His and Hers Wardrobe Expansions

Mr PoP and I have both had some major wardrobe expansions in the last week or so. Mr PoP’s out of necessity, mine out of desire – and yet, his is the one that ended up being a little costly.

His – Just In Time Can Cost A Dime


Too bad my navy suit would have been too small on Mr PoP! =)

We mentioned Mr PoP’s “just in time manufacturing” approach when it comes to acquiring clothing When we had that $200 laundry debacle in the spring. Because it trashed most of Mr PoP’s every day work clothes, we went out and replaced a lot of Mr PoP’s business casual clothes all at once. And those have been great!

But… with Mr PoP’s recent promotion, he’s traveling a little more often. And right before his most recent trip, an edict came down from on high. Though he and his colleagues are typically individual sales people, those traveling together this time should function (and look) like a coherent sales “team”. So they’d have to dress alike.

Unluckily, the typical khakis and oxford office look wasn’t chosen as how they were to dress. Instead, we needed to get Mr PoP a navy blue suit and some new black suit pants. His old suit is getting rough around the edges, and besides it was black anyway. In fact, the only navy blue suits in the house are mine and though the stitching on them is fabulous, I thought the skirt might be a little tight on Mr PoP!

For having about 5 days of notice on this, we ended up not doing too badly. About $200 got him a new suit, new black belt, and a couple additional pairs of suit pants. The shirts we already had, thank goodness. But, his old black shoes were also shot, so he ran out to the outlets and got a new pair for another $75. They’re comfy and his last ones were good for several years, so hopefully these ones will be as well.

So $275 for work clothes, but sadly Mr PoP was also in dire need of new running shoes (his previous ones had holes in the soles), so we bought those ($115) for him a week before these new expenses popped up. The last pair lasted him about 2.5 years (Mr PoP doesn’t run quite as much as I do), so the price isn’t a big deal it just felt like a double whammy when combined with the new work clothes.

  • Total Spent: $390 (ouch!)
  • Net Result: Totally new suit (that he looks fabulous in!) and business-wear that should be sufficient for him for at least a couple of years in this new position. Oh yeah, and the black work shoes and running shoes that should all last a couple of years or more.


Hers – iWant, not iNeed

Unlike Mr PoP’s wardrobe expansion that happened out of need, mine was totally out of want, and out of boredom. Luckily it was simple, and it was free. What did I do? Reorganized my drawers.

I’ll admit it, I have a fair amount of clothes. Probably on the low-to-average range for a typical female (at least compared to friends whose closets I’ve seen), but it’s still A LOT of clothes. It took me about a decade of shopping on my own and with friends before I really realized that I stopped growing out of clothes 10+ years before, so *probably* didn’t need to acquire clothes at the same rate. That realization happened a few years ago now, but I still have what I consider to be an absolute TON of clothing. I just don’t wear most of it on a regular basis.

As a result, I got bored with what I was wearing.


Freshly organized shirt drawer – tanks all visible by color on the left, two stacks of short sleeves in the back, and two stacks of workout shirts in the front.  I LOVE the reorg!

So all I did was reorganize my drawers, and rearrange some hangers so that clothes that were previously buried are more accessible. Now I’ve worn a “new” outfit to work almost every day and gotten compliments on my new outfits. Heck, even Mr PoP had to pause and ask me if a pair of pants I was wearing were new. “Nope, these were the pants from my first interview suit… that I bought in 2003!”

I’m sure in another year or two I’ll have fallen into the same rut as before, but luckily I can probably keep up this trick for a while before I start to wear out most of the clothes that I do have.

  • Total Cost: $0
  • Net Result: Actually a few items fewer than I started with (I relegated a few t-shirts to the rag bucket due to bleach stains), but it feels like I have tons more choices and the organization means I can see them much more readily.


So there you have it. Big changes to both of our wardrobes this month, but with completely different causes and costs.

More time and notice on the needs for Mr PoP’s work trip might have given us a chance to find better sales (though we didn’t do too horribly all things considered), but it’s certainly not spending we regret. In the past Mr PoP has seen some pretty significant ROI on investing in his career via travel, but in this case work paid for the travel, and we needed to pay for some new clothes as part of the travel. (Ya win some, ya lose some. Right?)


Have you changed your wardrobe lately? Was it more of a “his” change out of need, or a “hers” change out of wants?

