Whether you’re a jeans-and-t-shirt guy or a woman with a dress for every occasion, there’s no doubt that buying clothes will take up a big chunk out of your budget.
Let’s say that you have just secured your first job fresh out of college. You’d need to spruce up your wardrobe with corporate clothes which you do not have much of, because you led a pretty frugal life as a student.
How can you save money when buying such clothes? Or maybe you’re a working mom who is struggling to raise a couple of kids and their clothes need to be updated because they’re growing up so fast? How can you give them what they need without going over budget? That is exactly what we will find more about here.
Top 15 Ways to Save Money on Clothing
In order to save money on clothes, your goal is to look well put together without having to spend too much, and to have something to wear on most occasions. How exactly can you do that? Take a look at the following tips on how you can save money on clothes:
Don’t splurge when buying basic pieces
Both men and women have basic clothing pieces which should be a staple in their closets.
Men, for example, do not have to spend anywhere near $100 for a set of basic white t-shirts. These easily get stained, wear off or have holes in them as they go through several washings.
Instead of splurging, look for generic brands where you can purchase the exact same white t-shirt for less than $10, only without the designer tag.
The same thing holds true for women when buying tank tops, everyday t-shirts, shorts, workout gear and other clothing items which wear out easily.
Go comparison shopping
If you think that gadgets are the only items that you can comparison-shop for when buying online, think again. You can do the same thing for clothes.
Most online shops offer a size chart which you can consult if you’re afraid that the clothes will not fit once delivered. When an item catches your eye, make sure to look for similar or the same items from others stores – and add to your shopping cart the cheaper ones.
Know when to shop for seasonal clothes
If you’re looking for winter clothes for yourself or the kids, shop at the very end of the season. This is when retailers unload merchandise at low, low prices because they need to make way for the new stocks for the next season.
Mid-season sales are also held, and the prices frequently beat those who are buying seasonal clothes just before the winter starts.
Just before the summer season ends, you can find swimsuits, tank tops and other summery clothes at blowout prices. Simply store them in your closet to use for the next summer.
Put together a designer look for less
For women who like taking style inspirations from celebrities or even royalty like Kate Middleton, there are websites that allow you to come up with a similar designer look for less. The sites would post a picture of your style inspiration and give you online stores where you can get similarly styled dresses, shoes and accessories at a fraction of the price.
Stock up on multi-seasonal clothes
Instead of buying a different set of clothes for every season, look for pieces that you can wear throughout the year. Sweaters which can be worn during winter then again on spring will save you a lot of money in extending your wardrobe.
During the coldest months of the year, use your summer tank tops as a layering underneath thicker sweaters. Jackets with linings which can be worn to ward off the winter chill or just to protect you from a cold breeze during summer nights are also an excellent investment.
Borrow formal wear and maternity clothes
What better way is there to save money on clothes than not having to buy them at all? If you’re attending a one-time corporate event where you need to dress up formally, simply borrow a dress from a female relative who’s the same size as you are. The same thing holds true for maternity clothes, which you can pass on to or borrow from your sister.
Don’t stock up on babies’ clothes
If you’re a first-time parent, you will be excited and go overboard in buying very cute baby clothes. The problem with buying too much is that kids can quickly outgrow them.
The onesie that you bought can easily be outgrown in just a few months or even weeks, so simply buy a few pieces of the basics. Better yet, borrow baby clothes from a relative or friend who recently had a baby that’s now all grown-up.
Ditch the items which you haven’t worn for six months
Check on the items that you already have stored in your closet. Which pieces have you not worn for the past year or even six months?
Chances are, if you haven’t worn a dress for the past six months, you will never wear it again simply because you don’t really like it, it was an impulse buy or it really does not suit you well.
You can actually make money out of these items by selling the clothes that you have with the tags still on them at a garage sale or online.
Do your clothes shopping online
The reason why retailers can afford to offer great discounts for online shoppers is that they do not have a physical store to maintain. Since they do not need money for renting a store space, hiring sales staff and maintaining a brick-and-mortar store, they can pass on the overhead costs that they will save to you as a customer – thus the excellent prices from online shops.
Shop from thrift stores, clearance racks and yard sales
Rather than heading straight to the mall, there are many other shops where you can get clothes at a cheaper rate: thrift stores, clearance racks and yard sales. The instinct of people is to overbuy, especially when they love clothes, so there would be plenty of item left over or totally unused to sell. These are the treasures that you can find from thrift stores and yard sales.
For the clearance racks, these are the marked down prices of stores for the old stock that they have, which they simply would like to get rid of. The policies of holding clearance sales vary from one store to another, so make sure to familiarize yourself with when your favorite shop will hold its own sales and other promos.
Organize your closet
As mentioned earlier, you are bound to find plenty of items in your closet which you have not worn for the past six months of even ever since you first bought it. These are items that you are most not likely to wear, so get rid of them.
By cleaning out your closet, you can organize a garage sale or sell all the extra items that you have online. Organizing your closet will also make you think twice about adding items that will add to the clutter, thus saving you money in the process.
Steer clear of trends
Distressed jeans, harem pants, crop tops – these are trendy items that can easily go out of style. There’s nothing wrong in going for a trendy look, especially if it suits you, but there’s no need to splurge on them, either. Doing so will simply waste your money because you will find yourself not wanting to wear the items once they are not considered trendy anymore.
A good compromise would be to look for really cheap versions of what’s currently ‘in’ so that in case they are called ‘so last season’, you will not find your purchase wasteful because it is pretty cheap.
Look for clothes which do not require pricey maintenance
Steer clear of clothes which have a “Dry cleaning only” tag on the label. Perhaps the only exception is a really good quality, classic, designer dress that you will wear over and over again during special occasions. Other than that, a dry clean only clothing item will simply drain your wallet from all the dry cleaning bills that you have to pay for.
Always look for pieces that you can mix and match
When sprucing up your wardrobe, look for pieces that you can mix and match. A classic button-down shirt in different colors can easily match the denim jeans, skirt or cute shorts that you have. Always look for pieces which can go well with several items in your closet so that your outfit will look new every time.
Re-purpose and repair your own clothes
Sometimes, even the simple act of upgrading the buttons on your shirt will make it look more expensive. If you want to prolong the life of your clothes, make sure that you know how to change buttons, deal with hems, repurpose and repair them. Instead of throwing away a long-sleeved shirt because of frayed ends on the sleeves, you can simply turn it into a short-sleeved top.
Following these tips will save you a lot of money when buying clothes.