How to Save on Clothes

how to save on clothes

The average American spends $1,700 on clothing and accessories each year!  That’s quite a bundle.  There are so many ways to cut that number down to a much more manageable amount.  Here are some tips on how to save on clothes!

Buy clothes that fit now

I’m guilty.  I find a really great dress and try it on.  It looks alright, but 5 pounds thinner and it would look perfect.  (Ok, maybe 10 pounds.)   So I end up buying and putting it in the closet as ‘motivation’.  For some people this may work but for most people it is just a waste of money.  The item stays in the closet and eventually it gets given away.

Shop Second Hand Clothing

(I’m a country music girl - but I think this song is so funny!)

Garage sales and thrift stores are awesome places to find clothing at huge discounts.  You do have to look for your size and sometimes you come out empty handed.  But other times, you feel as though you have struck second hand gold.  Recently while shopping at some of our local thrift stores I found my husband a Burberry polo shirt and an Armani button down shirt.   I also found myself a pair of Seven for All ManKind jeans and my son a pair of Keen shoes that were new with the tags still on.  It was better than a good day at the thrift stores!  The retail price for my shopping trip would have been about $500, but I paid around $18.

You can shop second hand clothing online as well.  Here are a few of my favorite places to shop online:

thred up outfit 2

thredUP: thredUP is an online consignment store for children’s and women’s clothing.  Prices start at just $2.99 and if you are a new member you get a free $10 credit.  thredUP also carries new clothing as well that is deeply discounted!  Take advantage of that free $10 credit!  Some brands that they have include Gymboree, OshKosh, Janie and Jack, Abercrombie and more!  I just ordered my niece a few things for back to school - brand new Gymboree skirts and sweaters - $2.99 each!! WOO HOO!

american eagle 12

Like Twice: Like Twice is an online site that sells women’s gently used, name brand clothing.  New members get a free $10 credit.  Items start at only $8 so after the new member credit, that is a free piece of clothing! Some brands that they have are American Eagle, Bebe, Lilly Pulitzer, White House Black Market and so many more! (They are also currently giving you an extra $10 when you sell your clothes to them!)

Both companies also buy your gently used, name brand clothing!  This is a great way to turn clean out your closets and refill them with new to you pieces!

Buy new clothing strategically

While we shop a lot for second hand clothing, believe it or not but we do shop for new clothes too!

I prefer to buy brand name clothing for a few reasons:

  1. Generally, name brand clothing is better quality.  (Please note that I said generally!) If you have to continuously replace clothing due to poor quality you won’t save yourself any money.
  2. Name brand clothes hold at least some retail value.  When my son was younger I was a little crazy for Gymboree.  In fact, majority of his wardrobe came from there.  After he grew out of them I would put them on Ebay and re-sell them.  Then, I would use my Ebay money to put towards buying new clothing.
  3. If you shop smartly you can get name brand clothing for about the same price as generic brand clothing!

How to save on clothing

Here are some tips while shopping:

-          Shop the sales.  At some point everything goes on sale so take advantage.

-          Check to see if there are any coupons available.  Stores want you in their door!  Look in the newspaper, on the store’s website or Facebook page.

-          Check the clearance sections and buy ahead.

-          Buy classic pieces for your wardrobe.  While buying parachute pants might sound like a good idea at the time, they will (and in this case, they should) go out of style.  If you stock your wardrobe with nice, quality, and timeless pieces you will be set to go.  You can always buy a few trendy pieces or add fun jewelry to your classics for a whole new look.

-          Choose where to spend your money wisely.  Buying expensive workout clothes won’t make you work out harder or make you faster.  However, you should invest in a good quality swimsuit.  A well designed swim suit will last years and hold up against chlorine, sunshine, and sunscreen.

Take Care of the Clothes You Have

Hem your own pants.  To get your pants hemmed by a tailor could cost $12-14 per pair of pants.

If your jeans start to fade dye them!  A pack of dye is only a few dollars as opposed to the cost for a new pair of jeans.  I personally like dark blue jeans - not black, but dark.  I have quite a few pairs.  So when they start to fade I use RIT dye.  There are other dyes available but that’s just the one I use.  You can get powder or liquid - it doesn’t matter.  Just throw it along with the jeans in the wash.  I’ve NEVER had a problem with the dye and my washer or dryer!  (I was nervous to try it at first - but NEVER EVER have I had a problem!!)

If the tag says dry clean – listen.  If it says to line dry – do it.  Reading the tags on your clothes is vital to keeping your clothes in tip top shape.

clothes swap


(Photo Credit)

Swap with your friends

Host a fun night together with your friends to have a clothing swap.  Everyone can bring items from their closet (including shoes and accessories) and you simple swap.  It’s a fun (and free) way to keep your wardrobe fresh!

Find all of our frugal living posts here.

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