53 comments to His and Hers Wardrobe Expansions

  • Buying a good-looking suit is an investment that you’ll appreciate. When I became a manager at my company a few years ago I was required to start wearing a suit every day. I went out and bought a nice trio of suits at a local “clothier” (not my cup of tea normally). It cost $1200 for the 3 of them, but they still look new and fit very well, even after wearing them 4 days a week for the last 3 years. I expect to get many more years out of them, but if I need to buy any more suits in the next few years I’ll probably wait for a Jos. A Banks sale or something.
    FI Pilgrim recently posted..Gaming The System – A Quick $400 For A Cell Phone UpgradeMy Profile

  • That’s so great you found a way to reorganize so that you can reach for the clothes that barely got worn. I have this problem, too. Most of my work clothes are hanging up, but I have clothes I don’t really wear stuffed in my dresser and it can be a hassle to sort through it. It’s so difficult when buying pricey clothing/shoes to realize it will last you a while, so the purchase is worth it. At least I know I have a hard time with it, but put into perspective, I will probably be wearing all the clothes I got for my first job for a long time.
    E.M. recently posted..Why We Want To MoveMy Profile

    • I know! I have some really nice clothes since my previous job was more business formal in comparison to our business casual at my current office, but they get so little wear these days! But since I spent a small fortune on them I don’t want to give them away while they still fit.

  • I had to invest in my work clothes just like mr. Pop this month. My first round of work clothes from 3 yrs ago we’re getting frazzled so I dropped about $200 on new pants and shirts. I also, coincidently, had to get some new running shoes, but I got them for $60 on clearance! (I don’t care what color they are)
    Cash Rebel recently posted..Is ObamaCare good for Early Retirement?My Profile

  • The last thing I bought were a stack of workout shirts from the thrift store. They were new (leftovers from a race that had been donated) and still had tags on them. They are made out of some space age wicking fabric and were only $6 each. I bought 6, but wish they I would have bought more.

    I work from home, so for the most part, I just don’t care much what I wear. If I have a date with Mrs. 1500 (few and far between with kids), I’ll throw on a shirt with buttons and pants that have no holes in them.

    I’ll probably get out the nice clothes out for Fincon too so they don’t think I’m a homeless guy crashing the party and kick me out!
    Mr. 1500 recently posted..Death by RetirementMy Profile

    • Dry wick workout shirts are the best! I have two big stacks of them that I got “free” from various races… ya know, after I paid to enter the race. =)

  • When I was advising I changed a portion of my wardrobe every month. That way it stayed fresh and new. Before I started that practice I would sometimes wear clothing too long. The suits would become threadbare.

    Now I’ve instituted a one in/one out rule. Any time that I get new clothing one piece has to go bye-bye. This includes race tee shirts. I used to have a bajillion…now I’m down to 10. Who needs more than 10 race shirts?
    AverageJoe recently posted..Cheers.My Profile

    • I think the one in/one out rule is very noble – but I’m just not sure I could commit to it =)

      Sure, I may not need more than 10 race shirts, but I certainly have WAY more than 10 race shirts. Though actually when I was organizing them this time around I started to wonder how many more I would need until they could be made into a nice dry-wick blanket. How awesome would that be to have post-race instead of the shiny tin-foil type disposable race blankets?

  • I love the idea of doing some reorganization to make your wardrobe feel new again! That’s a great way to save some serious money if you’re feeling like you need new clothes. And I second FI Pilgrim’s observation – suits and dress clothes are more like an investment than anything else to me. If you gotta spend the money, might as well spend it on something quality that you’ll only have to buy once!
    Kali @CommonSenseMillennial recently posted..Why You Don’t Need a Gym MembershipMy Profile

    • Yup, hopefully this suit lasts Mr PoP a while. The last one we bought him was several years ago and he was never really satisfied with it. But this one he seems to really like!

