Clothes are fun, expressive, and expensive! If your closet is bursting at the seams but your wallet is feeling empty, here are a few ways you can save money when you are shopping for new clothes and make the most of what you already own.
Buy Generic Basics
If you are buying layering pieces that you mostly wear under other things (like tank tops or plain tees) don’t bother shelling out for a brand name. No one’s going to see it, and it’s probably not going to last long. Part of a layering shirt’s job is keeping sweat off your nice button-down shirt or blouse, so stick to layering pieces from Walmart or Target and save the labels for the clothes you actually show off.
Shop Out of Season
We know, it’s exciting to buy things pre-season. When it’s icy outside, that lightweight sundress makes you feel like spring is right around the corner. But if you are buying in anticipation of what’s next, you are paying the maximum retail price. But, if you shop for what’s not happening, you will get a much better price. Sure, it might feel weird to buy a sweater when it’s nearly triple digits outside, but it will save you some cash.
Buy One Really Great Swimsuit
When you are gearing up for a vacation, it’s tempting to load up on fun, inexpensive swimwear. Here’s the thing though, all of that cheap stuff is going to wind up costing you more in the long run. Not only are you buying more of it to begin with, but it’s going to end up sagging, stretching, or sheer before you know it. Instead, invest in one really great, well-made swimsuit, and make it last. After you wear it, rinse it out or soak it in cold tap water to remove lotion, sunscreen, and other oils, which can damage and fade the fabric. Then let it air dry. With good care, a good swimsuit should last around three years. Can’t think of a swimsuit you would be willing to wear for three years? It’s hard to go wrong with a basic black bikini or maillot from a made-to-last fashion brand.
Skip the Factory Outlets
“But I can save 50% off retail price!” you say. Well, can you really? Outlet stores are usually a mix of items from last season that didn’t sell (usually for a reason, like an unflattering color, poor fit, or a short-lived trend) and items that were made just for the outlet. With the latter, that price that’s 50% off the suggested retail price is pretty much made up. The outlet is the only place it’s ever been sold, and that “sale” price is the real price. Items made just for outlets are generally not as high quality, so all you are really paying for is the label.
Go Easy On Trends
Fashion trends all have their moments, whether it’s ikat-print everything or oxford-style lace-ups. Once that moment is over, it’s either sitting in your closet, headed for the donation pile, or saying loudly to all around you, “Hey, I bought this in 2012!” Even though stores like H&M and Forever 21 try to get you to buy ultra-trendy items because they are so cheap, think about it, if you are constantly buying the latest trends and then not wearing them for long, are they really that inexpensive? Instead of falling for fast fashion, only buy trendy items that you genuinely like and that fit with your style.
Expand Your Options With Accessories
Make your basic wardrobe feel more exciting with inexpensive accessories (think necklaces, bracelets, belts, and scarves) that you can mix with outfits you already own. Especially if your work wardrobe has to stay in the business casual category, a little accessorizing can make your basics feel fun and special. This isn’t just for the ladies, either: Guys can switch it up with differently patterned or colorful socks and ties. Either way, you can get away with spending a lot less to make a new outfit.
Don’t Be Afraid of a Little DIY
No, I’m not saying you have to make your own clothes. Instead, learn some sewing basics. Hand-sewing a button is actually super-easy, and you can replace a popped button instead of getting a new shirt. Bored of a cardigan? Give it some new life by replacing the buttons. If you own or have access to a sewing machine, learn to do a simple hem. You can save big money on hemming your own pants and jeans. You can also take your own pants and jeans that you are not loving anymore or out of style and hem them into a perfect pair of shorts.
Shop Your Closet
And last but not least, shop your closet! When it comes to getting dressed for wherever you are going (work, school, lunch or brunch with the girls, an event or date night with your significant other), our first reaction when we look in our closet is “I Have Nothing To Wear.” Well, yes you do! Take inventory of what you have in your closet and start putting pieces together to see what works well and create the perfect outfit (along with shoes, handbag & accessories, also from your closet) and head out the door, looking fabulous and you didn’t spend a dime because you shopped your closet and made use of what you already have.
Well, there you go! A few simple tips you can use when shopping for new clothes or repurposing clothes you already have that will save you some serious cash! Do you have money saving fashion tips? Share them with us in the comments below and until next week, be happy, healthy, and beautiful!