The average family spends just shy of $2000.00 per year on clothes. That’s enough money for most Americans to take a vacation to Disney World!
We get that clothes take priority over Mickey Mouse photo ops and fun rides but understand that you don’t have to be spending anywhere near $2000.00 on clothes on an annual basis. There are a number of clever strategies that everyday people like you use to save extraordinary amounts of cash on everything from shoes to shirts.
Curious to know what these awesome savings strategies are? Well, you’re about to find out.
Below, we share our top tips on how to shop for clothes without breaking the bank!
1. Be Open to Hand Me Downs
When you were a kid, you probably dreaded getting your sibling’s or your cousin’s hand me downs. As an adult, you should be more open to digging through people’s used clothes to see if there are any good pieces in the pile.
After all, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure, right?
Let people that are roughly the same size as you know that you’re always looking for interesting pieces of clothing to experiment with and that you’d appreciate it if they’d drop their bags of used garments on your doorstep before they go to the dumpster.
You can even sweeten the deal by saying that you’ll donate anything that you don’t use!
2. Go Thrift Shopping
Every how to shop for clothes affordably guide is going to recommend that you go thrift shopping. That’s because thrift shopping rocks!
You’d be shocked by how many high-end pieces get donated and go on a $2.00 rack at your local Goodwill or Salvation Army store.
Also, most thrift shops donate proceeds to charitable causes. That means that you can upgrade your closet for pennies on the dollar while improving someone else’s quality of life. Talk about a great deal!
3. Go to Overstock Stores Before Outlets
There are overstock stores and there are outlet stores. Understanding the difference between those two places is instrumental to you saving big time on clothes.
Outlets, for the most part, aren’t a very good deal. Most outlets advertise insane markdowns but those markdowns are based on MSRP which doesn’t always turn out to be a better deal than you’d get at a standard mall. Also, many outlet malls have lower quality clothing that were produced specifically for outlet retailers which won’t last you long.
On the other hand, overstock stores are an excellent value! Overstock stores like Marshalls or Ross legitimately get name brand retailers to sell them their overstock inventory at a discounted rate. They then pass those discounts onto you.
Consequently, you can find high-quality garments at overstock stores for prices that will make your jaw drop!
4. Hit the Sales Rack
Any time that you walk into a store, go straight to the sales rack. Sure, most items on a sales rack won’t be what you’re looking for. Occasionally though, you’ll bump into an incredible deal that you would have missed out on if you hadn’t of looked.
Can’t find the sales rack at your local store? Don’t be afraid to ask a store associate where you can find it.
Floor managers sometimes tuck sales racks into the back of their stores to let their more expensive merchandise enjoy the limelight.
5. Click the Clearance/Sales Tab on Websites
Do you like shopping online? If you do, you’re not alone. About 10% of all sales are generated over the internet. As it turns out, your how to shop for clothes at discounted prices ambitions can be achieved over the web if you know where to look.
Our recommendation is to head over to the “clearance” or “sale” tab on clothing sites like Lulu & Rose which should either be at the top or bottom of a homepage.
There are usually several excellent deals in online clearance sections that you can’t find in a store’s brick-and-mortar locations.
6. Buy out of Season Fashion
Don’t buy cute coats in late November. Don’t buy sexy swimsuits in May. Instead, buy swimsuits in the winter and coats during the summer.
While that may seem counterintuitive, retailers try to clear out fashion that’s not in season to make room for more relevant inventory by offering huge discounts. Stock up on all of the cheap, out of season fashion that you can get your hands on and debut it to the public once the appropriate weather blows into town.
7. Sell Your Old Stuff to Save on New Purchases
While this isn’t a way to explicitly save money while buying new clothes, it achieves the same end. If you have clothes that are in good condition but don’t fit you anymore, you can actually sell those garments and use the money to discount the new stuff that you buy.
Popular places/platforms to sell your old fashion on include Poshmark, The Buffalo Exchange and eBay.
8. Never Shop Without Coupons
There’s a coupon for just about anything that you buy in life. Especially when you’re shopping online.
Before you check out that shopping cart on Amazon or on Nike, scour the web to see if there’s a coupon that you can apply to your purchase to bring down your price. To make things even easier, you can use applications like Honey which will source coupons on your behalf.
9. Take Care of Your Threads
If you buy a shirt for $15.00 and you ruin it in one year, that shirt cost you $15.00 per year to own. If you bought the same shirt, took care of it and it lasted you four years, it cost you $3.75 per year to own.
Most people don’t think about clothing prices that way but you definitely should. Take better care of your threads and they become cheaper to own over time.
10. Be Honest About When You Need to Go Shopping
Another way to bring down the amount of money that you spend on clothing is by being honest about when you need to shop. We get that shopping can make for a great release after a stressful workweek. But how about finding another way to take the edge off like exercising?
We’re willing to bet that if you need a new outfit to wear, you could mix and match old pieces to create a fresh look. If that’s true, get creative instead of pulling out your credit card.
11. Don’t Buy Pricey Workout Clothes
Niche clothing outfits like “yoga clothes” or “workout clothes” are some of the biggest scams of all time.
In reality, you could use any large shirt and comfy sweats/shorts to work out or do yoga. Since that mindset isn’t going to make retailers money, they’ve constructed this idea that everything you do requires a specialized outfit.
Ditch that nonsense and stop being so concerned about how you look all of the time. If you can take a more pragmatic attitude when it comes to the kinds of outfits that you wear, you’ll save a boatload of money.
12. Check the Men’s Section
Ladies, we’ve got some bad news for you… Your clothes tend to be a lot more expensive than men’s clothes.
Why is that? A number of reasons, some of which have to do with how much women are willing to pay for clothing in comparison to men. The good news is that there’s no reason why you need to buy lady’s clothing!
If you’re looking for something androgynous like sweats, a hoodie or a shirt, mosey over to the men’s section to see what they have available. We’re willing to bet that you’ll find something that looks great for at least 20% off of what you would have paid in the women’s section.
Now That You Know How to Shop for Clothes for Less Money, Start Saving!
You can read about how to shop for clothes for less money until you’re blue in the face. Until you put forward the effort that’s required to enjoy deals though, you’re going to overspend on threads and waste cash that you could have spent on a vacation or other fulfilling purchases.
Remember, there’s no shame in getting a great deal. Get out there, start shopping smart and start enjoying the extra cash that you’re going to be building up in your wallet.
Can’t get enough of our savings-related content? If you’re craving more tips and tricks on all things money, dive deeper into the newest content that we have up on our blog!