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18 Tips to Save Money on Clothing

18 Tips to Save Money on Clothing

Saving money on clothing can be a worthwhile endeavor since it frees up finances for more important purposes like building an emergency fund or paying down debt. There are number of different ways to save money but they all require creative thinking and dedication to get the most out of shopping for clothes.

1. Make a List

Wandering around the mall looking for something to buy is the worst way to save money on clothing since it is unfocused and likely to lead to paying more for items than you would otherwise. Go clothes shopping with the plan and buy only what you need.

2. Buy Clothes That Fit

Purchasing clothes one or two sizes too small in the hopes of "dropping those few extra pounds" will probably not work out as planned. Clothes you can't wear will sit in the closet collecting dust. Buy clothes that fit today and get the most out of your money by being able to wear what you bought.

3. Shop Discount Stores

Discount stores like T.J. Maxx, Ross and Marshall's all carry discontinued or overstock clothing from major national retailers. You can usually purchase very nice items for significantly less with a little patience.

4. Buy Off Season

Buying a swimsuit heading into fall or a parka heading into spring is referred to as off-season or out of season shopping. Many retailers will heavily discount items in an effort to liquidate excess inventory when changing seasons. Timing is everything however, so monitor the website or visit the store often to see when the transition occurs.

5. Make Alterations

Learning how to hem your own pants or repair seams that come loose can save significant money on clothing since it means not having to purchase new clothes or pay for alterations. Sewing is an invaluable skill that will come in handy throughout your life.

6. Borrow One Time Only Items

If you're going to a special event like a wedding or black-tie affair, borrow a suit or tuxedo from a friend or relative to avoid having to spend hundreds of dollars. If you only need a nice outfit once every few years there is no reason to purchase one for your wardrobe.

7. Shop Thrift Stores

Thrift stores and consignment shops normally carry older clothes from estate sales or people clearing out their closets. Incredible savings, such as buying a perfectly good button-down shirt for a dollar, are commonplace for those willing to go the extra mile.

8. Swap With Friends

If you have a large number of family or friends with great taste in clothing you can often swap rarely worn items from each other. By getting clothes from people you know, you have foreknowledge of the items condition and how it's been treated over time.

9. Avoid Bad Sales

It's true, there are such things as bad sales. These normally entail retail offerings which are sales in name only as the savings are, for the most part, nonexistent. One national retailer in particular apparently has "sales" every weekend which really just lowers overpriced items to normal pricing levels.

10. Buy Quality Clothes

Depending on what the item is, like a jacket or bathing suit, it may make sense to spend a little more early on to save money in the long run. If you're buying cheap knockoff swimsuits and replacing them every couple of weeks then you haven't really saved any money. It would be better to spend more on one high-quality item that lasts significantly longer.

11. Shop Online Clearance Sales

Many retailers will provide access to more inventory on their websites due to limited retail space at their stores. There will usually be a section labeled "clearance" or "close out" which showcases items they are looking to get rid of at low prices.

12. Shop Men and Boy Sections

It's an unfortunate fact that women will often spend more money on clothes than men. As a result, men's clothes are normally priced around 20% less than comparable women's attire. If it's something as basic as a simple button up shirt or black slacks, it may make sense to shop somewhere other than the women's section.

13. Avoid Designer Labels

If you're truly looking to save money on clothing then avoid designer labels at all costs. When buying these types of clothes, your not so much paying for the quality, which may in fact be good, but more so for the name. Comparable garments can be purchased for less which looks similar to designer labels.

14. Buy Simple Garments

Much as with electronics, the financier it is the more likely it is to break and the more expensive it is to repair. The same holds true for fancy clothes so try and stick with simple pleasing garments which look good all year round. You can also purchase one or two extravagant items and then match them with more simple attire to create different outfits.

15. Buy Generic Basics

When it comes to undershirts and socks, or any other basic clothes for that matter, purchase generics only. Fancy advertising and sexy models don't necessarily mean better clothes so at least try generics first to determine if you're paying for quality or for the name.

16. Take Care of Your Clothes

Anything you take care of, from a car to a refrigerator, will inevitably last longer than something that is left to get dirty and rundown. Washing your clothes less frequently and using the correct amount of detergent will ensure the fabric is properly cleaned leading to less wear and tear and longer use.

17. Buy Machine Washable Only

Dry-cleaning can be expensive, especially if you use the services every week or two. Try buying clothes which are machine washable to lessen the need and expense of having your garments professionally cleaned. If you do use dry-cleaning services often, try getting a discount or shopping around for the best deal.

18. Sell Your Clothes

If you don't wear it then sell it. This isn't so much a tip on saving money as it is on making money when it comes to clothing. Almost everyone has a closet full of items they haven't worn in ages and are taking up space. Having a garage sale makes room for new purchases but also lets someone else derive benefit from items you no longer wear.

Image by: James Dean