Having spent hundreds of hours in the closets of my clients, I can honestly tell you that the top experience is when they realize that they spend big money on clothes that are not wearable.  With eyes wide open, they realize how they have squandered their hard earned money into clothes that sit idle in the closet.  The average dollar value of clothes sitting idle in my clients’ closets could be worth the value of a car!  If you think of your closet as a garage filled with a car’s worth of parts and equipment that you can’t put together and drive, you wouldn’t stand for it.

So how can you avoid this problem where you spend big money on clothes only to look sub par?  If you follow these pieces of advice, you will look fantastic and make the right investments in your clothes.

Buy Only What You Love

When you look through your closet, scan the pieces that you wear and the pieces you don’t.  No doubt, there’s a great deal of clothing you’re not wearing.  Some of those pieces may have never even been worn.  A few may even have the price tags still on them!  There’s no way you’d let something hang around unworn, with or without a price tag on if you weren’t excited to wear it.  So buying only what you love helps you to not spend big money on clothes, and to actually wear what you have in your closet.

Don’t Buy “Lonely Onlys”

You think that’s my ploy to get you to spend more money.  But remember, I don’t work for any retailer, and I’m not a lobbyist for the National Retail Association.  No one lines my pockets, so the truth is spoken.  But here it is:  When you buy a “lonely only” that goes with nothing, it ends up hanging in the closet, probably with the price tag still on it because it never could go with anything else.  Buy a complete outfit from scratch when you’re shopping.  Or plan ahead, by building upon items from your existing wardrobe, and bringing them along when you shop so you find coordinating items.  When you can avoid finding “lonely only” items, you don’t spend big money on clothes that you won’t wear.

Don’t Cheap Out On Regularly Worn Essential Pieces

People constantly get this wrong and fill their closets with all the wrong items.  How so?  It is common thought to spend less on wardrobe essentials that you wear day in and day out, be they tailored suits, slacks, denim, even shoes.  In fact, just the opposite is what you should do.  These items will be more reliable, comfortable, durable, long lasting, and will remember your body better.  Just consider the value of a pair of great fitting shoes.  If you’re constantly on your feet, walking a lot, the wrong shoes can lead to feet problems, posture problems, and back problems.  The need to constantly replace these items bought more for their perceived price, rather than for their value, turns out not to be such a good value after all.  When you cheap out on regularly worn essential pieces, over the long run you actually spend big money on clothes that make you look sub par.

Make It Fit

No matter what you invest into your wardrobe, or what designers or brands you buy and wear, if the clothes don’t fit your body properly, over time you will spend big money on clothes only to look sub par.  If your weight fluctuates up or down, your clothes will need alterations.  But if you lose or gain significant weight, be prepared to spend significantly more on special tailoring, or to buy a whole new wardrobe outright.  When you buy clothes based on the special needs of your body type, but it doesn’t fit you perfectly off the rack, you will definitely look sub par without alterations.  Just because something “fits” doesn’t mean it’s fabulous without tailoring.  Not only that, but when you’ve plunked down your hard earned money on good clothes that aren’t properly fitting, you’re far less likely to pull them out of the closet to wear them because they aren’t the clothes that will give you confidence or compliments.  But clothes that fit perfectly sure will give you both.

If you follow the spirit of these crucial tips, you will never spend big money on clothes that you shouldn’t have, and you will look par excellence.

Joseph Rosenfeld helps high-profile individuals revitalize, manage, and be secure in their personal visual brand. Visit JosephRosenfeld.com for details.