How much of your salary should you set aside for a wardrobe update every month?

Top Stories

How much of your salary should you set aside for a wardrobe update every month?

UAE's most influential voice their opinions


Janice Rodrigues

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Fri 5 May 2017, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Fri 5 May 2017, 2:00 AM

This is actually a very difficult question to answer generically. We all have different priorities and ideas on what clothes we need. An extravagant purchase for one person may not appear so to another, and it all very much depends on you and your lifestyle.
Do you wear a uniform to work? Are you client facing? Or in the public eye? Your work requirements will certainly impact your wardrobe. Personal circumstances such as salary, school fees, rent or car expenses will all factor in how much you are able to responsibly set aside for clothing.
My very general rule of thumb is to set aside around 6 per cent from your monthly salary. If your work demands a formal closet, this should rise to around 7 per cent. But, there is certainly no one-size-fits-all answer, and a year with many special events can quickly skew costs higher.
My job as a personal shopper, by its nature, tends to expose me to busy clients who enjoy higher disposable incomes and employ me mainly to free up their time and manage their travel and event requirements, rather than budget. I do, however, push clients into budgeting and planning discussions, as, all too often, I see avoidable and expensive impulse-buying and missed opportunities around the sales.
Proper planning applies to everyone. Focus on spending during the bi-annual summer and winter sales (avoid buying into Christmas), get friendly with staff in your preferred stores and gauge the discounting potential. Know the specific items you need, stay focused and don't go for those tempting shoes that are a little too tight just because they are on sale.- Nicole Majdalany is a personal shopper who blogs at Follow her on Instagram at @nicole_ontrend
Most financial planners recommend you set aside 5 to 8 per cent of your monthly income. So, for clothes and accessories, if your salary is about Dh20,000 a month, you can spend anywhere between Dh1,000 to Dh1,600 a month, maximum. However, here's a look at some of the other things that should be considered before you splurge:
Do you live alone or do you have a family? Are your family members earning or dependent on you? If there is more
than one income, I recommend you calculate the total and divide it accordingly.
Of course, what you do for a living also affects your wardrobe costs. If you work in fashion, like I do, expenses will increase. As a fashion influencer, for example, I am expected to spend a lot to keep my outfits up-to-date with latest trends. So, today, if I earn Dh20,000 a month, being a very public person in the world of fashion would make me set aside Dh2,000-4,000 a month for shopping.
The next thing to keep in mind is financial goals. Are you saving money for a property? To shift countries? Keep your life goals in mind when you're shopping - it will keep things in perspective. Your lifestyle is important. As someone who loves and breathes fashion, I spend money primarily on shoes and clothes. But my husband would much rather spend on other lifestyle choices.
Finally, my advice would be to watch out for shopping habits. I know a lot of people find shopping therapeutic. There are some who shop when they are upset and some who shop when they are happy. But if you don't realise you're doing it, it's easy to go overboard. Figure out what your shopping habits are and adjust them accordingly.
- Natalia Shustova is a fashion entrepreneur and the founder of the Shoestova brand. You can follow her @SHOESTOVA on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter

More news from