  • I’ve tried to institute 1-in-1-out rule like Joe as well. My work attire at this point doesn’t have to be incredibly professional, so I have a little more lee-way there. Most of my wardrobe work recently has actually been to just get rid of things I never wear without replacing them. It’s been nice.
    Matt Becker recently posted..How to Do an Oil Change for Your Car (Part 1)My Profile

    • I am impressed. Though I’m good at not adding more (especially if I have to pay for it), I am not the best when it comes to throwing out or giving away clothing. If the shoe fits, keep it!?! =)

  • I’m looking to switch up my wardrobe. I haven’t really done much shopping in awhile, and I feel like I need this. I plan on selling most of the things currently in my closet.
    Michelle recently posted..How I Plan on Getting $2,500 in Airfare to Las Vegas for CHEAPMy Profile

  • My wardrobe has sadly been the same for quite a few years with just a couple things purchased here and there. I wish I had some cuter items but my job as a stay a home freelancer doesn’t really warrant a new wardrobe right now. I probably spend more time in workout clothes so I’d be more apt to buy that. I do like the idea of going through my closet again and see what I can make fresh again.
    Budget and the Beach recently posted..Breaking My Own Glass CeilingMy Profile

  • I normally get a new work shirt once every few months. I wait until there is a sale and then I pick out one or two new work items. That way I am able to spread out the expense and not feel so bad about spending money on clothes. I will need new work shoes soon, though, and I hate spending anything on those.
    Jake @ Ca$h Funny recently posted..Recent Reads: The EliteMy Profile

    • We usually aim for sale seasons like around Christmas and Father’s Day for men’s clothes, but it just hasn’t worked out that way this year. Ah well.

  • Congrats to Mr. PoP on his promotion! I agree what a difference some reorganizing will do – I “discover” things I forgot I had, and it’s like going shopping in my own closet. Love how organized you are, Mrs. Pop!
    anna recently posted..Wedding Update – Love Me Some Food Tasting and Star Wars Cake ToppersMy Profile

  • I really don’t have many clothes I don’t think (by female standards) and I’m pretty happy to wear the same sort of thing. I can’t really be assed keeping up with fashion. Prefer simple and not trendy.

    Funnily enough T recently mentioned he’d like to change up his wardrobe and wear nicer things. Hoping to pick up basically a whole new wardrobe here in the US before we go home as things are way cheaper and it’s impossible to find things in his size back in NZ anyway.
    eemusings recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: A week in ParisMy Profile

  • I love that you have a “new” wardrobe now because you reorganized! I need to do that – I’m sure there are a ton of clothing items I haven’t worn in years!
    Lisa E. @ Lisa Vs. The Loans recently posted..Weekend Recap: AdventureMy Profile

  • I’ve always felt fortunate when it came to running. My legs have always been good enough that I can just opt for the cheap $20 shoes and beat the crap out of them. That method won’t work for everyone though, I know some people would be icing the crap out of their knees if they tried it.
    Micro recently posted..Dividend Day: A day of cash windfalls.My Profile

    • You are lucky – but still take care of those knees long term! Mr PoP has had stress fractures from running in the past, so he’s pretty picky when it comes to running shoes. It’s just not worth cheaping out only to get injured!

  • I get to wear aloha shirts every day so I don’t have to worry about collared shirts. The only time I need to dress up are for meetingd. Unfortuantely I’ve been gaining weight so I’ve had to buy new clothes, I keep saying I’ll lose it but it doesn’t happen. I’m hoping not ot keep buying new wardrobes.
    Charles@Gettingarichlife recently posted..Negative Net Worth Means You’re Paying To WorkMy Profile

  • I wish I could get rid of my iWants by re-organizing something! I’d be doing that all day and my house would be perfect. Unfortunately, nothing really works, unless I just practice extreme frugality for a little while and get used to the lifestyle. $390 for all of that is really good! It will last him a long time.
    Daisy @ Young Finances recently posted..Gadget in Review: Just Mobile UpStandMy Profile

  • Great job on the reorganization. I’m not buying clothes this year for the most part, so I’ve done that a couple of times. I have had to pull out the needle and tread several times as well. I’ve always bought pretty cheap clothes in the past because I bought them often. I’m wondering if I should start buying more expensive things that will last longer when I shop again or is everything just disposable anymore?
    Kim@Eyesonthedollar recently posted..Does A Million Dollars Make You Rich?My Profile

  • I did an overhaul of my closet earlier this year and I’ll probably do it again once we move. I have some clothes I haven’t worn for years that I’ve been holding onto for some reason. I need to let them go! I don’t really need any new clothes.
    Holly@ClubThrifty recently posted..Allstate Drivewise: An Honest ReviewMy Profile

  • Jason

    I’m surprised at his running shoes lasting 2.5 yrs. Although I don’t subscribe to the philosophy of dumping my shoes after so many miles or a set time frame, I’ve often replaced before they completely wore out. Maybe it’s mental, but I usually get some pain or “hitch in my giddyup” that tells me it’s time.

