7 Ways to Save Money on Clothing
That is one scary closet . . .
Decide to Drastically Cut Your Clothing Budget
Do you have enough clothing? If you’re a woman, you probably have more than enough. I knew several years ago that I had way too many clothes—many items stuffed in closets throughout the house, items that I don’t wear. In my efforts to find ways to cut costs, I decided then that I rarely need to buy clothes. If you’re tired of high clothing costs and want to cut drastically this part of your budget, read on.
Okay, so, in all fairness, some of these items are waiting for the day that I lose twenty pounds. It’s still on my list! So, if I must hold on to this dream, I mustn’t let myself buy any more clothing until I lose that mere (ha!) twenty pounds, at least not at full price. Being a professional woman, I do need decent clothes to wear to work, so my sweats and t-shirts, which I do have plenty of, aren’t enough. So what do I do?
Buy Clothes On Sale or Not At All!
I buy clothes only on sale, usually at discount stores. Shopping for clothing in “real” stores is rare for me, unless it’s a resale shop. Hit the sales racks, and buy only sale items that are what you need, not an impulse buy, a trendy item that won’t even be in style the following year. Look for a smart buy—a pair of pants, a blouse, skirt, or jacket--that can be mixed and matched with several of the clothing articles you already have
. Resale shops can save you a lot of cash. I'm not one to care about name brand clothing, but I've noticed that resale stores generally do carry mostly name brands, and at a fraction of the original price. Besides clothing, you can find shoes,purses, belts, jewelry, and other accessories. One of my favorite finds was a furry brown winter coat with black fuzzy trim. It looks quite retro, which seems to always be in style. I still get compliments on it. And it cost only ten bucks!
Buy Clothing at Yard Sales and Garage Sales
I can always find nice items at garage sales during the summer. Consider that the nicest black jacket I have was purchased for a dollar or so at a garage sale several years ago. It’s in excellent shape, and I have actually been told by my co-workers that my jacket is a classic for all time. For a few bucks at most, I have a classic!
Garage and yard sales often have a variety of clothing items, from dressy to casual. If you just need t-shirts for down time, why pay ten to twenty bucks (or more) at the local department store when you can get one for a quarter or, at worst, up to a dollar at a garage sale? When you get used to this kind of shopping, even a t-shirt marked down to $5.00 at a department store sounds almost too pricey.
If you have children, how can you even afford to buy clothing at full price for kids who grow so fast? I see new or nearly new baby, toddler, and clothes for older children at garage sales, as children grow out of their clothes quickly. If you're shopping for several people in the family, you can save a bundle.
Organize Clothing Swap Parties!
I haven’t organized a formal clothing exchange myself, but I know someone who has. Guests bring clothing and accessories, pile it up on the floor, and have fun going through each other’s stuff and taking home clothes that are “new” to them.
I do have a few friends that I've passed clothes back and forth with. It's a cheap—and free—way to get something new into your wardrobe. See the video for basic tips on organizing a swap party.
Basics on Throwing a Swap Party
Wear Your Clothes Out
Wear your clothing until it no longer looks good. If you do get sick to death of your wardrobe, do as I suggested and hold a clothing exchange or have your own garage sale. Otherwise, keep wearing what you have and think about all the money you are saving. While your outer clothes can last many years, those garments that aren't seen can last even longer, in some cases until they're nearly threadbare. I've had socks last for over ten years...a little faded but not yet holey! Same thing with the undies. How often do other people see them, anyway? Okay, that question may be too personal. If yours are seen often, you might have to invest in some attractive underwear. Otherwise,why not wear them until they lose their elastic or get too holey? If you're truly wanting to drastically cut back on clothing costs, really look at what you have before you purchase new items.
Only wash dirty clothing
Dresses and skirts can usually be worn several times without getting dirty. Do the sniff test. If you sweat, shirts may have to be washed every time. Just don’t automatically assume an item needs to be washed after every time it is worn. Your clothes will last longer, saving you money in the long run.
Clothing Tips for Men
Men may not read articles about saving money on clothing as women might do, but the same principles do apply to men. Keeping a man’s wardrobe simple is the way to go, as they have fewer garments to choose from. For men, buy a few outfits that can be mixed and matched. Jeans with several T-shirts or long sleeved shirts, a couple of basic slacks with a few dressy shirts. If suits are needed, look in used clothing stores first. If you must buy new, make them last. I know many men who do enjoy going to garage sales. If not, female yard-salers can be on the lookout for the style and size of nice shirts, pants, suits, or even jeans and T-shirts for the men in their lives. In the shopping realm, it is a woman's world. There just aren't as many choices for men when it comes to clothing, whether buying retail or used. If you have to buy something new, just take good care of it. Make it last.
Finally . . . Don't Go Shopping Just for Fun: Don't Shop as a Pastime
Don’t go shopping just as a pastime. You will no doubt be tempted to purchase things that you don’t really need. I know people who put aside money every month just for shopping, just the same as I would put aside money in the grocery budget. If you’re serious about saving money, this kind of practice is out of the question. Fortunately, I don’t like to shop much, anyway. When I was in my twenties, I did enjoy going shopping from time to time to buy a new dress, some earrings, or maybe a knick-knack for my apartment. Looking back, I think that was more about the excitement of being on my own and having my own money, whatever paltry sum it might be. As the years and the reality of bills (paired with the reality of where hard-earned money comes from) have gone by, my perception of shopping has drastically changed.
Only go shopping when you are looking for a particular item! Try the above tips…and see what they do for your budget!