My Husband Thinks I Should Buy New Clothes. He’s Probably Right.

Every year or so, my husband tells me to buy new clothes. I hate buying new clothes.

Every now and then, as I tug ineffectually at a shirt that has been through the wash/dry process too many times to fit properly anymore,?I think about how nice it would be to have clothes that look good. I have?just enough clothes that fit properly to get me through a trip to FinCon. The rest my closet is just … blegh. I have a hard time getting excited about it.

But I hate clothes shopping. I hate shopping in general. But I?really hate clothes shopping. And, as my closet dwindles, and the same outfits make their appearances, eventually my husband says, “You should buy new clothes. Just take one of the credit cards to [insert name of upscale shopping center in whatever major city we happen to live near] and get a new wardrobe.”

Yes, that's right. There is no aspect of my marriage in which traditional gender stereotypes/roles play out. My husband wants me to spend indiscriminately on new clothes. And I fight him every step of the way — even though I think it would be nice to have a couple more solid wardrobe pieces.

This isn't how it's “supposed” to be. I'm supposed breeze in, loaded down with shopping bags, greeted by a husband who rolls his eyes and asks, “How much did you spend?this time?” (Cue laugh track.)

buy new clothes
Seriously. You are looking at my entire wardrobe.


Why I Don't Buy New Clothes

I wear 100 percent of the clothes that I have?on a monthly basis. Because I have a wardrobe that consists of exactly 37 items (I counted), it's easy to cycle through everything. I don't have a choice.

And yet, even as I feel uncomfortable wearing 65 percent of what I own, I find it difficult to buy new clothes. I even tried to get around the idea of buying clothes by signing up for a clothing rental service. Sadly, the selection of clothes didn't fit me, and I sent everything back without wearing anything out of the house.

So why do I have such a hard time buying clothes?

  1. I'd rather spend money on something else: No one can accuse me of hating to spend money. I love spending money. But I can think of several things I'd rather spend money on than clothes. A trip. Several books for my Kindle. Maybe a new Kindle while I'm at it. A high-quality, Amish-made desk for my office. Every dollar I spend on clothes is a dollar that I'm not spending on something awesome that I really enjoy.
  2. I keep thinking I'm going to lose that weight: Let's be honest. I should have put this item in the first slot. But I try not to look too shallow. I like to think that I'll lose five pounds, my arms will firm up, and suddenly my cellulite will disappear. However, considering that I've been working my butt off?(and even eating healthy, which I hate) for months now and I still have that same damn butt, I don't think that's going to happen. But I hate to think that I'll waste money on a new wardrobe, only to end up too svelte to wear anything.
  3. It takes a lot of time to buy new clothes: Clothes shopping, if you're going to do it right and find items that fit well, takes a lot of time. My body is out of proportion. True story. I have the same inseam as my husband, but I'm six inches shorter. I can't just order clothes online — at least not until I know exactly how certain brands fit. I consider my time valuable. The idea of driving (in traffic!) to a store to spend hours trying things on, only to spend money on something that I don't care that much for, repels me.

But I still feel uncomfortable in most of my clothes, and it bothers me to be seen in them. My husband is right; if I would just buy new clothes — clothes that fit properly — I would feel better about myself and how I look. In the grand scheme of things, it probably wouldn't cost that much, either. Clearly, I need to shed my delusions of a toned and five-pounds-lighter body, block out some time, and just bite the bullet. Especially if I decide to get serious about diversifying my home business offerings.

I can't show up to teach a personal finance workshop in an ill-fitting blouse and high-water trousers.

5 thoughts on “My Husband Thinks I Should Buy New Clothes. He’s Probably Right.”

  1. I also have a very minimal wardrobe. I am reluctant to buy high quality pieces because my size fluctuates. It would be so annoying to get an awesome leather jacket and then either lose or gain weight.

    1. My husband solved the problem by keeping some of his old clothes, so he has stuff if he gains weight again. However, I hate the idea of clutter that I don’t use. But I am going to have to do something.

  2. You sound like my wife lol. I force her to buy new items and sometimes shop for her. There has been several occasions where I tell her I threw away her old shirt or shoes and tell her she has to buy a new item before she is allowed home lol.

    1. Miranda Marquit

      Nice! Actually … my husband has bought me clothes as well. Sometimes, when he’s been out shopping for himself, he’ll come home with a couple things for me. He has better taste in clothing than me anyway.

  3. Hi Miranda. I had the same problem as you for years. Two things broke the cycle. One (which probably doesn’t apply to you) was finally making enough money to do better than break even every month; I’d never realized that up until that point, a big reason I hated clothes shopping was because I didn’t feel like I could afford to spend the money.

    The other was the below website, which helped me actually realize what I wanted out of my wardrobe. I personally found exercises 4, 9,and 10 to be useless, but all the others to be extremely useful, especially 1 and 2 :

    I would guess that your personal likes, dislikes, and style don’t line up with what the stores in the mall, the magazines on the rack, and the “style gurus” tell you they should be. I know mine don’t! It can be hard to know what to look for when it doesn’t match what mass media and mass culture put up as exemplary. Once I actually figured it out (thanks to above link), it became a thousand times easier to shop.

    … Not that it’s always easy. Hate to say it, you may simply have to commit a day or two to trying stuff on. Clothes you like aren’t going to simply arrive in your closet on their own 😉 It’s always OK to start with the things in your closet you do love and try to find more of them!

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