    • We both wear minimalist shoes for running, so it’s not a matter of cushioning being worn out, they’re mostly just there for protection from water, stones, and to provide a little traction. So I think they tend to last a little longer than most, and since Mr PoP isn’t a huge runner, his last a while. =)

  • Wow, I can’t even remember the last time I bought a piece of clothing! When I was working, I used multiple pairs of black pants, maybe 10 or so dress shirts, black shoes, black socks, black belt. And repeat. Every damn day. Not very interesting, but it brought my ongoing clothing costs to near zero and with the black pants, no one could tell how often I was re-running my clothes (well, maybe they could, but who cares?) I still have most of those clothes from when I was working. Sometimes I get PTSD when I see them in the closet. (:
    Pretired Nick recently posted..Guest Post: The Awesome Magic of Investing Like An 8 Year OldMy Profile

    • haha, I understand the PTSD feeling. I think I felt that way at first about my suits when I left the job that required them, but now I’m past it and like them again. =)

  • I think you guys did really well on Mr. PoP’s wardrobe at such late notice. It sucks all those expenses came at once, but it sounds like he’s set for a while! I’m trying to reduce my spending on clothing because like you, I have plenty of clothes and don’t need anymore! I’ve been consciously creating new outfits so I don’t get bored, and cataloging them with the Cloth app. I’m not one for constant selfies, but the app helps me feel inspired by clothing I already own. Priceless!
    Kendal @HassleFreeSaver recently posted..5 Strategies to Save Money on EverythingMy Profile

  • I had to laugh at your title as the last time I had a wardrobe expansion it was because I put in 15 lbs! The majority of the expansion was in my ass.

    But in all seriousness, when I buy clothing it is from the clearance racks or at discount stores like TJMAxx, Ross, Marshall’s. I am pretty hard on my clothing so it needs replacing on a regular basis.
    Kyle | Rather-Be-Shopping.com recently posted..Awesome Customer Service Saved My Marriage!My Profile

  • What a cool way to make your existing wardrobe more balanced just by reorganizing. It’s funny how habitual we are with our clothing choices: I go to my old favorites way, way too often. I may steal your idea.

    For a new suit & pants, I think you did really well. Work clothes can be expensive but I know, especially in sales, it’s kind of a non-negotiable. If you can save money, great, but you need to look sharp & presentable. It’s just expected.
    Done by Forty recently posted..How Should FIRE Timeline Affect Asset Allocation?My Profile

  • I have to buy clothing some what monthly as I always damage a shirt or bottom somehow… either with a stain that can’t come out or a hole that the washer inflicts on piece of clothing.

    I do shop at consignment shops and a favorite well-organized thrift store of mine to get my clothing needs to help cut down on costs.
    Tara @ Streets Ahead Living recently posted..Sorry for the delay…My Profile

  • “well-organized thrift store”

    is this an oxy-moron? =)

  • A little closet refresh goes a long way :) I usually do mine in the spring and fall when I’m changing out clothes for the upcoming season (guess that’s not as necessary in Florida, though?).

    If you’re interested, I wrote a post about all the clothing I own . . like you, I thought I owned little clothing compared to other women, so I was shocked by my total.
    Amanda @ the giraffe life recently posted..How People Find My Blog . .My Profile

  • I keep a few boxes of clothes at my mum’s in Paris and was there a couple of weeks ago so I always go through them and get something I haven’t worn in years, that looks almost new, and start wearing it frequently. There is always something I hadn’t paid attention to that I start to like again.
    Pauline recently posted..The case for earning moreMy Profile

  • My husband and I are in the same predicament as you: husband needs a new wardrobe (or, at the least, some new clothes) and I WANT new clothes. We’re slowly working on his, waiting for sales and shopping around; and I am on a shopping hiatus; I have enough clothes in my closet that I can actually “shop” in it (and come out with items still with tags).
    Emily @ Urban Departures recently posted..The Best Reasons to TravelMy Profile