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Do You Really Need New Clothes?

Think honestly to yourself. Most of us only use maybe 20% of the apparel in our closets and dresser drawers! Why not resist the impulse to have something new simply to have something new and we usually purchase on impulse anyway.


Mix and match what you already have. Browse through current magazines and pay attention to how others dress in your location for ideas and inspiration for updating with what you already have.

If there is something you 'need' see if it can be found at a Goodwill or Salvation Army store first. Not only does that save you oodles of money but the proceeds of that purchase also contributes to helping the needy.

Source: Thoughts about the current economy and necessity because of my personal situation.

By Deeli from Richland, WA

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October 6, 20090 found this helpful

A lady I worked with always had beautiful clothes. You could tell they were expensive by the fabric and the cut.


Once day she shared with me that she only shops for clothes at resale shops. This woman was independently wealthy, old money, family money, even though she was married to a many who made a very good salary (she shared this information with me).

She was from The Netherlands and when she visited her sister in Paris, who always bought designer and couture clothing, her sister mocked her. You know, my friend used to laugh at her and say she was saving her money, which was her own. She looked every bit as high fashion as her sister.

The other thing was this lady's husband was president of several organizations and she went to a lot of formal galas during the year, especially during Christmas-they often went to two galas a night. Well, she never wore the same formal ball gowns twice because she didn't have to!


I agree with cleaning out closets and drawers. Whenever my drawers start getting full, I know it's time to donate.

I also donate to women's shelters. These desperate women often leave the homes in the middle of the night, sneaking away with their children from their abusive spouses. So when they get to the shelters, they have the clothes on their back and nothing else. Sometimes they come to the shelters in pajamas only and their children too.

Children's clothing can also be donated to women's shelters along with toys, books, household items, crafts, cosmetics, toiletry items, everything and anything. They even take used cosmetics and toiletries, things I've bought and the color isn't right for me. Sheets, towels, pots and pans, etc. are all needed because they will be making a new life for themselves and their children.


The United States is a country that people in other countries want to live. I don't think other countries can boast that as proudly as we cam. We need to take care of our own people first, I believe, then care for the other people in the world who desperately need our help.

Good hints from everyone and thank you for them!

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October 7, 20090 found this helpful

I agree with you. I have so many items of clothing that I do not wear. I get most of my clothes on clearance, thrift shops or at yardsales. I tend to get classic clothes. I find trendy clothes are only for one season but classics can be worn for years. Each season, I weed out my clothes and donate them to the Red Cross or Salvation Army or the Boys/Girls Club.


My kids get a budget at the beginning of the school year of $100 for clothes. If they buy one pair of jeans for that amount, that's it for the year. They never do that! They are thrifty shoppers like me. They also buy at thrift and consignment stores. They get name brand items for $1.00, $2.00. Most of the time, they don't spend their entire amount. They can then save it for during the year, if they want additional items. This works for us and it keeps them on a budget. I feel this will help them in the future.

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October 8, 20090 found this helpful

I agree with you to a point. I just recently bought a few new items because I haven't purchased anything new in about 5 years or more. I am very careful of what I buy to make sure I can wear it with other things I have and I'm very careful of the price I pay. However, part of the reason our economy is in the shape it's in is people are not making purchases. Each purchase we make helps to keep someone working. We also need to think about that and stimulating the economy. Again, within reason. Let's keep America working. I also agree with donating time, clothing and monetarily.

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October 8, 20090 found this helpful

You couldn't have said it better, any of you. I once bought 15 2.00 pair of jeans at a yard sale and my sister in law bought a 30.00 pair of jeans that same day. So, who was the smarter?

I have a basic black dress that is the perfect size and cut. It is getting a bit thread worn, so I am going to cut it up for a pattern, and make one in black, purple, blue...etc. Then, so many of my over shirts and jackets are multicolored, and can mix so well with a solid dress.

Accessories make the outfit, as far as I am concerned, anyway. I get scarves and pins that can accentuate a basic dress or suit, and it says something different each time.

