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Anyone brave enough to answer this: where do you get the money for expensive clothes?

(217 Posts)
Childoftheseventies Thu 16-Aug-12 00:03:34

I work part time and earn a good wage. My husband runs his own (so far, succesful) business. For this I am thankful. However, I still can't afford anything other than basic high street clothes. Zara is pushing it; Gap sale only, Monsoon for special occasions. When I browse in what I consider to be expensive but desirable shops, or look at websites (LK Bennett, Reiss, Great Plains, Hobbs, White Company etc) I always wonder what gives people the income to buy from there. Now I know there are sales and outlets and eBay, but for those of you who buy non-sale stuff in these lovely places as a matter of course, I am fascinated to know where you get the money. Are you a lawyer or doctor or top sales person, or are you a SAHM with a high earning other half, or do you have no mortgage or what!? I promise this is not a snidey post, just a genuine, if very rude and nosey, question.

Emo76 Thu 16-Aug-12 00:08:34

I work full time in a relatively well paid job and tend to buy relatively few items each season.

scarlettsmummy2 Thu 16-Aug-12 00:14:22

I used to be well paid (60k), and had no children. Can't afford premium high street now though with three children!

Childoftheseventies Thu 16-Aug-12 00:23:44

Thank you. May I ask roughly what percentage of your income you spend on your clothes. I reckon mine is about 1.5pc of our gross household income, really what's left after everything else, inc savings and pension, is paid. And may I be very cheeky and ask what kind of job you do? (I work in communications and bring in about £30,000 for my three days)

HazleNutt Thu 16-Aug-12 06:22:48

I'm a lawyer.

MarshaBrady Thu 16-Aug-12 06:26:35

When I work I am well paid. I prefer to buy something good than lots of littler things that I won't enjoy buying/wearing as much.

Cartoonjane Thu 16-Aug-12 06:33:27

I have generally bought clothes in the type of shop you mention rather than cheaper ones. My household income has changed considerably in the last couple of years so now I occasionally buy something really cheap but mainly still stick to the same shops in the main but buy less. I tend to really push it on the money front ie there's never anything left at the end of the month and if I see something I really want I'll get it and just sort it all out somehow. I have just become a single parent on a lower income still so we'll see but I'm not planning on starting to shop at Primark. I guess I'll just have a lot less.

DonaAna Thu 16-Aug-12 06:33:57

Welll paid work. Mortgage free. Buy things in sales, 30-70% off. Some special things I've purchased mark career milestones - bought a 2.55 when I was promoted.

MarshaBrady Thu 16-Aug-12 06:40:35

And same as Dona lots of sale and some celebratory buys.

jumpingjackhash Thu 16-Aug-12 07:04:20

I work my arse off and have a good salary in return. I probably spend around £200 a month on clothes, with the odd splurge of £500 at the beginning of each season. I much prefer to spend a bit more on a few classic, well-made pieces that will last for longer than buy cheap clothes that don't always fit well or wash well. I have some lovely things that are 2-3 years old that are still going strong!

My weakness is shoes/boots and bags. I never buy cheap here, it's a real false economy! A few well chosen items will go with anything and last for years!

AmberNectarine Thu 16-Aug-12 07:33:29

DH earns quite a lot, so I have a pretty generous clothing budget built into out monthly expenditure. I am also a very savvy sales shopper so it goes much further. DH also very generous at Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries etc. I don't feel like a kept wide though, as I do have a job and have had to basically accept my career stalling to further his. This is OK as post-DCs I lost my ambition a bit, and he was further on in his career anyway, but I feel I earn my keep!

Theweek Thu 16-Aug-12 07:35:50

Interesting. I am a dentist. Earn great wage but have worked flipping hard to get where I am. I only work part time but to maintain my position took only 3 months maternity with both dcs. Lucky fantastic parents who provided childcare until DVD older.
I too only buy really with some sort of discount. We choose not to have Sky tv, I choose not to have the latest I phone with unlimited downloads for example. I do choose premium denim. I only have 4 handbags, but paid a lot for them. I don't have trillions of pairs of shoes but am able to pay more therefore for the few pairs I have.
I am under no illusion that we are fortunate to have our level of household income but feel that choices we make to minimise wasting money help.

