Whether you’re a professional that has to have an impeccable, up to the minute wardrobe or a parent with several kids who grow out of their wardrobes quickly, clothing is probably a major line item in your budget. Here are five key shopping tips that will help you save money when purchasing new clothes, allowing you to look sharp without draining your wallet.
1. Shop Out of Season
If you’re buying a new winter coat right before snow starts to fall, you’ll be paying top dollar. Instead, survey your wardrobe to determine what you’ll need for the following year, then shop out of season to take advantage of clearance prices. While it’s not as fun to shop for bathing suits when the beach seems like a distant memory, you’ll benefit from the deep discounts you’ll find on the sales racks.
2. Use Credit Wisely
In general, store credit cards should be avoided because of their high interest rates and fees. But Reader’s Digest notes that it makes sense to take advantage of the big savings offered with store cards if you have the cash to pay the bill right away to avoid major finance charges. If you let interest collect on the purchase, than the savings is moot.
3. Buy High Quality Clothes
Lifehacker.com recommends spending more for high quality clothes that you’ll wear over and over, such as jeans and boots. Read the care labels properly and follow the instructions; if cared for correctly, well made basics can last for years and save you money in the long run (even when they are a larger upfront investment).
4. Embrace Secondhand
With the advent of the internet, it’s easier than ever to find gently used items from popular brand names and designers for just a fraction of the retail price. Online sites make it easy to shop consignment without spending time pawing through the racks. If you prefer a brick and mortar store, try heading to thrift and consignment shops near high end neighborhoods to increase your chance of snagging designer pieces. Avoid factory outlets, which often inflate prices in the first place to exaggerate savings or sell damaged and defective items.
5. Know Your Body and Style
Don’t be swayed by trends, which will lead you to buy items you’ll throw out next season. Instead, know what you like and what looks best on your body, and invest in classic, high quality items that flatter your figure and make you feel like your best self.