No Solutions, Just Questions

I still am uninspired by my clothes. I came up with one viable solution and then the weather changed and it all is useless.

I only wore four items all winter:

My fuzzy coat (sadly now out of stock), easily the best purchase of the past two years.


Black Uniqlo jeans, and my L.L. Bean boots. This was it.

But as I try to put together a vision for spring, can we all be honest about something? It costs money to look good! Even for my humble winter outfit it cost about $200.

So what is a reasonable budget for a season of clothes? I realize that women who make $100,000 a year or more might actually be able to spend $1,000 a season on clothes. And I applaud those women. But how do normal women make these decisions?

For instance, I already had to buy my annual running shoe purchase ($100), these are actually pretty great and I will probably wear them for normals, not just for exercise.


But to achieve my spring vision, inspired by several torso-less photos, I will need a few things.

First torso-less image.


Second torso-less image.


It says a lot about me that I can’t imagine myself from the waist up.

Categories of things to buy:

Pants, one pair of black jeans ($60).


One pair of culottes ($160), BTW everything at this store fulfills your Eileen Fisher fantasies.


Next, tops (something more lightweight to replace my winter fuzzy cardigan/coat):

Long coat/sweater $150


Blazer $40


Now shoes. Part of the problem is that I never bought the Everlane loafers because they were out of stock when I had the money.


But, in their absence I still don’t have a perfect throw on with jeans or something more professional leather shoe. It doesn’t have to be complete flat, but I want to to show a fair amount of ankle skin because, see torso-less photo above.

Also, in the mean time I have been transfixed with shoes that are missing part of their shoe.

So, one of these options, is what I am thinking. Clockwise ($118), ($168), ($148), or the original Everlane lust objects ($165),


or the actual shoe in the excellent ankle shot ($139)


But if I chose just one of these shoes, one pant, one coat, and take into consideration the sneakers, and the gorgeous but totally expensive bridesmaid dress I have to buy,


That would total something like $500-600!

In the face of all these decisions I am paralyzed. I CANT BELIEVE HOW MUCH I THINK ABOUT THIS!

Please help.


4 thoughts on “No Solutions, Just Questions

  1. I think most fashiony people would say that need to make an “investment” in clothes that will last more than one season. The problem with this is that it takes one or two wears before you can really know if it’s going to work for you. At which point, you’re most likely unable to return it. How do people figure this stuff out? Capsule wardrobe gurus should be able to solve this problem for us, but no one ever says, “oh, and this is the process I go through to make sure that this $100+ piece of clothing is definitely going to be worn more than twice.”

  2. Agreed S., the bridesmaid dress is the obvious place to skimp here.

    I think I also believe in this “investment” philosophy, C. And I think the whole “capsule collection” technique helps me understand what will actually be a crucial part of my wardrobe (read about this here: But it is about ten times easier to figure out that a coat is an investment piece than to figure out what an “investment” top looks like. The nature of tops is that you wear them out. Even fancy ones. I have also kind of realized this about flats and sandals. I am indeed going to get my sandals resoled this year, and my Birkenstocks are still going strong, but it is difficult for any non-leather boot shoe to last more than a year or two if you are walking around in it every day.

    I am mostly curious what reasonable women plan for their clothes budget and how they come to that figure.

    • You’re so right–there’s definitely a spectrum when it comes to investment pieces and how often they need replacing.

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