Netguru Thu 16-Aug-12 07:35:52

Very lucky, earn around 4k a month with husband earning a bit more. Still try not to waste money though and save more than I spend most months. (holidays a real big budget item)

LittlePandaBear Thu 16-Aug-12 07:49:49

I don't have the budget to buy expensive clothes anymore since having a child and going part time, but I think it's more about expenditure than just income. I'm sure that those living in London/South pay much more of their salary on mortgage/rent than some others, even if their salary looks high on paper.

It's really what you choose to spend your disposable income on. Some people would forgo family holidays, new home furnishings, gadgets, nights out to have nice/more clothes each month. Some will pay thousands in childcare and commuting costs. Just because someone has expensive clothes, doesn't necessarily mean that they earn more than someone who prefers to shop in Primark!

No one has mentioned here yet about credit cards - a bit of a taboo but I'm sure plenty of people who want to be flash and have nice things just put them on the credit card if they don't have the cash immediately and pay for them over time. As long as they can have what they want now and pay for it over time then that works for many.

Some people may also be good at e-baying their unwanted clothes to fund more - that is something that i'm going to attempt to do from now as I always want more money for clothes and don't see me earning much more money in the short term!

cornflower123 Thu 16-Aug-12 08:07:58

Decide on a budget you're comfortable with and (try to) stick to it! I'm another that goes for fewer items from more expensive shops now, often in the sales where I can. Shops are very good at selling desirable expensive clothes, advertising to make it look as though everyone can afford these items, and most people want more than they can afford! Keep busy with other stuff so you have less time for browsing in the shops!! Nothing (above certain amount) bought on impulse. I know it sounds boring.....

Ephiny Thu 16-Aug-12 08:12:43

I agree it's partly about how much you buy, i.e. quality vs quantity. Some people seem to be buying new clothes every few weeks, whereas I only go clothes shopping if I need something specific, or something needs replacing, as I don't enjoy it for it's own sake and I'm not really a fashion follower.

Some things IMO are worth spending a bit more on, like a good winter coat (which can last you for years and years if you buy good quality and a classic style), the same for shoes and 'occasion' dresses and suits.

Trills Thu 16-Aug-12 08:16:59

Presumably the same way anyone affords anything - you either earn lots of money or you spend less on other things.

If I added up the amount I spent in the pub I could certainly buy higher-end clothes than I do currently.

Childoftheseventies Thu 16-Aug-12 08:28:15

This is fascinating. I appreciate it comes down to a combination of income and priorities. We prioritise our house (3 bed bungalow), I think, which we are modestly renovating. We are generally frugal and like others don't have lots of electronics etc. haven't paid for foreign hols for three years.

I also wonder if it runs in families - my mum never spent money on expensive clothes. Do those who do have mums who bought nice clothes too?

ColourMeWithChaos Thu 16-Aug-12 08:32:17

I buy only a few pieces but high quality pieces.

We have a good income, no mortgage and we budget well.

ColourMeWithChaos Thu 16-Aug-12 08:32:48

Oh and my mum always had nice things so I've grown up with it.

blueglue Thu 16-Aug-12 08:42:12

I have a friend who buys this sort of stuff. She works very hard as a lawyer.people love her shoes . I don't know her exact salary !

Trills Thu 16-Aug-12 08:44:18

My dad definitely spends enough on cigarettes to buy at least one "piece" (is that the right word?) a month.

MousyMouse Thu 16-Aug-12 08:44:47

I just buy less.
buy better quality basics and accessorize with cheaper things .
take care with washing so the things last.

blueglue Thu 16-Aug-12 08:45:57

Oh and hilarious quote from friend of friend: 2 lawyers in London married to each other ;

"it is so hard to find stuff to spend all this money on!!!!!!"

My friend was the very happy recipient of their cast off stuff!

Trills Thu 16-Aug-12 08:46:25

I don't mean to be rude but you don't just buy less.

You may buy less than you would buy if you shopped at Zara or H&M or Primark (listed in decreasing price), but it's pretty likely that you still spend more overall than many people.

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