What Are Your Biggest Fashion Money Wasters?

I have a closet stuffed with clothes. Yet I have I-have-nothing-to-wear syndrome coupled with the sad realization that I wear only 25 percent of my wardrobe. However, that doesn’t seem to stop me from adding a half-dozen things every few months that usually end up with the other 75 percent of my collection. Apparently, I’m not the only one who wastes money on fashion! The Daily Mail reports that an astonishing 45 percent of swimwear purchased each year by U.K. women goes unworn, wasting the equivalent of about $470 million. It’s clear why swimsuits make for money wasters (stupid ladymag bikini body programs that you vowed to do, but didn’t). What else is going unused in your closet? The answers, after the jump.

  1. One-off, impulse purchases from H&M-like stores: Quality is a key issue with the cheap wares you may stock up on at fashionable, low-priced chains. After a bunch of washes, they start to look different. They’re also likely to be super trendy, but you don’t realize at the time that you’d ever be off the jersey dress fad.
  2. Super super-hot high heels. You can’t walk in them comfortably or rock them at work. You likely bought them out of lust, but you don’t have too many opportunities to wear them.
  3. Clutches: Clutches are cute. They’re kind of annoying, though, and only work in a scenario with many requirements—one where you won’t mind holding something for hours (or look awkward if you do), only need a few things, and probably don’t start off going somewhere straight from work. Similarly, cheap-o handbags are a killer on the wallet. There’s something about fronting for a designer power purse that’s intimidating, so you buy something that ends up looking ratty after a year.
  4. Too-small sale items: “If I just lose five pounds, this dress will totally fit.” So tempting when something’s a deal, but not quite the right size. That’s always a gamble.
  5. Vintage buys that look vintage: Buying a fabulous dress that screams ’50s or ’60s is fun, but can seem costumey in many circumstances. They are also way more delicate and, therefore, more prone to fabric rips and fastening failures.

What to do with all this crap? Obvi, you should donate clothes to the Goodwill or the Salvation Army a couple times a year. Or, you can throw a “shop my closet” party and trade with your friends. Because, you know, one woman’s scorned clutch is another lady’s ultimate score. (Better to sit in her closet than yours, ha.)

What’s attracting cobwebs at the bottom of your wardrobe?

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