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In Case You Take Fashion Advice from a CFP

Jonathan Swanburg
By: Jonathan Swanburg
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When the author of the CNNMoney article “How to dress like a grownup without breaking the bank” asked if I had any fashion advice for young professionals, I said "No." I know absolutely nothing about fashion. However, when she made it clear she was really looking for financial advice pertaining to fashion, I figured I’d give it my two cents. In the off chance you don’t read the article, my sage advice is as follows:

Consider the cost per wear - "A good belt or shoes that you wear everyday will have a much lower cost per wear than a good suit that you wear occasionally. Also, a pair of pants that will last 3 years will likely cost less in the long run than a cheaper pair of pants that will only last 6 months."

This was followed by:

You might also consider spending money on timeless pieces rather than trendy ones - "People will notice the suit with the unique cut or color if you wear it too often. A basic dark blue suit can be worn more frequently without raising any eyebrows."


I said a few other things that she didn’t choose to use but it is probably for the best. I wear pretty much the same outfit every day. A white shirt from Charles Tyrwhitt - when they go on sale I buy a year’s supply. I wear the ties I get for Christmas. I have a few pairs of identical pants in various shades of blue and gray. I have two pairs of the same shoes in brown and black. I wear the watch I received from my wife as a wedding present back in 2011.

Sartorially, my goal is to never find myself on a worst or best dressed list. By doing the same thing every day I can confidently spend less time and money worrying about fashion and more time and money on the things I enjoy. However, if fashion is your thing, take your advice from GQ, Vogue, or somewhere more appropriate and cut down on the budget elsewhere.

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Importantly, my financial planning advice is generally better than my fashion advice.  If you are a young professional, use the link below to download our eBook, Financial Planning Tips for Young Professionals

These ideas for spending, investing, and saving will set you on the path to meeting your financial and personal goals regardless of your clothing choices.

 The 5 best money moves to make this year-Financial Planning tips for Young Professionals