- Personal Finance
Saving Money on Your Wardrobe - Nice Clothes on a Budget
Having a Nice Wardrobe on a Budget
You don't have to sacrifice on your wardrobe to save money. Even if you are living paycheck to paycheck, there are ways to avoid paying full price for your clothing. Don't resort to looking sloppy or shabby by thinking that you can only save by wearing worn, old clothing. Here are some basic tips to get you through.
Start by shopping at discount stores, or outlets. Over the last couple decades there are more outlet malls than ever, it seems. Even in seemingly remote places in the United States, you can usually travel down the highways and come to an outlet mall at some point. (Perhaps I haven't been to some remote enough places, but I am speaking generally here.)
One of my favorite ways to shop for clothes for less money, is to wait for things to go on sale. It can be easy to fall into a trap of only ever shopping clearance item racks. This sometimes means you only get the "slimmest of the pickings." If that is a concern, wait for certain departments or name brand items to go on sale, as they often will if you are patient. One great tip is to get on the email lists of your favorite clothing stores. You can find out about great sales this way, and stock up then. You are the first to know about the sales too, usually, so you get a better selection than if you found out by chance a week later.
More tips to save money on clothes
I haven't done this much, but I know that some people will try to bargain or "haggle." You might try it in places in thrift shops, flea markets and some boutiques or specialty stores.
Shopping online can be a great resource as well. You can find some great designer bargains sometimes, on all kinds of clothing or accessories.
You can buy off season when the clothes need to be moved out quickly to make room for the newer season's clothes. I would recommend buying timeless, classic pieces so as to not spend hard earned money on things that will be going out of style before or near the time you will be wearing them next. Buying black pants, or a sweater, or a white button up shirt and black slacks is a way you can never go wrong.
In general, just don't pay full price for things. With so many stores competing with each other, more are offering great coupons. Even if they are for one item, make that one item count for your wardrobe, or one pair of nice shoes. If you are like me, you sometimes don't realize what kind of mileage you get out of a classic piece until you are wearing it a long time later. It can be that perfect go to piece that matches with a lot of things.
Read the sales flyer advertisement dates, and coupon dates carefully. Read all the information carefully on any flyer or coupon. Sometimes a super great looking sale or coupon has little disclaimers that don't really let you save that much in the end. If you miss the date, they still got you into the store and you may buy something, so check everything carefully. Personally, I see a lot of buy one, get one half off coupons but that isn't really saving that much. If it were buy one get one free, that would be much better, and those sales come around often enough that it is worth waiting for.
The latest new way I find out about the best sales earliest, is to be on a call list with certain stores. For instance, I am somehow on a couple store's call list, to let me know personally about their sales coming up say in a week from the time of the call. This latest call I got, said that I could come in a few days prior to the start of the sale for a pre-sale. Generally, this is when one can put something picked out on hold, pay for it when the sale starts, then pick it up. THIS pre-sale however, let you take it home the same day. This call went out to several of their customers, but only those customers knew about the pre-sale sale, that you can take things home before anyone else knows about it! You have the best chance of getting your top choices in your sizes before everything gets picked over. So ask your favorite stores if you can get on their call list for things like that. They will just leave a message for you if you don't answer.