If you’re like most people, you likely do not keep track of just how much money you’re spending per month on clothes. Faithfully following a strict clothing budget isn’t always feasible, as every item of clothing currently sitting in your closet will be outgrown, worn out or out of style before you know it. Fortunately, you don’t have to choose between being frugal and fashionable. Here are six tips to make the most of your clothing budget while staying on trend.
1. Buy Basics
Though unique, bold pieces are a fun way to show off your style, too many of them can occupy a lot of valuable closet real estate and make putting everyday outfits together a challenge. With a few solid, basic garments, there are more opportunities to mix and match pieces for simple, layered looks that are both practical and stylish.
If shopping at generic big box stores sounds like a bore, visit some of your local clothing boutiques, who utilize wholesale distribution partnerships to bring curated, high-quality basics that are practical and fashionable alternatives to packaged t-shirts or leggings.
2. Shop Second Hand
Whether you’re an avid thrifter or typically buy new, there is something for everyone when it comes to buying secondhand clothing. In fact, shopping for thrifted clothes no longer requires painstakingly sorting through racks of secondhand jeans. Used clothing apps make buying second hand a snap, and many items are unworn or new with tags still attached. The staff at many trendy second hand stores carefully inspect items for holes, stains, pilling or signs of atypical wear before adding pieces to their inventory, so most items are gently used and in excellent condition. Items at these stores are high quality, but sold at a major discount, so updating your wardrobe with otherwise expensive garments won’t break the bank.
3. Go Out of Season
With every change of season, retailers work to make space on the floor for new collections by hosting clearance sales for soon to be out of season items such as bathing suits, winter coats or rain boots. While it takes some foresight, purchasing a stylish parka you can don next winter at a 70% discount rate can seriously save you some change. By shopping when the demand for certain items is at its lowest, you can typically find what you will need for next season at highly marked down prices. This tip is especially helpful for families with children who quickly outgrow seasonal clothing. Buy items in the next size up, carefully peruse the clearance section or sign up for sales alerts so you’ll never miss out on great deals on out of season garments for every member of your family.
4. Search Sales
From storewide sales to one-time-use coupons, clothing retailers frequently incentivize patronage by offering discounts on their merchandise. If scouring clearance racks for your size isn’t your thing, your favorite retailer’s website will usually have a more neatly organized sale section. Many larger retailers have annual or semi-annual sales in which they offer their biggest discounts of the year, even on regularly priced items. Join their email lists to stay in the know and be one of the first to take advantage of major sales events. They don’t always advertise it, but a lot of clothing retailers run coupons and discount codes almost at all times. With a little research and digging with each purchase, you may be able to find savings codes that will make paying full retail prices a thing of the past.
5. Make Repairs
Too often, when a garment displays signs of wear and tear, it gets hastily tossed in a bag for donation or thrown in the trash, when it could actually be repaired or restored for less than the cost of a replacement piece. Holes can be patched, ripped seams can be re-sewn and stains can be removed, bleached or dyed over. Creative types may even find new uses for old pieces of clothing. For example, a pair of jeans with holes or grass stains on the knees could be cut off and transformed into a pair of shorts for the summer. If you’re not the DIY type, locate your local tailor shop to help replace those lost buttons or repair broken zippers.
7. Swap or Sell
It’s highly likely that you have at least several items in your closet that have been left on the hanger for some time, and you may not even remember the last time they were worn. If you’ve ever envied your friends’ wardrobes, putting together a group clothing swap is a great way to revamp your closet while spending nothing or next to nothing on new-to-you garments. With today’s technology, you can also host your own private clothing sales or send your used pieces to online thrift stores to be purchased or sold, so you can purge your closet while also increasing your monthly clothing spending budget in the process. Cutting down your clothes spending not only keeps more of your hard-earned dollars in your bank account, but it also simplifies your closet and makes staying on trend a practical, accessible option for you and your family.