Save money on your Wardrobe

j0409082 I just recently wrote about simplifying your wardrobe and mentioned some ways you can take back control of your closet. Today I have a few ways that I save money on my clothes shopping. (Just a warning, I am writing this from a guy’s perspective, if some of it doesn’t apply to women’s clothes, I apologize.)

Batch your clothes shopping. There are certain times of the year that you can save huge amounts of money on clothes. Do all (or most) of your shopping during those times. After Christmas sales are often one of the best times to buy; so I save money all year long as part of my budget for my after Christmas shopping spree.

Don’t buy clothes that will only work as one outfit. Look for clothes that you will be able to wear with many other things, creating multiple outfits. Instead of buying that green and purple striped coat that will only go with one or two outfits, you could get a solid color gray that will work most of what you wear.

Spend less money on the trendy items. If you must buy trendy clothes, don’t spend a lot on it. You have to figure you only have a year or maybe (if you want to be risky) two years before you start becoming the topic of conversation at your kid’s lunch table. So, buy cheap, because it doesn’t matter if it lasts. There are quite a few fashionable designer stores (probably most) that don’t make high quality clothes intended to last decades. Trends seem to last a shorter and shorter amount of time so you might as well not spend a ton of money on them.

Spend more on quality items. What spend more? I thought you were talking about saving money? Spending more money on the items that you may last you decades, is a much better investment than buying cheap stuff every couple years. For example, you can buy a nice pair of men’s dress shoes for $100-$300 that could last you most of your life if you take care of them and replace the soles when needed. The alternative is buying a cheap pair for $50 that may give you a few years at best. Even a non-math whiz can figure out that you will save a lot of money in the long run by spending a little bit more up front.

Save money with eBay. eBay is a great place to find designer clothes at a nice discount. Find out what brand and size fits you perfect, then do a search for it on eBay. Many people still think that eBay is nothing more than a virtual garage sale featuring everyone’s junk. There are many used items, but there are probably a lot more NEW items for you to buy. As with most online searches, the more specific you can be, the better luck and more time you will save.

Make money with eBay. Sell the clothes that doesn’t fit or that you no longer want. If they are designer brands, chances are good you will be able to find a buyer on eBay. You can then take this money to spend on more clothes!!

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  1. Remember, even expensive shoes need replacing. My husband spends more than $100 for his shoes but needs to have a second pair to alternate with in order for them to last the year. Take care of your feet and they will serve you well!

  2. Something I love to do is pick up high-quality items at the thrift store or local women’s consignment shop–usually when the store is having a sale on top of the regular discounts. I can sometimes pick up clothes for about 3% or so of retail.

  3. @Jan
    Wow – he must be quite the walker! I should have a clarified, but I was referring to leather dress shoes with leather soles – if they are good shoes and taken care of they will last decades (again, having the soles replaced) – athletic shoes on the other hand, even the best ones when used frequently will not last too long…

    @Centsible
    You are quite the shopper!!

  4. I think shopping for batches and making sure they all match are two great points and ones that belong together. That way you know a bunch of your possible combinations before leaving the store.

    I think I need to buy a couple new shirts and perhaps a new pair of slacks. I’m moving from a formal workplace to some more casual ones.

  5. Touché! I always buy clothes at second hand stores, sales racks, thrift stores, consignment and garage sales. A lot of times i found brand new clothes with the labels attached at ridiculous prices.

  6. Stephanie

    This actually does apply to women’s clothes! I worked in retail for 3 years and quickly realized that blowing money on trendy stuff was not the way to go. I never thought I would spend $50 on a pair of jeans, but I did and 4 years later, I STILL have those jeans and they are worn in to perfection!

    Also, buying closet staples is a must (from a ladie’s perspective). Especially if you work a job that requires business casual attire. A pair of black dress pants is a MUST, so is a black suit jacket and a black dress skirt because you can simply change up the top (and shoes) and you have 2 different outfits (or more). You can be trendy and have to replace your “staples” once a year, or buy basics (black and grey suiting does NOT go out of style) and only have to replace it every few years or more.

    Also, COUPONS!! If it’s a store you frequently shop at, when they ask for your email – GIVE IT TO THEM! EVERY TIME! Why??? Because they will send you coupons and special offers. If you only give it once and never give it again, they will stop sending you offers because your email is no longer showing up from their store database, so it tells them you are no longer shopping there – even if you are.

    I know that credit cards are probably a no-no, but there is one store I shop at for ALL my work clothes, so I went ahead and opened a store credit card. I got 20% off my first purchase, plus points for every dollar that turn into gift cards. They also have incentive events, where you can earn double, triple, etc points if you buy a certain thing (like double points when you buy a our new style of sweater…). For being a card holder, I also get free hemming for my dress pants.

  7. I was not good at using store credit cards. They would offer 20% off, and buy the time I paid off the balance, who knows how much I ended up paying for the clothes.

    Now I figured it out. Macy’s for example, has awesome deals when you use their card. So use it for the deal, bring cash with you, and pay your bill outright, right at the register. Some stores you have to go to customer service. But if you do it right away, than you don’t have to worry about running up a bill and additional charges.

    Thanks for all the ideas!

  8. I cannot find any budgeting information on how to set up or be prepared for items that are paid maybe once or twice – or even quarterly – per year.
    Do you list it up front, divide it by the number of months it is supposed to cover, and then count that amount as a monthly expense?
    Help, please.

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