One of the crafts I am making now for a big show coming up, is reversible vests, which give you two choices that can mix and match solids for the printed side, and printed for the solid sides.

If you are not handy with a sewing machine, you can still have cool things for fall. Find a great gabardine, wool, or tweed fabric that is at least 3' by 5' and bind the edges, or have a friend do it.
Then, you have a wonderful wrap that can top off any outfit. In fact, if your fabric is light enough, get one in a print and one in a solid and there you go again...reversible and functional.

Another cool idea is this: If you are a professional woman who likes to dress nice but has little time to think in the morning, put your best 22 outfits together on hangers and start on the first weekday of the month, then when you get home, hang that up at the end of the closet.
The next day, start at the front and keep going. Your outfits won't get repeated in a whole month, and you don't have to think.

Hope that helps even one person relieve their debt and stress.

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October 8, 20090 found this helpful

Hi Poor But Proud,

I never knew you could cut up a dress and then make other dresses from it. What a great idea.

I don't sew (can use iron on hem stuff); do you think if I took it to a tailor they could take a dress and make it into different colors?

You sound talented because you can sew. Sigh. I tried to sign on for local sewing classes, but you have to bring your sewing machine to class in order to participate and I don't have the money to buy one.

I hope you post an answer to my question.

Or maybe someone else knows the answer and will kindly post it.

Thank you all you frugal-monsters out there! Hooray for us!

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October 8, 20090 found this helpful

Hi metroplex! maybe you could look for a secondhand refurbushed sewing machine at a sewing shop, or at thrift or consignment shops. Just for starters, you do not need a machine with all the goodimadjoepsies. Good luck and love! Gurth from RSA

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October 8, 20090 found this helpful

metroplex, Just google the nearest FREECYCLE group near you, people give away sewing machines all the time on the freecycle sites! Even if you don't get a book with it you can come here and ask ?'s or google for info on the model you end up with. I actually gave away 3 extra machines I had on the freecycle site in Eugene, Oregon and they went the same day I posted them.

Here is a link to find a site near you:

Also, if you have good usable clothes, especially warm clothes, socks, even baby bottles you no longer need PLEASE consider going to this site and donating them to Native Americans on the S D reservation, the conditions are heart breaking and they aren't asking for money, they need warm clothes and food to survive the winter. Many people think all Indians own casinos and this is not the case! These Lakota women are suffering and watching your children be cold or hungry is the worst suffering you will ever go through.

http://www.thep … ire-need-of-help
Thanks to anyone who helps these people survive the winter.

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October 9, 20090 found this helpful

Hi wolfbytz,

Such two great ideas! I never thought of free cycle and will check it out right away. I've always wanted to sew and the last (and only) garment I ever made was in home economics - does that give you an idea of how long ago this was? When home ec was part of the curriculum!

As far as donating to American Indians, well I've already stated that we should take care of our own first, and if they aren't the 'first' I don't know who is.
I never knew how to donate to American Indians and will check out that site. I'd imagine the site would tell how to give clothes, but how would I be able to give food? Via donation? Although now that I think of it, where I live in Houston, TX there is an American Indian Arts and Culture organization. I bet I could get info there too.

You have a good heart. God bless you, wolfbytz. You think of 'our' people too as well as other unfortunates. It breaks my heart to know what the US did to the first American people. Heartless doesn't touch it. Greedy, unethical, not really. I don't know if I have the words, but our government should be ashamed. I know I'm ashamed of how our government treated and destroyed a great people.

When I was taking high school English, my teacher told us that the basis of literature is based on 'man's inhumanity to man' and I never forgot that.

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November 14, 20090 found this helpful

Great tips! One thing I am a big fan of is layering. I keep clothes for a very long time and I find that I use almost everything I own at least once a year! If something doesn't fit me but has a cool pattern I will wear it under a sweater or a cardigan and give it new life.
If you go through your closet, with a little creativity you can put things together in a new way. I also like to browse through new clothing magazines to get new ideas for things I already own.

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