wardrobe.
Many financial experts recommend spending no more than 5% of your budget on the clothing you invest in annually.
In order to calculate this amount, you can use your average net income and multiply that number by .05. For example:
If you earn $2,800 each month (net after taxes), you multiply $2,800 by .05, which is 140, or $140.
This means it is ideal to spend no more than $140 on clothing per month with a current income of $2,8000 after taxes.
One of the best ways to unload clothing today is to do so with the use of various selling apps and online communities that are geared towards selling high-fashion, branded items, and even vintage and resale pieces.
You can also opt to sell your clothing on various sites such as eBay and Etsy, depending on the type of clothing you are trying to unload.
Using various apps for branded and high-end clothing can also help you to recoup any of your investments that you have lost due to impulse spending or over-purchasing items in bulk.
The best time to purchase new clothing for your wardrobe will depend on the type of clothing you are interested in buying as well as whether or not the clothing is seasonal.
If you are shopping for seasonal items, use the following list below to gauge the best time that is ideal for your needs:
- Spring: May–June: just as summer arrives, spring clothing will begin to go on sale.
- Summer: August–September: As school starts again, new inventory will arrive, providing the best summer sales.
- Fall: November–December: Shop for fall clothing during November-December, when the winter arrives, especially in colder regions throughout the US.
- Winter: December–January: If you want to stock up on winter boots, gloves, jackets, and scarves, doing so in December and January is best, especially if you are in the market for steep savings. The longer you can wait during the winter to begin shopping for winter gear, clothing, and accessories, the better the deals you will find.
If possible, planning ahead to shop for winter clothing can come in handy, especially with the rising cost of heavy-duty winter boots and jackets.
The key to saving money whenever you are shopping for seasonal items for the winter is to do so during clearance times or just as the season is ending and on its way out.
Some of the best months to shop for clothing for winter are between December and January.
While it may sound counterintuitive and it is nice to be prepared ahead of time for winter, shopping during winter and just as the winter ends is one of the best ways to cut costs on various items such as gloves, scarves, boots, jackets, and more.
Yes! Similar to shopping for winter clothing, shopping for summer clothes is best during the summer months and especially as summer begins to dwindle and come to an end.
Some of the best months to shop for summer clothing are August and September, as summer breaks begin to end.
As children prepare to go back to school and parents resume their traditional work schedule, tons of summer clothing will be placed on sale and found in the clearance sections of your favorite clothing and department stores.
If you are a parent shopping for one or three children, your best bet to find super deals is to shop during the month of August.
Although school may be back in session for your children depending on where you live, you can prepare for next summer by purchasing all of your summer essentials for your children in August and September.
Most major summer sales for children’s clothing begin in August to allow for more inventory space for back-to-school gear.
Although your children may not have much time to enjoy the new summer garments you purchase, they will be fully stocked and prepared for next year.
Whenever you are shopping for children’s clothing at the end of a season, it is important to keep in mind the size your child is likely to be by the time he or she is able to wear your purchase.
Because children grow fast, it is advisable to purchase clothing you find on sale towards the end of a season in a size or two larger than your child is currently in.
If you want to find the best sales any time you are shopping for shirts, slacks, gowns, or accessories, you can do so by joining online groups, communities, and forums that are dedicated to saving money on fashion.
You can also use the following tips to help with saving money on your clothing purchases so you can build the wardrobe you envision for yourself:
- Use shopping apps to locate sales and BOGO/significant discounts
- Register for rewards and members programs to save on items
- Collect sales papers to find local sales and printed promotions
- Shop for seasonal clothing items towards the end of a holiday or season for the best sales and discounts available