Once upon a time, my mother sewed all my clothes and there wasn't a clothing allowance as such, just what we'd spend on fabric, thread, buttons, etc. I didn't budget for my clothes, or the items needed to make them, at all. Later, when she found it difficult to sew for me, I'd go on a shopping spree and buy some items and I'd spend about $100, maybe once or twice a year.
As a result, when I started budgeting, I had no idea how much I actually spent on clothes, so I estimated and allowed myself $25 per month for clothing, which amounted to $300 per year. I figured that was a reasonable amount to spend on clothes for me. At the time, my mother sewed for my daughter, so I didn't budget for her clothes. Later, when my mother was no longer able to sew, I allocated another $25 per month for my daughter's clothing, as well.
Initially, I did all the clothes shopping for my daughter; for the most part, she was a child who was quite happy to wear what was picked out for her. Once she became a teenager, however, I took her shopping with me for her clothes and allowed her to pick what she wanted, within reason, and, always, subject to my approval (her schools had dress codes, but, in general, my dress codes were stricter than the ones the schools imposed).
We'd do a "back to school" shopping trip at the end of summer, and I'd tell her she had $200 to spend on clothes and a pair of shoes for school (the balance $100 was kept for a winter jacket, a second pair of shoes if needed, other items such as socks, undies, etc.) I'd tell her what I expected her to buy for that amount of money - 1 pair of shoes for $25, 5 pairs of pants (or a combination of skirts and pants) for $15 each, and 10 tops (had to include at least one sweatshirt or sweater) for $10 each. If she was able to find those necessary items for less, then, she could spend the remaining portion of the budget on additional items or extras such as hair bows, etc. She soon learned to seek out the sales racks at the back of the stores! LOL.
In addition to these back to school clothes, she'd often receive clothing as gifts for Christmas and her birthday (in March), so she had new clothes every 3 months or so, during the school year, and at summer, we might buy a new pair of shorts if needed.
When I needed to cut back on my budget, during the recession, I reduced daughter's clothing allowance to $20/month and mine to $10/month. Once daughter started university and working part time, she told me she didn't want an allowance, as I was paying for tuition, etc.
My clothing budget (which includes shoes as well as clothes) has continued to be $10/month or $120/year. It is a good thing I am not at all interested in designer clothes or high fashion! LOL. For the past several years, I have been wearing what I had and replacing items as needed, so this amount of money for clothes and shoes has worked out well. I budget $20 for a pair of pants, $30 for a dress or a jacket, $10 for a blouse, $30 for a pair of shoes. Obviously, I am not someone who feels the need to buy something new to wear for every social occasion.
The last time I went shopping for clothes and actually bought something was in August/September 2015. I needed a couple of loose fitting blouses with the opening in front to wear after my surgery in October of that year, and I bought two blouses on clearance for $1.99 and $2.99; a packet of socks and a packet of undies, and a knit hat from the dollar store to wear when I lost my hair (later, I knitted two hats for myself).
I didn't buy any clothes or shoes during 2016. So I carried over that $120 clothing allowance to this year. Then, earlier this year, just before I returned to the office, I went shopping for a pair of pants, but didn't actually buy any. As a result, I have $50 accumulated in my clothing budget for this year (in addition to the $120 from 2016).
I have managed with what I have in my closet (especially with access to daughter's closet, as well!) But, I am thinking, it might be time to go shopping for clothes.
Do you have a budget for clothing? If not, how do you decide how much to spend on your clothing?